The Big Bang Theory Star Jim Parsons Says He Was in a Dark Place When He Quit the Series

After more than a decade on the air, The Big Bang Theory was one of the most popular sitcoms on broadcast television when the show wrapped up after its 12th season last year. Series stars Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and the rest of the cast provided an ending to the long-running series and gave fans a sense of closure, though some viewers questioned why the show was ending after all that time. It turns out that Parsons, who played the popular main character Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, had very personal reasons for leaving the sitcom which contributed to the decision to end the series.

Parsons recently appeared on David Tennant Does a Podcast With... to discuss his decision for leaving The Big Bang Theory at the height of its popularity, which all fell into place after he finished filming the 11th season and then straight to New York to perform in The Boys in the Band on Broadway.

"I was really upset about, more than anything, one of our dogs was getting really at the end of his life around then," Parsons said, referring to the ill pet he cared for alongside husband Todd, then detailing that the dog suffered from a seizure. "As you can tell, it really upset me. Still does."

He added, "I was so beaten down. I walked out for curtain call [on Boys in the Band] and I slipped and I broke my foot. It was the scariest moment for the next couple of days because I felt like I was at the edge of a cliff... I was teetering and I saw something really dark below between the death of the dog. The bottom line was that it was a really intense summer. The dog passing away, he was 14, and Todd and I had been together for 15 years at that point, so it just was the end of an era.

"I had this moment of clarity that I think you're very fortunate to get in a lot of ways, of going: 'Don't keep speeding by'. You know? 'Use this time to take a look around'. And I did."

Parsons went on to explain that his father passed away at age 52, and that the actor reflected on his life and career when he turned 46 during the end of The Big Bang Theory's final season.

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"If you told me that, like my father, I had six years left to live, I think there's other things I need to try and do," he said. "I don't even know what they are, but I can tell that I need to try."

Parsons still narrates the spinoff series Young Sheldon, which just wrapped up its third season earlier this year.