The series’ phenomenal success in the 1990s had some surprising consequences for its casting. The show was so popular that all of the main characters became great stars almost immediately. But did you know that the production of ER had to fix Dr. Kerry Weaver’s limp for a real-life issue she was having?
After ten years of limping onset, the actress who played Dr. Kerry Weaver on ER had spine problems which nd it has caused her a great deal of discomfort. They had to write off her limp.
The Success of the Series
The show’s early success prompted television to lock down the majority of the cast for contract extensions for substantially more money than the actors were paid at the start of the series.
George Clooney, the show’s breakout star, declined an extension because he wanted to leave once his original five-season pact finished.
The disadvantage of such partnerships is that the performers eventually make so much money that there is no incentive to retain them on the show. Anthony Edwards, the series lead, was notably wooed back for an extra season with a large sum of money, but he eventually left after Season 8. Surprisingly, by Season 9, just one of the original seven leaders remained.
Gloria Reuben, a recurring character in Season 1 before becoming the leading role in Season 2, and Noah Wylie, who the studio maintained on the show through Season 12 by repeatedly giving him more and more money, had not quit the show.
Sherry Stringfield, one of the original stars who had gone by Season 9, too had reappeared in Season 7. Her second run lasted till the 12th season.
As a result, as of Season 13, there were no main cast members on ER from either Season 1 or Season 2, leaving Laura Innes’ Dr. Kerry Weaver, who was a recurrent character in Season 2 until joining the main cast in Season 3, as the longest-serving performer. (Source: CBR)
Who is Doctor Kerry Weaver?
Dr. Weaver was one of those classic antagonistic characters that were introduced to compete with Edwards’ Dr. Greene for administrative posts at the hospital while also serving as an authoritative figure for Clooney’s Dr. Ross to rebel against, as the new Chief Resident of the Emergency Department. But, over time, especially after those other characters left the show, Weaver softened to the point where she was like a completely different character by the time she, too, left after Season 13.
Starting in Season 7, Weaver realized she had fallen in love with a female hospital staff psychiatrist, and her coming to terms with her sexuality became a major plot point for the character over the next few seasons, culminating in her having a child with a firefighter, Sandy Lopez, though this was complicated when her partner died and Weaver had to fight for custody of her child.
Weaver had a limp and walked with a forearm crutch, which was one of her most distinguishing traits. While Innes was not a disabled actor herself, her portrayal of a disabled doctor was significant at the time. (Source: CBR)