Anthony Edwards Leaves 'ER'

ByABC News

Jan. 24, 2001 -- NBC won't be paging Dr. Mark Greene to the ER after the hit drama's 2002 season. Anthony Edwards, who's portrayed the beleaguered doc since 1994, has announced that he will leave the show to spend more time with his family.

"I think [the 2001-02 season] will be it," Edwards told The Associated Press. "It's been eight years of my family working around my schedule. It's been a long time playing Dr. Greene."

ER has suffered the losses of several popular cast members — George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, and Gloria Reuben among them — but the medical drama continues to be the No. 1 show, according to Nielsen Media numbers.

Edwards' fellow studs in scrubs, Noah Wyle and Eriq La Salle, are also up for contract renewal at the end of next year. La Salle's rep said he's not certain whether he'll re-sign. Wyle's publicist did not return calls to the AP.

How will Dr. Greene, who's been diagnosed with brain cancer, be written out of the show? Edwards would rather go out "in flames" than have the writers let his character succumb to the terminal illness. "There are a lot of El trains in Chicago," he cracked in an interview. "You could trip in front of any one of them."

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