What The Cast Of ER Is Doing Today

Back in the day, before "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scrubs," "ER" was the ultimate hospital drama. Set at the fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, the procedural ran on NBC from 1994 to 2009. The soap followed the lives, careers, romances, and dramas of the staff who worked at the healthcare facility. For years, it was America's longest-running primetime show. Over the course of its run, it picked up a staggering 124 Emmy nominations and 23 wins.

A number of familiar faces passed through the halls of County General as doctors or nurses, including the likes of Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, Maura Tierney, and Hollywood A-lister George Clooney. For many members of the "ER" cast, the show proved to be a platform that launched long careers in TV and film. Curious to see what happened to your favorite "ER" stars? Let's take a look at what they're up to today.

Anthony Edwards took a short break from acting after ER

Anthony Edwards played Mark Greene, a doctor and one of the main characters in "ER." He was in 180 episodes from 1994 to 2008. Already a well-known actor when he joined the show, Edwards appeared in "The Sure Thing" in 1985 and "Top Gun" in 1986, among other projects. In 1998, he took home a Golden Globe for his work on "ER."

After leaving "ER" in 2002, Edwards pulled back on his acting career a bit to spend more time with his family. Once he was ready to jump back into the fold, he appeared on shows like "Girls," "Billions," and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." (And, of course, he came back to "ER" in 2008 for some flashback content.) More recently, you may have spotted Edwards as Mars in "Designated Survivor" as Alan Reed, the lawyer in Netflix's "Inventing Anna," Bruce in "WeCrashed," and Charles in "Tales of the Walking Dead." On top of all that, he's also done some directorial work and acted on Broadway.

George Clooney is one of Hollywood's biggest stars

From 1994 to 2000, George Clooney starred in "ER" as Doug Ross, the handsome young doctor at County General. Of course, after the NBC procedural, the actor became one of the most recognizable names in Hollywood. All these years later, Clooney still cites "ER" as the gig that set the wheels in motion. "That [show] was a job of a lifetime," he said on "The Drew Barrymore Show." "And it changed my career."

The two-time People's Sexiest Man Alive winner has starred in dozens of huge films, including "Ocean's Eleven," "Up in the Air," "The American," "The Ides of March," and "The Descendants." As far as accolades go, he's racked up two Academy Awards: best supporting actor for his performance in "Syriana" and best picture for his work as a producer on "Argo."

On the personal life side of things, the longtime bachelor eventually settled down with human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin. The two wed in 2014 and went on to welcome two children. 

Julianna Margulies went on to star in The Good Wife after turning down millions to stay on ER

Julianna Margulies, played Carol Hathaway, the nurse manager and Dr. Ross' love interest, for six seasons. When Margulies announced she'd be leaving "ER" in 1999, her departure made headlines — and not just because fans were sad to see her go. She turned down a mind-blowing $27 million. People in her inner circle urged her to sign the contract, but it didn't feel totally right. As she recalled to Oprah, a line from the book "Awakening the Buddha Within" pushed her to trust her gut: "I knew I wanted to learn more, not earn more."

After "ER," Margulies' career continued to grow. She starred in "The Good Wife" from 2009 to 2016 as lawyer Alicia Florrick, picking up two Emmys and one Golden Globe along the way. More recently, she's appeared in shows like "Dietland," "The Hot Zone," and "The Morning Show." In 2021, she released a memoir titled "Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life."

Eriq La Salle stays busy as a director and producer

From Season 1 to Season 8, Eriq La Salle played Peter Benton, the trauma surgeon at Cook County General. La Salle's previous credits included guest spots on TV shows like "L.A. Law" and "Quantum Leap," as well as a supporting part in "Coming to America." After parting ways with "ER" in 2009 after 13 years, he continued acting, taking on roles in shows like "24," "Covert Affairs," and "Under the Dome." In 2017, he also appeared in "Logan."

La Salle's found a lot of success on the other side of the camera, too. In addition to producing and directing episodes of "Chicago P.D.," he's directed on "Law & Order," "Chicago Med," "Chicago Justice," and "Training Day." And by all accounts, he's more than content with where his career has taken him. As he said on an episode of "Sway's Universe," "I've been in the game for 30 years, and if you hang around long enough, and if you love what you do, it's going to evolve into other things."

Noah Wyle quit ER and starred in Librarians and Leverage: Redemption

On "ER," Noah Wyle played Dr. John Carter, the character who went from medical student to renowned doctor over the course of eight years. Wyle's other notable roles over the years include playing Jeffrey Barnes in "A Few Good Men" in 1992 and playing Kenneth Monnitoff in "Donnie Darko" in 2001, a few years into his time on "ER."

Wyle decided to leave the medical drama after eight seasons in 2009 because, as he later told The Hollywood Reporter, it was simply too big a commitment after the birth of his son. "I just thought, I can't be here for 80 hours a week and miss this. And I quit," he said. "But I called it a divorce with visitation rights, because I didn't want to say goodbye, obviously, to the best job and experience I've ever had."

Some of his biggest roles in recent years have been in "Librarians" and "Leverage: Redemption." Wyle also got into writing and directing, even directed five episodes of "Leverage."

Laura Innes went on to direct other primetime TV shows

Laura Innes played Dr. Kerry Weaver in "ER" from Season 2 to Season 13, making her one of the longest running actors on the show. She had previously appeared in small guest roles in a variety of TV shows. After leaving the show, Innes continued acting, but didn't land many more big roles. Instead, she turned her focus to directing, taking on over a dozen projects, including episodes of "Grey's Anatomy," "The Affair," and "How to Get Away with Murder."

On the series, Dr. Weaver is diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia, and she undergoes hip replacement surgery in Season 12. Since leaving the show, Innes has reflected on playing a character with a disability, especially after thinking about whether any disabled actors were considered for the part. "After playing Dr. Weaver a while, and meeting more people with disabilities, I've come to believe strongly that it's important to do casting sessions with people who are actually disabled," she told Ability Magazine. She went on to take what she had learned with her into her directing career.

Deezer D died in 2021

Actor and musician Deezer D played Nurse Malik McGrath on "ER" for 15 years, appearing in almost 200 episodes of the show. He was also known for his roles in "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion," "Bringing Down the House," and "CB4." A multitalented artist, he put out a rap album called "Delayed, But Not Denied" in 2008. Deezer D starred in his last film, "Courting Mom and Dad," in 2021. He died that same year from a heart attack at the age of 55. New music was released just days after his death.

Following his death, Deezer D's "ER" family shared their condolences. "What a special spirit we have all lost!" Mekhi Phifer wrote in an Instagram tribute post. "This is so incredibly sad," added Parminder Nagra. "A very sweet, kind man and wonderful to work with on 'ER,'" wrote producer Neal Baer on Twitter. It's clear that Deezer D will be missed by "ER" fans and stars for many, many years to come.

Goran Visnjic is still acting, but has also pivoted to producing

Goran Visnjic played Dr. Luka Kovac, the dashing physician who spent nine years on "ER," eventually taking over as chief of the entire hospital before leaving with Abby Lockhart. You may have also spotted Visnjic in films like "Elektra," "Beginners," and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." He also starred in "Fatima," in which he played Artur de Oliveira Santos, a real-life mayor in Portugal during the First World War. For that film, Visnjic was thrilled to be immersed in the "real" setting. "The more reality you get the easier for you as an actor it is, so in the case of 'Fatima' it was as best as you could. We shot in real villages, I drove a real car from that age," he told Premiere Scene.

Although he has continued acting, he's also been busy producing in more recent years: Visnjic produced and starred in "General," a TV show about the real-life Croatian General Ante Gotovina. 

Laura Cerón starred in Station 19

On "ER," Laura Cerón played Chuny Marquez, the nurse who had an affair with Mark Greene early in the show. Cerón appeared in every season, and when "ER" came to an end in 2009, she made peace with it fairly easily. "I think a lot of us were ready to move on, you know," she said on a 2021 episode of the "Setting the Tone" podcast. She went on to add, "It was a wonderful experience, we loved it." 

Cerón continued acting on TV. She appeared in a 2010 episode of "Saving Grace," a 2011 episode of "Los Americans," a 2014 episode of "Major Crimes," and a 2018 episode of "The Big Bang Theory." One of her biggest roles since playing Chuny came in 2020, when she played Sandra Alvarez, aunt of firefighter Andy Herrera, in "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off "Station 19." Before that, she was in six episodes of "Shameless."

Maura Tierney took a break from acting and came back with a bang

Maura Tierney starred in "ER" as Abby Lockhart, the doctor who marries Luka Kovac, from 1999 until the show's conclusion in 2009, appearing in over 180 episodes. Before "ER," Tierney was part of the "NewsRadio" main cast, and she later starred in  shows like "Rescue Me," "The Whole Truth," "The Good Wife," and, most notably, "The Affair" as Helen Solloway. 

To this day, "ER" remains very close to her heart. As she dished to Entertainment Weekly in 2019, she not only enjoyed acting opposite Goran Visnjic — who, of course, played Dr. Kovac — but had fun with the rest of the ensemble cast. "That show was just as funny on set as 'NewsRadio,'" she said. "Sometimes, you couldn't put us all in a scene together because it would take too long to shoot ... because we'd be laughing so hard."

Yvette Freeman continued acting on stage and screen

Yvette Freeman was in each and every season of "ER," appearing in 184 episodes as Nurse Haleh Adams, a veteran member of the hospital staff, who seemingly worked there longer than just about anyone. You may also remember her for her beautiful voice, which she showcased on the series. "They let me sing, that was a wonderful thing," she told WPEA Radio in 2009.

Freeman's long career has involved dozens of guest roles in a variety of TV shows. Notable appearances include "Orange Is the New Black" as Irma, one of the "Golden Girls" at the penitentiary, "The Bold and the Beautiful" as Dr. Lewis for 20 episodes, and "Days of Our Lives" as another nurse. 

Like many of her "ER" colleagues, Freeman cherishes the time she spent on the primetime soap. "I was very honored and a very blessed actress to have 15 years of steady work. That doesn't happen in being an actor," she said on WPEA Radio. "It's a good show, I'm still, still proud of it." 

Emily Wagner established a career as a writer and teacher

Emily Wagner played the supporting character Doris Pickman, a paramedic, in every season of "ER." The actor has also appeared in "Judging Amy," "Criminal Minds," and "On the Verge." She was still early in her career when she joined "ER."

As Wagner later told the "Setting the Tone" podcast, she landed the medical drama shortly after she moved to Los Angeles. "It was supposed to be this one little thing and it became this recurring role," she recalled. "ER" was far and away her first major production, and she felt the stakes right away. "You did not want to mess up your line, because it would just create this whole drama to reset. So I had so much pressure on me," she said.

After "ER" finished, Wagner found work as a writer, fitness teacher, and acting teacher. In recent years, she's pulled back on the acting grind. "I love to act, I just am at an age where I just don't pursue it as a profession," she said. 

Alex Kingston had stints on Doctor Who and A Discovery of Witches

Alex Kingston played Dr. Elizabeth Corday, the British surgeon who joined the team in the show's 4th season and remained until Season 11. Shortly after leaving the show, Kingston went on to star in "Doctor Who" as fan-favorite River Song from 2009 until 2015. More recently, Kingston has found fame as Sarah Bishop in the fantasy show "A Discovery of Witches" alongside Matthew Goode.

"ER" will always be an important piece of Kingston's story, and not just because it was a hit show. As she recalled to The Sunday Post in 2021, her real-life pregnancy was not only written into the script, but her baby was later featured as a character in the series. "My daughter was in my belly on 'ER 'then played the role of our baby girl Ella Greene," she said. "She's secretly always had the desire to act, but I was always adamant that she finished her education first."

Sherry Stringfield was in Criminal Minds

Sherry Stringfield found fame in "ER" as Susan Lewis, the doctor who appeared in Seasons 1 through 3 before taking an extended break. She came back for Seasons 8 through 12, making her one of the few cast members to do two stints on the show. Prior to "ER," Stringfield was known for playing Blake in the long-running soap opera "Guiding Light" and "NYPD Blue." In addition to "ER," Stringfield also made a name for herself with appearances on shows like "CSI," "Under the Dome," and, most recently, "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders." As of 2023, her last acting role was in 2017.

But that's not to say she stopped making big moves. In 2018, Stringfield sold her house in Malibu for over $3 million. Not a bad haul. 

"Life is beautiful and brutal — it's humanity," Stringfield said during an on-set interview before the "ER" finale. "This show to me, what I always, always loved about it was it's just humanity."

Abraham Benrubi has cropped up in a number of films

On nearly every season of "ER," Abraham Benrubi played Jerry Markovic, the hilarious clerk at County General. In addition to his whopping 137 episodes of the primetime soap, he's done loads of other work. Over the years, you might have spotted him in feature films "Twister," "George of the Jungle," and "Miss Congeniality 2." He's also taken on dozens of guest roles on TV. 

What's more, Benrubi's done well in the voice acting world, voicing characters in "Big Hero 6" and the "World of Warcraft" games. In 2022, Benrubi landed a starring role as Santa in "Christmas Bloody Christmas," a very merry horror flick.

Looking back on "ER," Benrubi told Deepest Dream that he thinks of his experience on the show as his "grad school." "We had so many accomplished actors come through there — to watch those guys become huge international stars," he said.

Mekhi Phifer was cast in the Divergent trilogy

From Season 8 to Season 14, Mekhi Phifer played Gregory Pratt on "ER." When it was time for the "8 Mile" star to part ways with the series, his character died in a bomb explosion. Since his stint on "ER," Phifer has landed a few more recurring television roles, including Ben in "Lie to Me," Rex in "Torchwood," Harold in "Love, Victor," and Markus in "Truth Be Told." His post-"ER" film credits include the "Divergent" trilogy. 

As for the acting gig that's nearest and dearest to Phifer's heart? That question is easier asked than answered. "All of the roles have sort of given me different pieces of pride if you will," he told Nekia Nichelle in 2021. "You know, there's not one favorite one." However, it's clear Phifer remembers his time on "ER" fondly. As he told Den of Geek in 2011, "That's the thing about being an actor, being able to do different things. I'm really proud of 'Torchwood,' as I was with 'ER.'"

Parminder Nagra's TV career hasn't slowed down

Even though Parminder Nagra starred in "ER" as Dr. Neela Rasgotra in 129 episodes, one could argue her main claim to fame is playing Jess in "Bend It Like Beckham." "I'm still proud of the film," she told The Guardian in 2021. "It's probably what I'm most recognised for." She joined the cast of "ER" one year after the hit indie flick was released. Nagra was on the show until the 2009 finale and went on to take on a number of other well-known roles in film and TV.

She played Meera in "The Blacklist" for two seasons, Senator Ellen Nadeer in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and Priya in "13 Reasons Why." In 2023, she returned to her "ER" roots playing another doctor in "Maternal," a British drama about a young mother who returns to work as a doctor after the COVID pandemic.

When it comes to choosing roles, Nagra likes any opportunity to do something new. "I've always tried to push the envelope when I've been allowed," she said in The Guardian. "I don't often get the chance." 

Troy Evans may be best known for Bosch

Troy Evans appeared in the first episode of "ER" in 1994 before returning six years later. He continued on until the series finale. Evans is a familiar face on TV, having secured small roles in shows like "CSI," "Hannah Montana," and "Veep." 

His biggest role today is probably playing Detective Johnson, aka Barrel, in "Bosch," a part which he played from 2014 until 2021. Though Barrel was certainly a fixture of the series, he was technically a side character — and he was fine with that. "I really like the characters of Crate and Barrel, but the show is called 'Bosch' and you are either Harry Bosch, or you aren't, so we will never have a lot to do," he said on an episode of "Podcasting Them Softly." "I am really comfortable with a nice little taste here and there. As the saying goes, 'Take it easy, but take it.' I'll take it." Looking back at his career so far, it seems that has been his motto all along.

Linda Cardellini has appeared in loads of TV shows since ER

Linda Cardellini played Samantha in "ER" from 2003 until 2009. At the time, she was already a fairly familiar face, having played Chutney in "Legally Blonde" and Lindsay in "Freaks and Geeks." After "ER," her career continued to grow. She starred as Velma in the "Scooby-Doo" series, played Jess' sister in "New Girl," landed the role of Meg in "Bloodline," and starred in "Dead to Me" as Judy. She has also appeared in Oscar-winning films "Green Book" and "Brokeback Mountain." Suffice to say, she's one of the biggest stars to come out of County General.

Even though Cardellini has built an impressive career since playing Nurse Sam Taggert, she wasn't ready to move on from "ER" right away. "I was there for six years, longer than high school, longer than college," she later told Interview magazine. "It was the longest thing I've ever stuck with, and leaving those people was very, very hard."

Paul McCrane starred in All Rise and The Offer

Paul McCrane has appeared in over 50 TV shows and films over the years, but "ER" remains his longest role to date. He played the obnoxious Dr. Robert Romano who died in the show's 10th season when a helicopter fell from the hospital roof. "We always saw Romano as a complete jerk, but when Paul came in and auditioned, we knew we'd have fun writing the guy," "ER" producer Lydia Woodward told Entertainment Weekly.

One of McCrane's biggest claims to fame is playing Montgomery, the dancer with a big head of curly red hair in the 1980 cult classic "Fame." "Considering my follicle status now, I'm baffled by how often I'm still recognized from that," he said. More recently, you may have spotted him as Jack Ballard in "The Offer" about the making of "The Godfather," or as Judge Laski in "All Rise" on Own. It seems like McCrane's career is still going just as strong as ever — regardless of his "follicle status."

Ming-Na Wen joined the MCU, the Star Wars universe, and the DCU

If you're an "ER" fan, you might have recognized the voice of Dr. Jing-Mei Chen, played by Ming-Na Wen — and that's because, soon after joining the crew at County General, she found fame as the voice of Disney's Mulan in the 1998 film. In the 2020 live-action remake of "Mulan," she delighted fans by making a surprise cameo. 

Wen was on "ER" for six years before leaving in 2004. Since then, she has climbed aboard a number of huge franchises. She voiced Detective Ellen in animated series "The Batman" from 2004 until 2005, starred as Agent Melinda May in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." from 2013 until 2020, and joined the "Star Wars" universe as Fennec Shand in the series "The Book of Boba Fett" from 2021 to 2022. 

In 2023, Wen got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "All I'm doing is living out my biggest nerd dreams," she told Variety at the time. Nerdy or not, her career is certainly a big deal.

Lyn Alicia Henderson has continued acting but ER is still her claim to fame

Actor Lyn Alicia Henderson first popped up on "ER" 1995 and went on to appear in 149 episodes as paramedic Pamela Olbes. Although her role on the primetime soap was not a big one, Henderson went on to become one of TV's most familiar faces. She has been in shows like "Criminal Minds," "The Forgotten," "New Girl," "House M.D.," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Mom," "Young Sheldon, and "Never Have I Ever."

Henderson enjoyed her time on "ER," largely thanks to George Clooney. "When you came on set he was like the president of the set," she recounted on an episode of the "Setting the Tone" podcast. "And he treated you, like, welcome and 'We're gonna take care of you.'... He didn't say those words but that's how you felt when you came to the set." 

Ellen Crawford appeared in Desperate Housewives and Days of Our Lives

Ellen Crawford played Nurse Lydia Wright in "ER," appearing in 113 episodes across almost all of the show's 15 seasons. Already an established TV actor, Crawford had appeared in dozens of TV shows throughout the '80s and '90s before landing the primetime soap. And she's still working hard to this day, having appeared in "Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives," "Boomers," "Days of Our Lives," and "The Rookie" since leaving County General behind.

Crawford actually worked with her real-life husband, Mike Genovese, on "ER." He played Officer Al Grabarsky, who had a relationship with Crawford's character, for 12 episodes. Apparently, the producers wrote the part just for him — he didn't even need to audition. Plus, they didn't even tell Crawford about the plot line in advance. "They didn't even ask me, I mean, it wasn't my doing!" she later laughed on the "Setting the Tone" podcast. 

Lily Mariye's gotten comfortable in the director's chair

Lily Mariye is one of the few actors to appear in every season of "ER." As Nurse Lily Jarvik, she was a constant figure in the emergency room. Mariye is no stranger to TV, having also taken on smaller roles in shows like "Criminal Minds," "General Hospital," "Teen Wolf," and "NCIS: Los Angeles." 

Though she started in show business as an actor, she now spends the bulk of her time behind the camera. As a director, she has worked on shows like "Criminal Minds," "Chicago P.D.," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "The Walking Dead," "Partner Track, and "Nashville." 

Over the course of her long career, Mariye has experienced racism in the industry, including being offered parts that were rooted in offensive stereotypes as well as a lack of Asian representation on sets. "I remember when I first started acting, people would say, 'Oh you're an Asian American woman, there aren't going to be a lot of roles for you, you're not going to be able to work much,'" she recounted in Bev's Girls Films. "If I'd listened to other people, I would have just stopped."