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The Untold Truth Of Jesse Spencer

When it comes to television, Jesse Spencer is undoubtedly one of the veterans in the industry — even though he's still only 42 years old. He was on TV for over two decades, and it was only October 2021 when he decided to step down as one of the co-leads in the long-running firefighter drama, "Chicago Fire." Whether you know him as Lieutenant Matt Casey from the NBC series, the heartthrob teenager Billy Kennedy from "Neighbours," or as Dr. Robert Chase from Fox's hit medical drama, "House M.D.," the Australian actor delivered some solid performances for audiences of all persuasions to remember.

Yet there are several untold truths, lesser-known facts, and other trivia from his career and personal life you might not know about. Here, we've gathered everything that's out there and worth mentioning about the charming Aussie we'd been seeing on our television screens for more than twenty years. Here's the untold truth of Jesse Spencer.

Jesse Spencer was a soap opera star as a teen

"Neighbours" is an Australian soap opera series that began airing on the 7 Network in 1985 — and it's still running today. Spencer debuted on the show in 1994 when he was 15 years old. He played the character of Susan and Karl's son, Billy Kennedy, who stole the heart of many young women the second he appeared on the screen. He was a popular dreamboat, and if you take a look at his immaculate, cute, and boyish look back in those times, it's not hard to understand why.

He starred in the series for six years and appeared in more than 460 episodes. In 2000, however, he decided to leave the show behind as it wasn't much of a challenge for him anymore. He no longer enjoyed the role and grew bored with the predictable and dull storylines. According to Hello! Magazine, the star said, "When I said I was leaving, I hoped they would make Bill's departure interesting — but he just moves away from Erinsborough, there's no drama to it." He continued, "It's disappointing and typical of the last two years of storylines."

Considering his capability as an actor, it's no surprise he quit the TV program. During his years on "Neighbours," Spencer improved his skills significantly and learned much about the entertainment business. Understandably, he wanted something more challenging. A few years down the line, he found what he was looking for in David Shore's award-winning drama, "House M.D."

He didn't think he was right for the role of Dr. Robert Chase

After he left "Neighbours," Spencer moved to London and did a few movie and television gigs, but none of them were substantial. One day, he's got a fax from his agent about a potential job in a pilot episode — in which he would play a 35-year-old radiologist in a US hospital. He was 24 at the time and didn't really think he'd be a good fit for it. In fact, he admitted in an interview with the Paley Center for Media that he called up his agent and said, "You know, I'm really sick of going in for stuff that I'm just not right for." Then his agent asked him, "What else you're going to do today?" Unable to come up with a good enough answer, he ended up reading the script and auditioning for the part of Dr. Robert Chase.

Funnily enough, his first audition went well, yet the casting crew didn't want to fly him out to the United States. So Spencer decided to take a gamble on this opportunity. He bought a ticket and flew to America. There, he called up the producers and said, "All right, I'm here. Bring me in." Then he got the role on the show, which eventually brought him his biggest break on American television.

His character, Chase, was meant to be English at first

Although he got the role, it wasn't entirely clear what his character's nationality was going to be. According to the actor, since he "murdered" the American accent, that was out of the question. So, the director, Bryan Singer, and the showrunner, David Shore, wanted to make his character English instead. However, at the first read-through, Spencer's co-star, Hugh Laurie didn't exactly like the idea since he was a British actor playing an American. It was a bit of a "conflict of interest" situation. Thus the creators and Spencer eventually agreed to establish Chase as an Australian doctor living in the States.

He explained the other main reason for this decision in an interview with the Paley Center for Media. He said, "With Bryan [the director of the pilot], we talked about going with Australian, which hasn't really been done on American TV. We thought it would be a good idea, and I hadn't played Australians in like four years or something. So, it was good for me, and that was it."

Spencer appeared in two music videos

In the case of world-famous actors, this is the kind of trivia that often gets buried for various reasons. Most likely, Spencer wouldn't mind forgetting about the times when he played a small role in a Caitlin Crosby and a Katherine McPhee music video.

In Crosby's cheesy "Still Have My Heart" video, Spencer plays a creepy dentist who examines Crosby's teeth in a scene that's best described as silly, non-sense, and pretty bonkers. Alongside him, Zachary Levi — the lead actor of the popular sitcom "Chuck" — is also in the video, representing Crosby's boyfriend, who he was actually dating at the time. In singer-songwriter Katherine McPhee's romantic ballad, "Say Goodbye," the star's involvement is a little more evident. He represents the heartbreakingly handsome boyfriend that McPhee presumably lost and painfully longed for — although the storyline is quite confusing and messy, to be fair.

It's hard to decide which one of these parts is more awkward — and it's a safe bet to say that these appearances aren't among his proudest projects for sure. But Spencer has his own personal connection to music.

He's in a cover band with Hugh Laurie

This might come as a surprise to some, but Jesse Spencer is actually a pretty good singer and musician. In addition to his remarkable voice, he's an excellent violinist — and according to One Chicago Center, he also plays several other instruments such as mandolin, bass, guitar, ukulele, and piano. He's not afraid to showcase his talents either: he is the violinist in a group called "Band from TV," which is a cover band that performs at various charity events. Alongside him, the crew includes many other television stars such as Hugh Laurie (keyboards, vocals), Greg Grunberg (drums), James Denton (guitar), Bob Guiney (vocals), Adrian Pasdar (guitar), Scott Grimes (keyboards), and Teri Hatcher (vocals).

The band was well-liked during the late 2000s and early 2010s and featured other celebrities as guest performers, too. However, the group hasn't been active in the last ten years.

He was a choirboy

It's not a coincidence that Spencer became a member of "Band from TV." He was in the Australian Boys Choir (ABC) as a child. He joined the Melbourne-based institution in 1986 and spent seven years there growing up. According to the ABC's official website, Jesse even became a chorister at one point and toured in the United States. He tried musical theater, too, and auditioned for a role in "The King and I." Undoubtedly, his experience with music turned out to be essential in his career later on. He explained that he developed his love of music through the choir.

Although his musical talents haven't been employed in his acting jobs, the hardworking mindset, strict discipline, and the attention to detail he was required to have in the choir had resonated in all aspects of his life. The results clearly speak for themselves: Maintaining a good performance on two television shows for over eight years definitely requires all those qualities he acquired as a choirboy.

Spencer is married to a research scientist

Spencer is one of those Hollywood actors who married outside of their profession. Although he had his fair share of relationships with performers, singers, and even a big wave surfer, in 2014, he began dating research specialist Kali Woodruff Carr. According to Hollywood Life Magazine, the two met at the Chicago music festival and hit it off right away. Carr's Twitter account tells us that she's "a postdoctoral fellow at the Infant and Child Development Center and Nu DevSci, the Institute for Innovations in Developmental Sciences, which facilitates collaborative and transdisciplinary research in the field of developmental science."

After being together for six years, the actor asked the big question while the two were hiking in the Peruvian Andes, reported The Daily Telegraph. Instead of having a huge wedding, though, Spencer and Carr had a small secret ceremony in Neptune Beach, Florida, on June 27, 2020. He told The Daily Telegraph that "Despite a spike in COVID, a venue change, a Saharan dust plume, not to mention a torrential thunderstorm, we made it across the line on our wedding day, and I'm a very lucky man." He also added, "She's smart, pretty and way ahead of her years. We're very happy. She is my port in every storm, and we're already excited to be moving on to the next phase of our lives."

Most of his family works in medicine

Fittingly to his most praised role in "House M.D.," the actor comes from a long line of medical professionals. Appearing on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet for the first time, Spencer revealed that his whole family works in medicine. One of his older brothers, Tarney, is an oculoplastic surgeon, and the other, Luke, is an orthopedic surgeon. His younger sister, Polly, works as an anesthetist, and his father is a general practitioner. The star discussed how his family used to try and out-diagnose Dr. House and get really intense while watching the show. He said, "They get into it and throw things at the TV."

On a more serious note, though, the actor recounted how he once had the chance to observe one of his siblings during several operations. "I actually went and watched my brother do three operations when I was in Australia for his wedding. And I got to scrub in and watch him do what he does, and I came to a real new appreciation of what they do. He was very calm, very in control, and I was like, "Wow, he's actually really good.'" Yet, as he jokingly pointed it out, he's more qualified — only on "House M.D.," of course — than any member of his family.

Spencer and Jennifer Morrison dated in real life too

In the early seasons of "House M.D.," Spencer's character is attracted to his colleague, Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) from the beginning. If you were among those viewers who thought their chemistry felt unbelievably natural on the screen, your instincts were right. In 2006, the two even became briefly engaged, and Spencer told in a Golden Globe Awards interview how he asked the actress to marry her while they were on a vacation in Paris. However, in August 2007, their romance ended, and they announced that they had called off their engagement.

Interestingly, though, in the series, Chase and Cameron made it to marriage, but they quickly got divorced in Season 6. Nevertheless, both of them stayed on the show after the breakup and managed to work well together, putting their previous romantic involvement with each other aside.

His Chicago Fire exit was a personal one

Spencer played Lieutenant Matthew Casey in "Chicago Fire" for ten years, appearing in 200 episodes. Even though he once admitted in an interview with Stage Right Secrets that he doubted he would last more than a year on the show due to those brutal Chicago winters. But he adapted to the conditions and had an impressive run.

He also shared that it was his decision to leave the show after all these years. His reasons included the realization that he was on television for almost two decades straight, and now it was time to move on and do other things in the future. He wanted to take a step back and take care of family members — especially during these challenging times caused by the pandemic. In an interview with Variety, he said, "I hate to leave the show because I do love this show, but when the time comes, the time comes."

After filming his last scene in the summer of 2021, Spencer recounted how special and emotional his farewell was. His co-stars and crew began hitting pipe poles to the ground and chanting his name. "It became this pseudo-tribal send-off. It was awesome because everyone was sitting outside of the burn stage and it is raised up, and it gave off this big, hollow sound. And then they wheeled out a cake, and we gave out speeches. It was a fitting way to finish it. We started with fire, and we ended with it," he told Variety.

Shooting House M.D. sometimes felt mind-numbing to Spencer

Fans of David Shore's incredibly successful drama perfectly know how thorough the portrayal of the differential diagnosis team was throughout the series. Viewers sometimes struggled with the unfamiliarity of the medical jargon, rare illnesses, and clinical procedures. Naturally, this aspect had also affected the actors. Spencer's character, Dr. Chase, was an Intensive Care Specialist, cardiologist, and later became a surgeon, too. Despite coming from a family of medical professionals, the actor was having a hard time with the script and the language the job demanded.

In an interview with Sky 1, he said, "I don't say medical words every day, you know. Sometimes it's tough. And it's so cerebral, you know, so heady, all the logical method of deduction. Science is just so rigid, almost. We like to jazz and free flow... it's like watching people play experimental jazz when we are doing differential diagnosis. It's great to watch on the show but to shoot it, that's quite mind-numbing."

In 2007, he was on People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People list

Australian male actors who break into Hollywood often share one essential quality: a gorgeous and impeccable physical appearance. Think of the half-God-looking Chris Hemsworth, the charming Hugh Jackman, or the appealing Guy Pearce. They're all tall, masculine, and stupidly handsome. Jesse Spencer might not be as famous as those three, but when it comes to good looks, he's certainly in the same league with them. In 2007, the prestigious American People Magazine — which covers celebrity news and human-interest stories — had thought so, too. In their issue of the 100 Most Beautiful People that year, they picked Spencer as one of the hit television stars they considered the best-looking.

The Australian was asked about this honor when he appeared on "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet." One of the hosts on the program asked him how he felt about being on that list. At first, Spencer seemed a little surprised by the question and responded in a half-serious and half-joking way, saying, "I feel beautiful. I don't know, it makes me feel beautiful inside as well." Well, with his height, meserizing green eyes, and shining hair, he has every right to do so.