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The Transformation Of Colin Donnell From Childhood To Chicago Med

Colin Donnell has had an impressive and varied career before and during the popular "Chicago Med" series. As Doctor Connor Rhodes, Donnell has appeared not only in "Chicago Med," but other One Chicago shows like "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago P.D." At first, Rhodes is looked at with apprehension because of his affluent background, much to his chagrin. But after highlighting his skills and dedication to the job, his co-workers accept him as a knowledgeable medical professional. Unfortunately, that doesn't save him from occasionally getting a joke tossed his way, but the good doctor takes most of it in stride.

Over the course of Rhodes' tenure on "Chicago Med," he is involved in several different relationships, while at the same time, his rather messy family life comes into focus. His father constantly wishes for his son's failure in medicine, while one of his ex-lovers commits suicide, echoing the tragic passing of the character's mother. Despite the rocky road Rhodes travels, the actor who plays him is almost completely different and appears to prefer a good song and dance routine to the high stakes of an emergency room. So, what was Donnell's life like before he took on the role of Dr. Rhodes?

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Donnell comes from a musical family that encouraged him to perform

Colin Donnell is a native of St. Louis, Missouri who got his start as a performer at a relatively young age. Luckily for Donnell, it sounds as though he comes from a loving and supportive family that is filled with creative and expressive individuals. When asked by the Jersey Boys Blog if he comes from a musical family, Donnell replied, "I guess you could say I do. My dad played guitar as I was growing up. But my grandmom was really the one who saw me as a performer first. I remember going over to my grandparent's house and always, at some point during the night, my grandmom would sing and play all the old standards. She had this great upright piano and stacks and stacks of music books with old American musical standards. When she passed away, she left all that great stuff to me."

Continuing in the same interview, Donnell explains that he broke his ankle playing football in high school, and that simple injury changed the course of his life. Unable to play the sport, his mother encouraged him to try out for a school production of "Barnum" due to Donnell's unique skill of juggling. This led to him being placed in the choir for the show, which helped develop his singing skills.

Donnell became a well respected Broadway actor

After high school, Colin Donnell enrolled at Indiana University and graduated in 2005. From there, he continued down his musical path (via Broadway). In an interview with Playbill, Donnell was asked about his first professional experience, to which he replied, "I got my Equity card doing one of the first regional productions of 'Miss Saigon' at The Muny." The actor expressed his fondness for the iconic St. Louis outdoor performance venue, continuing on to say, "I never imagined growing up that I'd one day be onstage there, let alone kicking off a career. It starred the late, great Kevin Gray, Erik Kunze and Joan Almedilla among others."

In 2011, Donnell landed a lead role in "Anything Goes," which saw the actor move to New York in order to be a part of the famous Broadway scene. He was even nominated for three Astaire Awards and a Drama Desk Award for his performance. Donnell continued to appear in several different plays and stage shows, and later met his future wife Patti Murin in 2013 during an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" (via US Weekly).

Donnell played Tommy Merlyn in Arrow before joining the cast of Chicago Med

Before landing his role in "Chicago Med," Colin Donnell was tapped to play Tommy Merlyn on the CW television show "Arrow." Based on the Green Arrow character from DC Comics, Donnell's Merlyn is the best friend of series protagonist Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), but eventually becomes one of his primary antagonists and the second person to take the moniker Dark Archer. Appearing in 31 episodes of "Arrow" between 2012 and 2020, Donnell also managed to land his starring role in "Chicago Med" in the midst of that run. This means that the actor was working on two drastically different shows at the same time -– one involves saving people, while the other involves shooting them with arrows.

In the summer of 2020, Donnell and his wife Patti Murin welcomed their first child, and before the birth, Donnell told People.com, "We're totally thrilled. I don't think there's any way to really prepare ourselves. At least twice a day we're like, 'Oh my gosh! This is really happening, isn't it?' It's crazy exciting. We're just super, overwhelmingly happy." Despite the fact that Donnell is primarily known as either a villainous marksman or a traumatized doctor, it appears as if he is actually most comfortable in front of a live audience with a song in his heart and a spring in his step.