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The Boston Globe

Television

buzzsaw

On TV, there’s an art to a graceful exit

Last week, actor Josh Charles did the unthinkable. He decided to continue to be a creative person, to challenge himself with new work, to be unmoored rather than complacent. To do this, he risked the outrage of fans and the possibility of – OMG, CU-L8R – losing Twitter followers.

After 5½ seasons as Will Gardner on “The Good Wife,” he left the show. “I felt however much that I’ve enjoyed the experience,” he said in a CBS press clip, “that I was ready for the next chapter of my life.” According to most accounts, Charles wasn’t at odds with the executive producers, and he returned to direct episodes after his character had been killed. He was just “ready to kind of move on,” as he told David Letterman on Monday night. This wasn’t David Caruso leaving “NYPD Blue” after one season to chase movie fame; this appears to be about acting, passion, and a sense that life’s too short to tread water.

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