‘Married… with Children’ star Ed O’Neill airs dirty laundry with former co-star Amanda Bearse


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Actor Ed O’Neill is explaining a stifling on-set feud with his longtime co-star.

O’Neill starred as Al Bundy in the sometimes controversial “Married… with Children” for 11 seasons. “It was also kind of a show that no one wanted to admit that they liked,” he told his pal Jesse Tyler Ferguson on his podcast, whom he starred alongside in another 11-season sitcom, “Modern Family.”

O’Neill, now 77, reflected on his tenure on the show, admitting his feud with Amanda Bearse was something he regretted. “We didn’t get along, and we did for a long time. We were great friends. And I could guess, I don’t want to speak for her… It started when we got the cover of TV Guide.”


O’Neill says Bearse and David Garrison, who played supporting characters Marcy D’Arcy and Steve Rhoades, were not to be featured. “They were told they could not be on the cover. Because they had a rule: there’s only so many [that] can be on the cover,” he said of TV Guide’s restrictions. “Now they violated that for like two shows, I think it was ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Dallas,'” he explained. 

“That was an exception. They weren’t doing it for us. And we were lucky to get it. It was like the sixth year in or something,” he said of the July-August 1989 cover. The show premiered in 1987. “We were thrilled to get the cover of TV Guide. It was big. And Amanda and David came out in unison from their dressing room. We were on the soundstage, and she said, ‘We expect you to go to [co-creator] Ron Leavitt and tell him this doesn’t work. We’re all on the cover.'”

“If I was diplomatic, I should have said, ‘Fine. I’ll talk to him about it,'” O’Neill suggested.


Al and Peggy Bundy (played by Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal) sit down beneath their kids Bud and Kelly (Christina Applegate and David Faustino) in a cover for TV Guide

“But instead, I said, ‘No. I’m not doing that. I’m sorry you guys aren’t on the cover. I really am! I wish you were! But we can’t do anything about it. What do you want me to do, lie to you, and tell you that you know, I’m going to go to bat for you? I’m not,'” he remembered thinking. 

“That’s my regret,” O’Neill told Ferguson, admitting he would have done things differently in retrospect.

On the left, a picture of the Bundy family from "Married...With Children." On the right, additional characters Amanda Bearse and Ted McGinley as Jefferson and Marcy D'Arcy with the Bundy family.

A representative for Bearse did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Amanda Bearse with grey and white spiky hair wearing a black suit and white top

“Married with Children” wrapped in 1997 after 259 episodes. 

Rumors of a reboot or spinoff have floated around Hollywood, but nothing has come to fruition.

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