List of St. Elsewhere characters

List of St. Elsewhere characters

This is a list of characters from the medical drama St. Elsewhere.

Dr. Annie Cavanero (Cynthia Sikes) Dr. Mark Craig (William Daniels) Dr. Donald Westphall (Ed Flanders) Dr. Ben Samuels (David Birney) Dr. Phillip Chandler (Denzel Washington) Dr. Wendy Armstrong (Kim Miyori) Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley, Jr.) Dr. Jack Morrison (David Morse) Nurse Shirley Daniels (Ellen Bry) Dr. Daniel Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) Dr. Vijay Kochar (Kavi Raz) Nurse Helen Rosenthal (Christina Pickles) Dr. Hugh Beale (G.W. Bailey) Dr. Cathy Martin (Barbara Whinnery) Dr. Wayne Fiscus (Howie Mandel) Dr. Peter White (Terence Knox)
The cast of St. Elsewhere (first season, 1982-1983). Click on character for actor biography.


Staff and Doctors of St. Eligius

Dr. Donald Westphall

Portrayed by Ed Flanders (1982–1987 (regular cast member); 1987-1988 (recurring))

Kindly Dr. Westphall was Director of Medicine, and was regarded as the heart of St. Eligius. He was the one other characters went to for a kindly word and a pat on the back. Dr. Westphall started his association with the hospital as a troubled youth under the influence of hospital founder Fr. Joseph McCabe played by Edward Hermann. Raising two children alone after the death of his wife (seven years before the series began, though her death was recounted in flashback in season 4's "Time Heals" episode), Westphall struggled to keep up with the demands his colleagues, staff and residents placed on him, while still trying to be a good father. Feeling burnt out and being pressured by the new hospital owners, Dr. Westphall quit his job and left the hospital in 1987. In one of the most famous and controversial scenes in American television, Dr. Westphall quit by declaring that his corporate bosses could, "kiss [his] ass", accompanied by a shot of him with his pants down and his rump exposed. Westphall returned for the series finale some months later, when he was asked to take charge of the hospital again. However, the final scene of the episode implied that "Dr. Westphall" (and the entire world of St. Elsewhere) was, in fact, just the product of his autistic son Tommy's imagination.

Dr. Mark Craig

Portrayed by William Daniels.

Irritable and irascible, Dr. Mark Craig was the hospital's lone superstar. An arrogant but brilliant heart surgeon who could easily have left the halls of St. Eligius to take a position at rival Boston General but chose not. He stays, however, to act as mentor and tormentor to young doctors. Acting primarily as the mentor to Dr. Victor Ehrlich (Ed Begley Jr) Dr. Craig would not hesitate to toss a bullying and sarcastic barb at any doctor, nurse, administrator or patient who happened to pass his way. During one story arc, Dr. Craig develops an artificial heart which he eventually tests on a human subject. The failure of the heart brings a fleeting moment of self-reflection to the otherwise supremely confident doctor. In one of the most-compelling moments on the show, Dr. Craig witnessed the autopsy of his only son, from whom he had been estranged due to his own autocratic ways and his son's drug abuse problem. Holding his son's heart, he spoke tenderly of the times - long ago- when he used to read Green Eggs and Ham to his son. Together, he says, the two would read the final lines of the book, "I do so like green eggs and ham! Thank you! Thank you! Sam-I-am!"

Note - In 1999 TV Guide ranked him number 41 on it's '50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time' list.[1]

Dr. Daniel Auschlander

Portrayed by Norman Lloyd.

Dr. Auschlander was the Chief of Services at St. Eligius, and had ties to the hospital from its very beginning. Fair and kind, he was well thought of by nearly everyone at St. Eligius. He had been diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer shortly before the series began, and his long term survival was not expected. However, he underwent an intensive course of chemotherapy during season 2 and into season 3, which sent his cancer into remission. He often served as a confidant and mentor to Westphall as well as, occasionally, to Craig. A severe stroke (not related to his cancer) finally claimed his life in the final episode. However, in the final scene of the series, it is implied that he is actually Westphall's father and Tommy's grandfather, and is alive and well.

Dr. Ben Samuels

Portrayed by David Birney (1982–1983).

Good looking and well liked, though a bit of a cad, Samuels was a surgeon who seemed to spend as much time pursuing his female colleagues as treating patients. (In the pilot episode, he learns that he has contracted gonorrhea, and is forced to break the news with his many sex partners at St. Eligius, some of whom he cannot even remember.) He is, however, compassionate and cares greatly about his patients (particularly a nine-year old boy whom he bonds with, who later dies after a routine surgery). Toward the end of season 1, his former lover arrives at St. Eligius (after having spent time in the Peace Corps), and they renew their relationship, but ultimately it does not work out, as the factors that led them to break up the first time again become apparent. He later has a fling with Annie Cavenero, but is gone without explanation as season 2 begins.

Dr. Hugh Beale

Portrayed by G.W. Bailey (1982–1983).

Hugh Beale was a psychiatry attending during season 1. He was well liked and highly regarded by his colleagues, even if his methods were sometimes a bit unorthodox. He disappeared at the beginning of season 2 without explanation.

Nurse Helen Rosenthal

Portrayed by Christina Pickles.

The head nurse on the ward, Helen was caring and extremely competent, and was one of the most senior nurses at St. Eligius. She always kept things running smoothly, despite staffing shortages, general chaos, and a faulty computer system which seemed to be always malfunctioning. She developed breast cancer during the first season and underwent a mastectomy (in what was one of television's first dramatic breast cancer storylines). She had been married four times, but during a nurses strike during season 3, began an affair with the union mediator, Richard Clarendon, which ultimately led to the end of her fourth marriage. (Her relationship with Richard would continue for the remainder of the series.) She briefly transferred to the ER during the latter part of season 3, but ultimately decided she preferred the ward, and returned, despite the fact that Lucy Papandreo had taken over the head nurse position. Rosenthal and Papandreo battled bitterly over the head nurse position for the better part of two seasons, before Rossenthal was promoted Director of Nurses in Training. A prescription pill addiction during the final season nearly ended her nursing career, but after receiving treatment in St. Eligius' Chemical Dependency Unit, she was reinstated to her position. She was especially close friends with Westphall; she was, in fact, the only non-M.D. at the hospital who called Drs. Westphall, Craig, and Auschlander by their first names.

Dr. Robert Caldwell

Portrayed by Mark Harmon (1983–1986).

Handsome plastic surgeon Robert "Bobby" Caldwell arrived at St. Eligius at the beginning of season 2, and it was later revealed that he'd been having an ongoing affair with hospital administrator Joan Halloran. Towards the end of season 2, Bobby ended the relationship because he felt it was largely based on superficial factors and he wanted a more intimate relationship. However, he ultimately became more promiscuous and ended up having a series of empty flings and one-night stands (one of whom was an unstable woman who slashed his face with a razor blade, leaving him with a large scar). Shortly after this, Bobby was diagnosed with HIV (the first instance of an ongoing character contracting the virus on US network television, and one of the earliest depictions of a heterosexual character contracting the virus). When word of his HIV status got out, Bobby was told he could no longer be involved in patient care at the hospital, though he initially refused to leave. Devastated at his diagnosis and the impact it had on his career, he almost committed suicide, but was interrupted by a neighbor's child knocking at his door requesting his help. He then decided to go on with his life, but he left St. Eligius, and Boston, towards the end of season 4, to go and work part-time in an AIDS hospice on the West Coast. Two years later, during season 6, his friends and former colleagues at St. Eligius were informed that he'd died.

Dr. Annie Cavanero

Portrayed by Cynthia Sikes (1982–1985).

A young OB/GYN, Cavanero often sympathized with many of the residents, having completed her own residency not long before. Her feminist leanings seemed to frequently elicit crude, sexist remarks (particularly from Fiscus and Ehrlich), primarily to get a reaction from her. Her work and desire to maintain her independence seemed to prevent her from a long-term relationship, save a brief fling with a rather insensitive, abusive colleague, and a bit later an affair with Ben Samuels. She abruptly disappeared from the series midway through without explanation.

Dr. Victor Ehrlich

Portrayed by Ed Begley, Jr.

Sarcastic, neurotic, and sometimes awkward, Ehrlich was regarded as a gifted surgeon, but a sometimes thoughtless and insensitive human being with a penchant for speaking before he thinks. (A catchphrase among his colleagues during early seasons was "You're a pig, Ehrlich"). Though his mentor and idol, Dr. Craig secretly thought Erlich to be a promising and gifted young surgeon, he publicly berated and criticized Ehrlich in the OR and around the hospital. (Ehrlich would in turn become especially clumsy and awkward whenever Craig was around.) Bad luck seemed to follow Ehrlich around. (During his first solo surgery, an armed pregnant woman took the surgical team hostage.) He and Fiscus were close friends, though their friendship was tested when they attempted to became roommates; they also feuded over Shirley Daniels, whom Ehrlich asked out, but who ended up dating Fiscus instead. He was briefly married to a young and equally neurotic candystriper named Roberta, during the second season, but that marriage ended within weeks. He matured as the series went on, and during season 5, he agreed to accompany Lucy Papandreo to a family gathering as her date. They began dating, and eventually married toward the end of season 5.

Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison

Portrayed by David Morse.

Compassionate to a fault, John Steinbeck Morrison (nicknamed "Boomer") was occasionally accused of becoming so involved in his patients' cases that he could not objectively treat them. He had a difficult time early on, juggling his home life with the demands of being a first-year resident; this was exacerbated when his wife Nina died in an accident during season 2, leaving Morrison alone to care for his infant son Pete while trying to keep up with his residency. He subsequently dated an independent young woman, Clancy Williams (played by Helen Hunt), though the relationship eventually ended. He also had to endure a number of professional setbacks, particularly when he was forced to acknowledge that the presumed "accelerated" track he took in a foreign medical school was not entirely legal, and effectively disqualified him from being a physician; he was forced to complete all the course work he'd skipped in medical school, while still keeping up with his residency. During season 4, Morrison was assigned to work in a prison's medical office as part of Westphall's community outreach program. While at the prison, a riot broke out and Morrison was raped by a male prisoner. The effect of the incident was so traumatizing that Morrison was sent home to Seattle and did not appear for the rest of the season (this was done to accommodate actor David Morse's request to take time off from the series to film the 1987 movie Personal Foul). He remarried in the first episode of season five. In the final few episodes, as his residency is ending, Jack contemplates a fling with Carol Novino, but ultimately decides to leave Boston to move back to Seattle to be with his wife, who had moved back there earlier in the final season.

Dr. Wayne Fiscus

Portrayed by Howie Mandel.

Known initially as much for his rowdy behavior and unorthodox methods as for his clinical skills, Fiscus was just the same regarded as a first-rate ER resident, always able to step in and do what was required during an emergency. He enjoyed a fling with ER nurse Shirley Daniels, though the relationship ended when Fiscus slept with pathology resident Cathy Martin (whom he'd already had an affair with shortly after arriving at St. Eligius). Fiscus also attempted unsuccessfully to hit on Dr. Cavanero. Despite his flirtatious nature, though, he had a close friendship with Jacqueline Wade. He was also briefly engaged to an OR nurse, but their relationship eventually ended. Wayne was accidentally shot during Season 5, and briefly died before being resurrected during surgery. The incident left him to reassess his life and moderate his juvenile ways. As he matured, Fiscus eventually became something of a mentor to some of the more junior residents, particularly Elliot Alexrod.

Dr. Cathy Martin

Portrayed by Barbara Whinnery (1982–1986).

Cathy Martin was a pathology resident, who was regarded as a bit eccentric. She was also known for having sexually pursued a number of male and female residents and other staff members at St. Eligius, most notably Kochar (with whom she has an intercourse on the night before he was to be married) and Fiscus. However, Peter White, one of the few male residents she seemed to have no interest in sleeping with, brutally raped her during season 2. Following the rape, Cathy tried to refocus on her work, switching from pathology to psychiatry, but a second rape a few months later put her into a near catatonic state. She was admitted (putting her residency on hold), and when she eventually returned to her residency, she shifted to psychiatry, wanting to help others as she had been helped. The character disappeared toward the end of season 4; she later wandered into the ER during a brief cameo in the season 4 finale, though no attempt was made to explain what had become of her.

Dr. Peter White

Portrayed by Terence Knox (1982–1985). Though a reasonably competent physician, constant troubles in White's personal life hindered his ability to perform as a resident, as did his impulsive, defiant nature. His wife Myra, tiring of his jealousy and self-centeredness, threw him out, propelling him into a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuous sex with nurses at St. Eligius, as well as prostitutes. During season 2, White was arrested for drunk driving, and placed on probation at the hospital. He was later caught up in an undercover operation at St. Eligius, which resulted in his being suspended. When a number of women reported rapes or attempted rapes at St. Eligius, including Cathy Martin and Wendy Armstrong, White turned out to be the culprit, and he was charged with the crimes. Though eventually acquitted, White was dropped from the residency program. He was shot and killed by Shirley Daniels during season 3. A comatose vision by Wayne Fiscus in "The Dream Episode" a season later had Peter White in Hell.

Dr. Phillip Chandler

Portrayed by Denzel Washington

Capable and motivated, Phil Chandler seemed more mature and focused than many of his colleagues (particularly Fiscus and Erlich). Growing up in an African-American family in an affluent white suburb of Chicago, he suffered something of an identity crisis (once describing himself as being "too white for his black friends, but too black to be accepted by his white friends"), and this was particularly apparent in his interactions with some of the hospital's African-American nursing and support staff (most notably orderly Luther Hawkins and nurse Eleanor Skilling). He briefly dated a young physical therapist during season 2, but she quickly found him to be stiff and pompous. Chandler began dating Dr. Roxanne Turner during season 4, and they would remain together for the remainder of the series. At the end of the final season, he made the decision to quit medicine, realizing that it had been more his father's dream for him than his own. He follows Roxanne Turner to Mississippi, presumably to build a life with her.

Dr. Vijay Kochar

Portrayed by Kavi Raz (1982–1984) main cast (1984-1988) recurring.

Kochar was an anesthesiology resident from India. He had the misfortune of frequently working with Dr. Craig, who missed no opportunity to assault Kochar with bigoted, condescending remarks in the OR. (Kochar was perhaps Craig's second favorite target, after Ehrlich). However, despite Craig's behavior, Kochar saved Craig's feet from frostbite when the two men were stranded during a blizzard, treating him for hypothermia and ensuring that he made it safely to St. Eligius.

Dr. Wendy Armstrong

Portrayed by Kim Miyori (1982–1984). An overachiever, Armstrong was regarded as an especially good doctor, but sometimes had trouble connecting with patients and colleagues on a personal level. Staff frequently commented on her ability to eat anything she wanted and never gain weight, though it was later revealed that she suffered from bulimia. Depression and stress took its toll on Armstrong, as did an attempted rape by Peter White, and a serious misdiagnosis on her part (leading to a pregnant patient having a miscarriage), and she committed suicide near the end of season 2.

Dr. Jacqueline Wade

Portrayed by Sagan Lewis (1982–1988). A sweet-natured young surgical resident from Lewiston, Maine with a sweet tooth and a tendency to crack a joke like close friend Wayne Fiscus. Wade was married very young (18 or 19) and her husband Robert (who was never seen on-camera) helped put her through medical school, but the long hours of residency eventually took their toll on the marriage and Robert left her for another woman at the beginning of season 5. She and Seth Griffin shared a tentative romance: after spending the night together, though, she decided that she wasn't ready for a new relationship as of yet, although they did remain friends through the remainder of the series. Professionally, Wade was extremely competent and was promoted to Chief Resident after Phillip Chandler decides to give up medicine.

Nurse Shirley Daniels

Portrayed by Ellen Bry (1982–1985). Capable and competent, ER nurse Shirley Daniels held her own in the ER. She was not put off by the sometimes sophomoric humor of some of the ER residents, particularly Fiscus, whom she dated for a few months. Though Shirley was angry when pathology resident Cathy Martin slept with Fiscus, she later came to Cathy's aid after she was raped by Peter White, eventually shooting White and killing him. She was charged with White's murder, and released on bail, and while awaiting trial, she returned to St. Eligius, first as an appendectomy patient, and then briefly as a nurse after suing St. Eligius to reinstate her in her old position. However, she only worked one shift, during which she fired a gun (which turned out to be fake) at a patient, and then wandered out of the ER and off into the night. She was later convicted of White's murder and returns in a later episode as a prisoner of the state brought to St. Eligius for treatment unavailable at Framingham State Prison. During this episode, she is again accused of murder when her hospital roommate mysteriously dies. The staff also throws her a "welcome back" party which goes awry when one of the presents is a sampler that reads "We Hate You". With this, Shirley realizes that she will never be welcome back at St. Eligius and bitterly exits the series chained to a wheelchair and headed back to prison.

Luther Hawkins

Portrayed by Eric Laneuville (1982-1983 recurring) (1983-1988 main cast) Luther began the show as a hospital orderly, then became a certified paramedic and ended the show as a student physician assistant.

Dr. Michael Ridley

Portrayed by Paul Sand (1983–1984). Adolescent psychiatrist.

Dr. Samuel Weiss

Portrayed by Philip Sterling (1983-1988). Psychiatrist who treated numerous patients and staff, including Victor Ehrlich's girlfriend Roberta in season 2.

Dr. Elliot Axelrod

Portrayed by Stephen Furst (1983–1988).

Axlerod first visited St. Eligius during an elective while finishing med school, and later joined as a resident. Overweight and awkward, he had a difficult time initially, but eventually proved himself as capable and competent. Though the more senior residents found him to be an annoyance, he was eventually accepted, particularly bonding with Fiscus. Axlerod was one of the few at St. Eligius who was able to connect with ill-tempered patient Mrs. Huffnagle, to the point where she named him in her will. He briefly dated Rosenthal's oldest daughter Marcie, though a series of events prevented their relationship from progressing. Axelrod suffered a heart attack and died after surgery towards the end of season 6.

Nurse Lucy Papandreo

Portrayed by Jennifer Savidge (recurring 1982-1986; series regular 1986-1988). Originally a minor character who appeared briefly in the operating room during the series' first episode, the sarcastic, no-nonsense, street-smart Lucy was initially a nurse on the ward and was promoted to head nurse when Rosenthal moved to the ER during season 3. However, when Rosenthal decided she wanted to return to the ward, she and Lucy battled bitterly over the head nurse position and their differences of opinion over running of the ward (the two women had previously been on good terms). Papandrano's battle with Rosenthal continued until the final episode of the series. Though Lucy traded sarcastic barbs with Erlich whenever the chance presented itself, the two began dating and were eventually married during season 6. During later years of the series, Papandrano became much like Dr. Craig in her harsh and judgmental attitude towards others she disagreed with.

Orderly Warren Coolidge

Portrayed by Byron Stewart (1984–1988).

Warren Coolidge was an orderly and a cohort of Luther Hawkins. He was well liked and regarded as competent at his job. His large size was sometimes used to comic effect when paired with Luther (who was shorter and smaller-framed).

Dr. Emily Humes

Portrayed by Judith Hansen (1984–1985).

Dr. Alan Poe

Portrayed by Brian Tochi (1984–1985).

Nurse Peggy Shotwell

Portrayed by Saundra Sharp (1984–1986).

Dr. Roxanne Turner

Portrayed by Alfre Woodard (1985–1987).

Roxanne Turner was an OB-GYN who joined St. Eligius at the beginning of season 4 (presumably to take over for Annie Cavanero, who abruptly disappeared at the end of the previous season). One of her first cases was Ken and Terri Valeri, an infertile couple trying to conceive. Roxanne spent a great deal of time helping them. She also began dating Chandler, whom she would continue to be involved with for most of the remainder of the series. Roxanne and Chandler's relationship was challenged when she returned to her hometown in rural Mississippi to serve as their physician, after receiving word that her childhood doctor had died, but she returned at the beginning of season 5, and they resumed their relationship. She abruptly returned to Mississippi toward the latter part of the final season, realizing she preferred practicing medicine in a small town, as opposed to a big city; Chandler would ultimately follow her to Mississippi shortly thereafter.

In 1998, Woodard reprised the role for a sixth-season episode of Homicide: Life on the Street entitled "Mercy." This episode revealed that Dr. Turner had moved to Baltimore and was now working at a hospice. She was suspected of euthanizing several of her terminally ill patients, but no criminal charges were ever filed against her.

Dr. Seth Griffin

Portrayed by Bruce Greenwood (1986–1988).

Handsome resident Seth Griffin arrived at St. Eligius during season 5, and quickly alienated veteran nurse Helen Rosenthal, attempting to blame her for a patient's death for which he was actually responsible, and he also attempted to play Carol Novino and another female first-year resident, Susan Birch, against one-another. Conflicts with other attendings, nurses and residents would follow, leading to his gaining a reputation as being "difficult". He did not help his own case when he began dating Westphall's headstrong daughter Lizzie. However, he would later prove himself as a doctor, and would mature a bit as time passed. In season 6 he accidentally pricked himself with a needle while drawing blood from AIDS patient Brett Johnston. Frightened of the possibility that he may have contracted the disease himself, he became a born-again Christian.

Dr. Susan Birch

Portrayed by Jamie Rose (1986)

Susan Birch was a first-year resident who joined St. Eligius for her residency at the beginning of season 5. Having the misfortune of being paired with reckless, narcissistic Seth Griffin, Susan was first caught in the crossfire when Seth took it upon himself to let a terminal, elderly patient die (and then subsequently try to blame Rosenthal for her death). He would go on to play Birch against fellow first-year Carol Novino, creating animosity and drama between the two women, ultimately resulting in Novino being reprimanded and Birch being kicked out of the residency program over the death of a patient.

Dr. Paulette Kiem

Portrayed by France Nguyen (1986–1988).

Paulette Kiem was a surgeon from Vietnam, who arrived at St. Eligius during season 5. She was hired to take over for Mark Craig, when a hand injury prevented him from performing surgery. She was very well thought of as a surgeon and was regarded as kind and gracious, even despite Craig's oftentimes boorish behavior toward her. When Craig recovered from his injury and returned to his old position, Kiem stayed on as Director of Education.

Dr. Carol Novino

Portrayed by Cindy Pickett (1986–1988).

Carol Novino was a former nurse who left St. Eligius to attend medical school. She returned as a resident, and eventually began dating Westphall (his first serious relationship since his wife's death, ten years earlier). This relationship further alienated Novino from her fellow residents, who she felt isolation from due to the eight-year age difference; she also offended Rosenthal, Papendreo and other members of the nursing staff, when she said she told them she decided to go to med school because she didn't want to continue to settle for being "just a nurse". She eventually became more confident and comfortable in her new role, and was accepted by most of her colleagues.

Dr. John Gideon

Portrayed by Ronny Cox (1987–1988).

A flashy administrator who was assigned to St. Eligius, after the hospital was sold to an HMO during its final season. His differences with Donald Westphall quickly led to Westphall's resignation, and his affair with Mark Craig's estranged wife Ellen led to additional resentment among staff, particularly Craig's attending colleagues, already upset over Westphall's departure.

Dr. Oliver London

Oliver London was a cardiac surgeon, and a colleague (and adversary) of Mark Craig. Known to viewers primarily through Craig's insulting comments ("I wouldn't trust Oliver London to wind my watch, never mind perform heart surgery"), he was seen briefly in Season 4's "Remembrance of Things Past" (when John Doe #6 shoved him into a locker in the St. Eligius gym, in order to steal his clothes), and was heard through the door (but not seen) in another episode later during season 4, arguing with Craig from the other side of Craig's office door. It is unknown to viewers whether Craig's low opinion of him was due to professional jealousy or London genuinely being incompetent.

Other characters

Joan Halloran

Portrayed by Nancy Stafford (1983–1984, 1985, 1986). An administrator brought in by the City of Boston to evaluate and improve efficiency at the hospital. She frequently clashed with Westphall, Auschlander and Craig, particularly when she tried to prevent Craig from performing a heart transplant during season 2. She was romantically involved with Bobby Caldwell for a time, though he ended the affair towards the end of season 2. Soon afterwards, she was removed from her position by the City, but she returned to St. Eligius at Dr. Auschlander's request at the beginning of season 3, and would be seen occasionally for some months. Joan appeared once more during season 4 in 1986. Now blissfully engaged to a man with a family, Bobby Caldwell called in to see her with the bad news that he'd recently tested HIV positive and, as one of his former partners, recommended that she get herself tested for the virus. Though horrified at the prospect, she was relieved to find out she was not infected.

Mrs. Ellen Craig (nee Harper)

Portrayed by Bonnie Bartlett (Recurring character, 1982–85; series regular, 1985–88). Mark Craig's long-suffering wife. Though only a minor character initially, she proved popular with viewers and she became a series regular at the beginning of season 4. She would eventually tire of Mark's obsessive perfectionism and overbearing personality, and became further alienated from him after the death of their son Steven. She would leave him during season 5, having an affair with administrator John Gideon. Eventually Ellen and Mark would reunite toward the end of the final season. It should be noted that Bonnie Bartlett and William Daniels (Dr. Mark Craig) are married in real life.

Myra White

Portrayed by Karen Landry (1982–1985)

Myra was Peter White's wife. Though she loved Peter, she could not bear his self-destructive path, and left him toward the later part of season 1. Though she eventually agreed to a reconciliation, she was devastated to learn that Peter was in fact the "ski mask" rapist. She moved out with their two children around that time. She returned to St. Eligius to have her baby (after Peter's death), but was not seen or mentioned after that.

Ira Rosenthal

Portrayed by Alan Oppenheimer (1983–1984) Helen Rosenthal's fourth husband. He loved her and was extremely supportive after her mastectomy, but angrily left Helen after finding out about her affair with Richard.

Mrs. Hufnagel

Portrayed by Florence Halop (1984–1985).

A surly and miserable old lady who was repeatedly admitted for a series of ailments over the course of a year. She insulted nearly everyone who tried to help her, and was disliked by nearly the entire St. Eligius staff. She died presumably after being crushed when her hospital bed closed on her, though it was later revealed that her death was due to an error on Dr. Craig's part during a surgery.

John Doe No. 6

Portrayed by Oliver Clark (1985–1986)

John Doe was an amnesia patient who'd been admitted to St. Eligius' psych unit, who spent a great deal of time trying to recall his former life and identity. At one point, he spent the day masquerading as a reviewer with a recredentialing committee visiting St. Eligius, and at another, he thought himself to be Mary Richards (of The Mary Tyler Moore Show). During his period as Mary Richards, Doe encountered a visiting doctor, Gloria Neal (played by Betty White, who had played Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show). Greeting her as "Sue Ann", Dr. Neal corrected him, informing him she was Dr. Gloria Neal, and that he must have her confused with someone else. Toward the middle of season 4, Doe was "claimed" by an aristocratic southern couple as their relative, and the three departed together, though Auschlander later received a call from a psychiatric hospital in Louisiana that two inpatients had escaped and were thought to be heading for Boston to look up an old friend. He later returned to St. Eligius, believing he was John McEnroe. During Season 5, Dr. Craig demanded that Dr. Auschlander find him a secretary; so to write his memoirs. Dr. Auschlander hired John Doe, much to the dismay of Dr. Craig, until John proved himself to be a fantastic typist; typing over 100 words-a-minute. It was John Doe who also pushed Dr. Craig to quit writing his memoirs, and instead write his novel, (of which he found on scrap paper). However, John Doe later began copying Dr. Craig, even wrapping his hand in bandages, wearing surgical scrubs and drawing a mustache with permanent marker. He later disappeared, along with Dr. Craig's novel.

Ken Valere

Portrayed by George Deloy (1985–1986).

Ken Valere was an upwardly mobile stockbroker who, along with his wife Terri, sought advice from Roxanne Turner as to why they were having trouble conceiving a child.

Terri Valere

Portrayed by Deborah May (1985–1986).

Terri Valere and her husband Ken began seeking treatment from Roxanne Turner at the beginning of season 4 as to why there had been unable to conceive a child.

Richard Clarendon

Portrayed by Herb Edelman (1984–1988).

Richard was a union mediator called in to help with the nurses' strike during season 3. After the strike was settled, he began an affair with Helen Rosenthal, which ultimately led to the end of Helen's marriage. However, Richard would later move in with Helen and her children. He asked her to marry him, when it appeared that Helen was pregnant, though when it turned out Helen not pregnant, but was in fact entering menopause, they decided not to marry, and instead continued to live together.

Joanne McFadden

Portrayed by Patricia Wettig (1986–1988).

Joanne was a friend of Jack and Nina Morrison from Seattle, from before they'd relocated to Boston for Jack's residency. After Nina's death, Jack reconnected with Joanne during a visit to Seattle, and on a whim, she followed him back to Boston and they impulsively decided to elope. Jack had to then adjust to making a life with Joanne and her two children. However, after a few months, Joanne's ex-husband sued for custody of their children to bring them back with him to Seattle (after a violent encounter with Nick Moates). Unable to cope with the loss of her children, Joanne also returned to Seattle, leaving Jack behind. When Jack completed his residency, he relocated to Seattle to reconcile with Joanne.

Clancy Williams

Portrayed by Helen Hunt (1984–1986).

Clancy was a sociology graduate student and activist who began dating Morrison toward the end of season 2, after the death of his wife. When Clancy found herself pregnant, she decided to terminate the pregnancy, despite Morrison's objections. She briefly moved in with Morrison,whom she called "Boomer", after her apartment was burglarized, but quickly moved out again due to her need for independence. They continued to date, though Clancy eventually found herself to be little more than a babysitter for the busy Morrison's son and broke up with him. They remained friends. She briefly dated Wayne Fiscus (in the episode "Family Affair").

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Westphall

Portrayed by Dana Short (1982–1988)

Lizzie Westphall was Donald's teenage daughter. Having had to step in and help take care of her autistic brother Tommy after their mother's death, she was unusually mature and responsible for her age, and was generally good natured, but she also had a defiant side, which became especially apparent through her argumentative tone with a number of the Westphalls' housekeepers (whom she felt were not handling Tommy appropriately). She goes away to college and brings her boyfriend home with her for a weekend. She expects him to sleep with her in her bedroom; Dr. Westphall objects to this and Lizzie says she is not a baby anymore. Toward the end of the series, Lizzie began dating Seth Griffin, a much older resident at St. Eligius, much to her father's displeasure. She becomes pregnant by Seth and has an abortion.

Tommy Westphall

Portrayed by Chad Allen (1983–1988).

Tommy was the autistic son of Westphall and his deceased wife. Though Donald tried to keep up with the demands of caring for Tommy while trying to run St. Eligius at the same time, he became increasingly frustrated. Tommy's autism took on added significance during the final episode.


  1. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. pp. 190. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9. 

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