‘The A-Team’: Why Triple A Actress Melinda Culea Exited the Show

by Taylor Cunningham
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In 1983, Melinda Culea was certain that her role as Triple A on The A-Team would be her big break. But unfortunately, the creators had different plans—and those plans completely blindsided the actress.

Culea joined the classic TV series during the debut episode titled Mexican Slayride, and her character, Amy Amanda Allen, proved to be as tough as the guys right from the start.

Because Culea was the only woman in the show, she was a favorite of entertainment reporters. And she was constantly asked about her place in the series and how Triple A may grow as the seasons progressed.

At the time, the actress was thrilled to be in the spotlight. Up until the creator called her for a part, she had been a model who was struggling to make it as an actress. And she was happy to give interviews to anyone who asked.

While speaking with reporters, Culea was optimistic about her spot on The A-Team. During her chats, she would often talk about how the plot always focused on the men. But in her opinion, Triple A was just as strong as her male counterparts. And she spoke of the character as though she was an actual member of the team, which she wasn’t.

“The ’80s is the decade of the individual,” she told the Herald and Review in 1983. “We are just beginning to peak on it. And I mean in the purest sense of the word. It’s a very new concept, which combines the conscious, the unconscious, and the superconscious. On the show, we are all such ridiculous individuals. It’s holding the mirror up to nature in a humorous way – the best way to teach humans anything.”

The ‘A-Team’ Creators Wrote Triple A Off the Series Before the End of Season 2

As the actress saw it, the series was only focusing on the men to establish the show. But she fully believed that Triple A would have her day to shine. In fact, she was so certain that she’d become a main character that she bought a house based on her A-Team salary.

“Now that we’re established, we’ve talked about my character and where she’s going,” she told The Sheboygan Press. “And I have faith in the writers. It’s a natural progression, and two things I’ve learned from it are humility and patience.”

But either the interviews or the talks grew old for the producers. And that same year, the show told TV Guide that they cut the character.

“It didn’t work out the way we or she intended,” creator Steven J. Cannell said. “There were misunderstandings regarding the size of her role and the sorts of things her character would be doing.”

By the close of season 2, Triple A left for a reporting trip. And the A-Team never saw her again. The producers tried filling her spot with another recurring female character, Tawnia Baker. But she didn’t last in the series either.

After a second failed attempt, the series left the story to the four men. And for the remaining years, the show solely revolved around them.

Outsider.com