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Dr. Greene back from the dead on “ER”

November 4, 2008

(Reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)

Actor Anthony Edwards will return for one episode to the long-running NBC show “ER” as the hospital drama that began in 1994 hits its last season. Edwards’ popular character, Dr. Mark Greene, died of brain cancer back in 2002, but on Nov. 13 the slightly nerdy doctor will return in a flashback involving Angela Bassett’s character, Dr. Banfield.
    
Edwards, 46, left “ER” to spend more time with his wife and four young children after finishing out a lucrative contract on the show.

Edwards told reporters on a conference call that he will ask NBC to donate his $125,000 salary to a project to build a hospital in Kenya. The project is part of the actor’s work with the nonprofit Shoe4Africa, a group dedicated to improving Africans’ health by donating shoes and sponsoring athletic events. 
    
The actor, who in 2007 starred in the thriller movie “Zodiac,” lives in New York. He said he spends his days taking his kids to school and jogging in Central Park, and that he has no regrets about being off weekly television.
    
“When you’re not in that factory that’s on every week, and if you do a movie a year or two movies a year, it seems to the audience and to people as if you’ve quit,” Edwards told reporters in a phone call on Monday.
    
Edwards also said he understands why Dr. Greene become so popular and remains well-liked among long-time program viewers.
    
“It’s that thing that when you get on an airplane you hope that the pilot really loves flying, and I think that’s what Greene had,” Edwards said. “You want to go to a hospital and have the doctor really love being a doctor there.”
    
Apart from Edwards, original “ER” cast member Noah Wyle has also signed on to appear in the series’ last season. But NBC has not announced if George Clooney, the biggest star to come out of the series, will guest-star in an “ER” episode.

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