The cast of ER held a virtual reunion this week, and the tears began rolling as the group recalled a special moment on the series with George Clooney's aunt. The A-list actor is the nephew of late singer Rosemary Clooney, who guest-starred on the series in 1995 as an Alzheimer's patient who could only communicate by singing. The late Hollywood icon was even nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her performance in the emotional episode.
During the virtual ER reunion, a clip from the episode was played, showing Rosemary's character singing as she is comforted by Noah Wyle's Dr. John Carter, and it overwhelmed the cast. "Oh my God, I have to get a tissue," said Julianna Margulies, who played nurse Carol Hathaway in the show. "That was intense," added Gloria Reuben, who appeared in ER as physician assistant Jeanie Boulet. Clooney also was overcome with emotion, saying "I miss her. She was the fun one in my family." Sadly, Rosemary died in 2002 after a battle with lung cancer.
Wyle then took some time to reminisce about what it was like for him to work with her, noting that among the many legends he had the privilege of acting opposite, she stood out. "I had the great benefit getting sort of all the older patients, so I got Sanford Meisner, I got Red Buttons and I got Eli Wallach and I got Mickey Rooney, so I had an unbelievable embarrassment of riches with the people I got to work with," Wyle said. "But Rosemary was one of the earliest sort of heavy hitter guest stars that we had on the show, and I thought she was just amazing."
Watching tonight’s #ER reunion and feeling a lot of feelings 🥲🥲🥲
Missed it? Watch here https://t.co/OugKhhYFlH— Stars In the House (@StarsInTheHouse) April 23, 2021
And support clean water around the world at https://t.co/3Ctw0risbs @Glo_Reuben #georgeclooney #JuliannaMargulies #laurainnes #noahwyle @CCHPounder @anthonyedwards pic.twitter.com/yDakKSNT3o
"It's very hard to play less intelligent than you are or more confused than you are, and she had a really interesting quality," he went on to say. "And then when she began to sing, the expectation is that she would fall into her old sort of performance rhythm, but she didn't, she found a sort of vocal quality that seemed much more pedestrian and less polished than a professional would be, which made it all the more heartbreaking." In response to Wyle's anecdote, Clooney joked, "Noah was the nephew she always wanted."
ER debuted in 1994, and ran for 15 seasons, eventually ending in 2009. To this day it remains the second longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history, trailing only behind Grey's Anatomy. The show won 23 Primetime Emmy Awards, including the 1996 Outstanding Drama Series award, and received more than 120 Emmy nominations.
In total, ER won 116 awards during its tenure, including the Peabody Award. Additionally, the cast earned four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series. The show is currently available to watch on Hulu, for subscribers of the streaming service. PopCulture readers can get a free trial of Hulu by clicking here.