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What Happened To The Cast Of ER?

When scrolling through television options, medical dramas are a dime a dozen. There are tons of them to choose from, all featuring improbably attractive doctors, at least one crazy new case per week, and considerably less paperwork than a real hospital has to worry about. However, they almost all owe a great deal to the king of the modern medical drama, ER, which debuted in 1994.

Until 2019, ER held the record as the longest running primetime medical drama in history. It may have since been toppled by Grey's Anatomy, but ER's 15 seasons, 331 episodes, and hundreds of award nominations are certainly nothing to be ashamed of. ER was also well known for having an incredible ensemble cast, many of whom left the show for even higher levels of stardom.

Yes, ER was quite the launching pad for quite a few stars. As the show gained more popularity, it attracted bigger names, but it's also responsible for the careers of many of our favorite actors. Of course, some members of the show haven't become A-listers, but today, we're taking a look at the cast to figure out where our favorite doctors ended up. Here's what happened to the many stars of ER.

Anthony Edwards - Mark Greene

Anthony Edwards wasn't a massive star when he joined the cast of ER in the first season as Mark Greene, but he was a well-known commodity. Audiences would at least recognize him from appearing in frat comedies like Revenge of the Nerds and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, as well as playing Maverick's sidekick, Goose, in Top Gun. However, ER really helped catapult Edwards to another level.

Edwards starred on ER for the first eight seasons, and Dr. Greene served as a mentor figure and leader of the team in the hospital. Sadly, Greene died of brain cancer in season eight, but Edwards reprised the role via flashback in ER's final season.

Since his days on ER, Edwards has appeared in a variety of films and television series. His biggest role was acting alongside an all-star cast in Zodiac, and he's had guest appearances with short-term roles on series like Girls, Blue Bloods, Law and Order: True Crime, and Billions. His most recent major role was a ten-episode run as Mars Harper on Designated Survivor.

Sherry Stringfield - Susan Lewis

Sherry Stringfield was one of the original starring cast members of ER, though she left after just a few seasons. However, she later returned to the show in the same role, becoming one of the only starring cast members to have two successful runs on ER.

Before ER, Stringfield appeared in major roles on two very successful series: Guiding Light and NYPD Blue. She originally departed ER to spend more time with her family, and according to the Chicago Tribune, she was reportedly welcomed back with open arms when she approached producers a few years afterwards about returning. Stringfield left as a series regular in season 12, though she did appear in the series finale.

Stringfield has found solid success in acting outside of ER, as well. She's appeared in films like 54 and The Stepfather, and she's also had several guest and recurring television roles. For example, she appeared in nine episodes of Under the Dome, a series based on a Stephen King novel. Her most recent work came in 2017, when she appeared in a few recurring episodes of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.

Noah Wyle - John Carter

Bigger names had been involved with ER over its decade and a half on the air, but few actors are associated with the series quite like Noah Wyle. His Dr. John Carter was a central character for the show's first eleven seasons, he appeared sporadically in the twelfth season, and he returned for the series finale.

Wyle was relatively unknown when he was cast in ER, with only a few credits to his name. But even though he hasn't quite gained superstar status since the show concluded, he's actually had quite a bit of other success. He's appeared in a few major films like Donnie Darko, and he's been a central actor in the (surprisingly long-lived) Librarian franchise. A few years after ER ended, Wyle proved he could find TV success again, as he starred in the sci-fi drama Falling Skies through all five seasons.

Wyle's most recent credits include starring in the series The Red Line and The Romanoffs

Julianna Margulies - Carol Hathaway

An original cast member of ER, Julianna Margulies has been a regular staple of television for decades. Prior to her appearance on the show as nurse Carol Hathaway, she'd only made a few appearances in guest spots. ER made her a household name, and it's extremely likely you've seen Margulies in something at this point.

Margulies made the jump to film immediately after leaving ER, but her most high-profile work was in cheesy horror films like Ghost Ship and Snakes on a Plane. Her return to television has been much more successful. She's had memorable guest runs on shows like The Sopranos and Billions, and her starring role on The Good Wife went for seven seasons and over 150 episodes.

Even though not all of her shows have been successful — Canterbury's Law and Dietland both only made it through a single season — Margulies clearly has the star power and name recognition that makes for good television. Most recently, Margulies starred in the miniseries The Hot Zone, and she's frequently collaborated with PBS on Unladylike.

Eriq La Salle - Peter Benton

The incredibly talented surgeon Dr. Peter Benton was an ER mainstay through the first eight seasons. Played by Eriq La Salle, Dr. Benton also returned for the series finale, like most of the cast of the long-running show. And as for life post-ER, La Salle has had a lot of success since walking away from the series.

La Salle had a few appearances in major films before appearing on everyone's favorite medical show. You can catch him in movies like Jacob's Ladder and Coming to America. However, the series definitely lifted his career, and he's gotten quite a bit of work since then. As an actor, La Salle appeared in several series, including 24, How to Make it in America, and Under the Dome, where he reunited with ER castmate Sherry Stringfield. He's also appeared in several major films, like One Hour Photo and Logan.

La Salle has also seemingly transitioned more to the other side of the camera. He frequently directs episodes of television, working on series like Madam Secretary, Lucifer, Under the Dome, Chicago Med, and Once Upon a Time. He's directed eighteen episodes of Chicago P.D. alone, including the finale of season seven. La Salle even directed an episode of ER after his time on the show!

Gloria Reuben - Jeanie Boulet

Gloria Reuben wasn't actually an original cast member of ER. Though her character, Jeanie Boulet, did appear in the first season, it wasn't until relatively late. However, she was upgraded to a starring character the following season, where she stayed until season six. Reuben reprised her role for a single episode in ER's fourteenth season, though unlike many of her fellow cast members, she didn't appear in the final one.

Reuben has appeared in several successful television series since her run on ER. The Agency, Falling Skies, Raising the Bar, Blindspot, and Cloak & Dagger have all had multi-episode arcs featuring the talented actress. Her most recent television work came on Mr. Robot, where she played therapist Krista Gordon. She's also appeared in several major films, including Lincoln and Admission.

Off-screen, Reuben performs as a stage actress and jazz musician. She won an Outstanding Lead Actress Lucille Lortel Award (the most prestigious award given to off-Broadway plays) for her portrayal of Condoleezza Rice in Stuff Happens, and she also sang backup vocals for Tina Turner on her 2000 tour.

Laura Innes - Kerry Weaver

Noah Wyle is credited with the most appearances on ER, but Laura Innes is a close second with only four fewer episodes than her costar. Innes made her first appearances as Dr. Kerry Weaver in ER's second season, and she was bumped up to a series regular in season three. Innes was an ER mainstay all the way until the show's thirteenth season, and she appeared in the final season, as well.

Innes has appeared in a few movies over her career — the biggest probably being 1998's Deep Impact, during her heyday on ER — but she's definitely made more of a mark in television. She's had runs on series like The Louie Show, Awake, How to Get Away with Murder, and she starred in The Event. Her most recent work saw her star alongside Kevin Bacon in the short film North Star.

And hey, while we're talking about Innes, here's a bonus fact about her character, Kerry Weaver (via The Mirror). The reason the show eventually had her get surgery to mostly correct her crutch use is because the character's limp was causing Innes actual spinal damage.

Alex Kingston - Elizabeth Corday

English actress Alex Kingston first appeared in the fourth season of ER as Dr. Elizabeth Corday, working her way through trauma surgery and eventually becoming chief of surgery at the hospital. She also had a child and married Dr. Greene, though the relationship was rocky for her career. Kingston starred on ER through the show's eleventh season, and she returned for the final season like so many other ER veterans.

Before ER, Kingston found quite a bit of success on British television, but the show served as an introduction to American audiences. After her tenure on the series, she's continued to appear on both sides of the pond in both movies and television. She's probably best known for her portrayal of River Song on Doctor Who. She's also appeared in shows like Marchlands and Arrow, in movies like Alpha Dog, and in the television miniseries Lost in Austen.

Kingston has also appeared in a few major stage shows over her career, such as her starring role as Lady Macbeth, where she played alongside Shakespeare luminary Kenneth Branagh as a part of the Manchester International Festival.

Paul McCrane - Robert Romano

Paul McCrane appeared on ER as Dr. Robert Romano for two seasons in a recurring role before moving up to a series star in season six. He proceeded to work on ER until the show's tenth season, and like basically every other member of the cast, he appeared in an episode of the final season of the series.

McCrane was a well-established actor before joining ER. His first credited role came in Rocky II in 1979. He also appeared in RoboCop, 1988's The Blob, and Fame, just to name a few. Still, the show helped further entrench him into the fabric of Hollywood, and he's made several appearances since playing in the beloved medical show. McCrane had recurring roles on 24 and Under the Dome, the latter of which reunited him with several other ER veterans. McCrane also appeared on seven episodes of Harry's Law, which netted him a Primetime Emmy Award for his role as District Attorney Josh Peyton. And most recently, McCrane has an ongoing role as Judge Jonas Laski on All Rise.

Goran Visnjic - Luka Kovac

Croatian actor Goran Visnjic had big shoes to fill when he joined the cast of ER at the start of season six, as George Clooney had just left the show to pursue Hollywood superstardom. However, his character, Dr. Luka Kovac, made quite an impact on the series. He starred all the way through the thirteenth season, and he made recurring appearances in the final two seasons until the show ended.

Visnjic was mostly unknown to US audiences when joining the cast — he'd only appeared in a few films like Rounders — but he's continued to find success with ER coming to a close. Since the show's end, he's appeared in a couple of major movies, like David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but he's found television more to his liking. Some of the series you can catch Visnjic on include Red Widow, The Deep, Timeless, Santa Clarita Diet, and Crossing Lines.

Visnjic stays plenty busy, too. In 2020 alone, he appeared in an episode of Doctor Who, the entirety of General, four episodes of The Boys, the pilot episode of Brides, and the film Fatima. Not bad at all, Dr. Kovac.

Ming-Na Wen - Jing-Mei 'Deb' Chen

Actress Ming-Na Wen has the largest gap of any regularly appearing ER actor, not counting the final season victory lap that brought everybody back. Her character, Dr. Jing-Mei Chen, actually appeared as a medical student for much of season one. After almost killing a patient, she decided to go into research instead of dealing with the high pressure of the hospital setting. However, she then returned in season six and starred through season eleven.

Wen has found a ton of success outside of ER, in both movies and television, and she's also done tons of voice work. She's probably most famous for voicing the lead role in Disney's animated Mulan, but you've also heard her in projects like Phineas and Ferb, Sofia the First, and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. She had major roles in movies like The Joy Luck Club and Street Fighter, and she's recently had minor roles in The Mandalorian, Fresh Off the Boat, and Awkwafina is Nora from Queens. And for MCU fans, her biggest recent role is on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where she plays Agent Melinda May.

Maura Tierney - Abby Lockhart

Maura Tierney is right up there with some of the longest-tenured actors in ER's history. Her character, Dr. Abby Lockhart, first appeared in season six and lasted all the way through ER's final season, when she rode off into the sunset with her on-screen husband, Dr. Luka Kovac.

Tierney was actually diagnosed with breast cancer right around the time she finished her run on ER, which may have contributed to her taking fewer roles over the following years. However, Tierney does perform quite a bit as a stage actress. Of course, she still has appeared in several impressive series and films. Television shows like Rescue Me, The Whole Truth, and The Good Wife have all come calling, and Tierney has also appeared in films like Beautiful Boy and The Report.

Tierney's biggest post-ER role is also her most recent. She stars and has appeared in every episode of the Showtime series The Affair. In fact, she won a Golden Globe Award for her portrayal of Helen Solloway on that series.

Mekhi Phifer - Greg Pratt

Mekhi Phifer first appeared as Dr. Greg Pratt in season eight of ER, and he became a series regular in season nine. He starred through season 14 and appeared in a single episode of ER's final season. Tragically, Pratt died after mobsters blew up an ambulance he was in, hoping to kill a patient in the Witness Protection Program. Yeah, ER got wild, especially towards the end!

Phifer had appeared in several major productions before and during his time on ERI Know What You Did Last Summer, Dawn of the Dead, and 8 Mile were just some of the blockbusters he was a part of. He's also continued to find success after ER concluded. He's had lengthy runs on series like Lie to Me, Torchwood, House of Lies, and Frequency. He's also appeared in films like the Divergent series.

Phifer's most successful recent work comes on two streaming series. He has recurring roles on the Apple+ show Truth Be Told and on the Hulu series Love, Victor

George Clooney - Doug Ross

Oddly, the totally unknown "George Clooney" didn't film a single thing other than ER. His life remains shrouded in mystery.

Jokes aside, George Clooney can probably lay claim to the title of "most famous actor in the world." Clooney had started making a name for himself before he joined the first season of ER as Dr. Doug Ross (including a medical comedy series called, strangely, E/R), but the hunky pediatrician is definitely the role that put him on everyone's radar. He starred for five seasons, and he returned in a few other seasons as a special guest.

After ER, what can we say about Clooney? Trying to name his most famous roles will surely leave some things out. He frequently collaborates with the Coen brothers in movies like O Brother, Where Are Thou? and Hail, Caesar! He's done voice work, like starring in Fantastic Mr. Fox. As for his other notable films, we've got titles like Ocean's Eleven, Gravity, Michael Clayton, The American, Three Kings, Syriana ... Clooney's been in an awful lot. He's won two Oscars (one for acting, one for producing) and continues to act, though Clooney seems to have slowed a bit on how many roles he takes these days.