Thursday, February 5, 2004
Los Angeles Love is always the best medicine on "ER."
After 10 years of the NBC drama, the staff at County General Hospital has created an impressive file of romances. Doctors have played doctor with each other, with nurses and with paramedics.
Forget six degrees of separation -- the romantic entanglements of these healers are barely a tongue depressor apart.
Both Drs. John Carter and Luka Kovak, for example, were involved with nurse Abby Lockhart. Dr. Peter Benton had a fling with Dr. Elizabeth Corday, who moved on to Dr. Mark Greene and, lately, Dr. Edward Dorset. All this while curing the sick, making medical breakthroughs and fighting budget battles.
At the start, executive producer John Wells ("The West Wing") had maintained that the show's focus was not "young doctors in love."
"We tried very hard to cast the best actors in those roles," Wells said in an interview in 1994, the year "ER" debuted. "It was clear we needed extremely talented actors to carry off a combination of compassion and science."
But even in the midst of extreme trauma, love -- or lust -- finds a way.
The dedicated healers occasionally find romance outside the emergency room, such as Benton's relationship with Carla Reese or Carter's latest love, an AIDS worker he met in Africa. She's played by Thandie Newton of "Mission: Impossible II" fame.
But it's mostly all in the family on close-knit "ER." Here's a romantic scorecard for many current and former characters based on "ER: The Unofficial Guide" by Mark Jones, "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows" by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, and NBC:
- Dr. John Carter (Noah Wyle): med student Harper Tracy (Christine Elise); Dr. Abby Keaton (Glenne Headly); Dr. Anna Del Amico (Maria Bello); nurse Abby Lockhart (Maura Tierney); Dr. Susan Lewis (Sherry Stringfield); Makemba 'Kem' Likasu (Newton).
- Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen (Ming-Na): Nurse Frank Bacon (Morris Chestnut); Dr. Gregory Pratt (Mekhi Phifer).
- Dr. Elizabeth Corday (Alex Kingston): Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq LaSalle); Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards); Dr. Edward Dorset (Bruno Campos).
- Dr. Luka Kovak (Goran Visnjic): waitress Nicole (Julie Delpy); nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies); med student Erin Harkins (Leslie Bibb); nurse Lockhart.
- Dr. Lewis: Dr. Div Cvetic (John Terry); Dr. Carter.
- Dr. Kerry Weaver (Laura Innes): Dr. Kim Legaspi (Elizabeth Mitchell); firefighter Sandy Lopez (Lisa Vidal).
- Dr. Benton: physician's assistant Jeanie Boulet (Gloria Reuben); Carla Reese (Lisa Nicole Carson); Dr. Elizabeth Corday; Dr. Cleo Finch (Michael Michele).
- Dr. Greene: nurse Chuny Marquez (Laura Ceron); Dr. Nina Pomerantz (Jami Gertz); receptionist Cynthia Hooper (Mariska Hargitay); fake doctor Amanda Lee (Mare Winningham); Dr. Corday.
- Nurse Hathaway: Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney); Dr. John Taglieri (Rick Rossovich); paramedic Ray "Shep" Shepard (Ron Eldard).
- Dr. Ross: Nurse Hathaway; med student Harper Tracy; assorted flings.
- Physician's assistant Boulet: Dr. Benton; Dr. Greg Fischer (Harry J Lennix); Dr. Graham Baker (Carl Lumbly).
- Dr. Anna Del Amico: Dr. Carter; Dr. Max Rocher (James LeGros).