When Grey’s Anatomy was nonetheless within the starting stage, the TV present ER was the poster-child for a long-running medical drama that it may construct off of. The Michael Crichton creation debuted in 1994 and ran for 15 years after that. While the present boasted skills resembling George Clooney on its roster, few characters resonated greater than Julianna Margulies’s Nurse Carol Hathaway.

Although she was simply a nurse and never a physician, Margulies used this function to present that nurses held energy. She fought to maintain it this manner, too. 

What was ‘ER’? 

Like many physician reveals, ER confirmed the stress that got here with working in such a hectic setting and the results that the emergency room had upon the medical doctors, nurses, and others within the rotation. For 15 years, ER noticed a wholesome roster of expertise come out and in of the emergency room as their tales unfolded on display. 

While it’s typically referred to because the present that gave us Clooney, a number of big-name Hollywood actors appeared within the present each as stars and as visitors. Beginning within the Clinton administration and ending after the Obamas, the sequence noticed a lot of change, not solely on-camera however off of it. It was a present that appeared to breakdown norms and confirmed that anybody may very well be a hero in that setting. 

However, this doesn’t imply that the present was with out flaws. Like most popular culture that lasts so long as ER does, the present often tried to do issues that didn’t age effectively and regarded others twists that went away from what made it so particular.

However, when the prospect of 1 specific change got here up, Margulies stepped in and made certain that it stored its integrity intact. It was all the higher for it, too. 

Who was Carol Hathaway

Julianna Margulies | Dia Dipasupil /Getty Images

RELATED: ‘ER’ Wasn’t George Clooney’s First Role as an Emergency Room Employee

While many medical dramas painting the medical doctors as probably the most essential points of a hospital, ER sought to present that everybody who labored there served a helpful operate that was important to the on a regular basis operations.

From the start, Margulies’s Carol Hathaway was half of this. Hathaway wasn’t portrayed as being simply a nurse. Like real-life nurses, she was a vital a part of conserving sufferers wholesome whereas ready for the medical doctors’ remaining phrase — typically as the primary individual that sufferers see once they enter the ER. 

The Nurse Manager of the emergency room, Hathaway, was portrayed as an bold skilled who all the time wished to get to the following step in her profession. During a season three arc, a part of this entailed going to faculty to turn out to be a real-life physician. However, whereas the present arrange Hathaway’s character to just do that, Margulies helped be certain that she stayed a nurse your entire time. 

She finally determined in opposition to it, and the present was all the higher for it. 

Keeping issues the best way they’re 

Like many others within the forged, Margulies turned a breakout star of the sequence. As her star grew, nevertheless, producers wished to give her a extra outstanding function. While this was a testomony to Margulies’s expertise, it additionally might have despatched the present flying off the rails. For a present that portrays each facet of the emergency room as crucial, making medical doctors the ultimate step on a ladder to greatness would have modified all of it, in accordance to Elle

Hathaway was all the time portrayed as a nurse who beloved her job, so the concept she would have stepped away to turn out to be a physician didn’t sit proper with Margulies.

Despite establishing this transfer in season three, they finally determined to maintain Hathaway the place she was greatest suited. Margulies left the present about midway by its run, however she stored the sanctity of her character intact with this daring transfer. 

While she would go on to success in The Good Wife, it’s ER that put Margulies on the map. Despite staying a nurse, Hathaway was all the time one of many favorites amongst followers of the present.

However, had Margulies not stepped in, that character might not have had the entire and satisfying arc that she had till the tip.