Chicago Med: 10 TV roles you didn’t know the cast portrayed

Chicago Med actors
Oliver Platt with Bebe Neuwirth, Brian Tee and Torrey DeVito Pic credit: NBC/Starz/ABC Family

It’s clear why Chicago Med came to be. Having made hits with Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D., having a show set in a hospital only made sense.

Chicago Med has become an integral part of NBC’s One Chicago universe. Quite often, the firefighters and cops have to come to Med either to check on an injured victim or one of their own being hurt. 

It’s a great showcase of how the One Chicago universe works as the doctors can show up on the other One Chicago shows. There’s also how Will happens to be the brother of Chicago P.D.’s Jay Halstead and it’s fun watching the connections between them.

It also helps that the show boasts a wonderful cast, with many TV veterans in exciting roles. While there have been a few high-profile exits, much of the show’s core cast remains strong and backed by fresher faces. 

While a few of the actors are well known, they can have some credits in their past their fans forget about. What’s intriguing is how a few aren’t far off from their Chicago Med roles while others are almost a total opposite. 

From comedies to dramas, these are ten past TV roles of Chicago Med actors and a reminder of how far they’ve come on this NBC hit. 

Steven Weber as a cursed man, Cursed

Steven Weber
Steven Weber on Chicago Med and with Amy Pietz, Wendell Pierce and Chris Elliott on Cursed. Pic credit: NBC

At first only recurring in Season 6, Steven Weber will now be a regular in Season 7 as Dean Archer, the former army doctor trying to temper his ego at the hospital. 

It’s a great late-career role for Weber whose credits include the hit sitcom Wings, Studio 60, NCIS: New Orleans, and more. So it’s funny many forget he once had his own starring comedy show.

Cursed debuted on NBC in 2000 with the idea that Weber was a guy who made the mistake of dumping a woman claiming to be a witch. In retaliation, she cast a spell that would bring him bad luck. 

After a few episodes, it was clear the audience wasn’t responding, so the “cursed” aspect was dropped, and the series was streamlined into a regular sitcom called The Weber Show. It still wasn’t enough to stop it from being canceled.

Hopefully, Weber avoids such “curses” in his time on Chicago Med. 

Colin Donnell as a 1960s reporter, Pan Am

Pan Am
Margot Robbie, Colin Donnell and Christina Ricci in Pan Am. Pic credit: ABC

He has been gone for almost two years, but Chicago Med fans still miss Connor Rhodes.

The handsome and compelling doctor was an anchor for the show’s first five four seasons before leaving in the Season 5 premiere after his crazed girlfriend killed herself after admitting to killing Connor’s father. 

Colin Donnell was well-known as Tommy Merlyn on the CW’s Arrow. Before that, he had a recurring part in the 2011 ABC series Pan Am.

Set in the 1960s, the show focused on a group of flight attendants (including a then-unknown Margot Robbie) traveling the world for the famous luxury airline. 

Donnell played Mike, a reporter who hits it off with Maggie (Christina Ricci). He ends up publishing a story she wrote exposing a Congressman’s crimes and the hints of a possible romance. 

It was a small role before the show was canceled, yet Donnell’s charm was great for his later Chicago Med role. 

Yaya DaCosta as a conniving model, Ugly Betty

Yaya DaCosta
Yaya DaCosta as April on Chicago Med and Nico on Ugly Betty Pic credit: NBC/ABC

A few Chicago Med exits have been rough. Thankfully, April Sexton is happier as the Season 6 finale had her accepting a place in a major nursing program that required her to leave Chicago.

An original cast member, Yaya DaCosta had been on America’s Next Top Model before moving into acting, which served her well for a major early role.

On the ABC hit Ugly Betty, Nico was the daughter of conniving editor Wilhelmina (Vanessa Williams). She was a chip off her mother as a duplicitous would-be model doing anything to get ahead. Jowharah Jones played her in Season 1.

DaCosta took over the role when Nico returned in the show’s final season, needing her mother’s help after Nico stabbed her abusive boyfriend. It turned out to all be a massive scam to bilk her mom out of money.

Given her caring role as April, seeing DaCosta as a wicked schemer is quite surprising. 

Torrey DeVitto as an aspiring model, Beautiful People

Torrey DeVitto
Torrey DeVitto on Chicago Med and Beautiful People. Pic credit: NBC/ABC Family

Sadly, it appears Chicago Med fans have seen the last of Natalie Manning. The Season 6 finale had her confessing how she had messed with Will’s medical trial to aid her ailing mother and was about to lose her job. 

It’ll be a shame as Torrey DeVitto has been wonderful in the role, showing Natalie’s guts alongside her passion for helping others. DeVitto has shown this in parts from Pretty Little Liars to The Vampire Diaries.

One of her forgotten early roles was in ABC Family’s 2005 series Beautiful People. Daphne Zuniga starred as a mom who moves her two daughters to New York for a fresh start following a bitter divorce.

DeVitto played her oldest daughter, who tries to become a model. There was a dramatic plotline of her being hooked on diet pills while balancing some romances. 

The show lasted two short seasons while showing the charm DeVitto would use for Natalie, among other roles. 

Brian Tee as a former gang member turned paramedic, Crash

Brian Tee
Brian Tee as Choi on Chicago Med and with Arlene Tur on Crash Pic credit: NBC/Starz

Born in Japan, Brian Tee is a veteran of scores of movies and TV shows before landing the part of the passionate Ethan Choi. Among his credits was an intriguing first turn as a doctor.

Based on the Oscar-winning movie, Crash was the first original series produced by the Starz network. It focused on the lives of various Los Angeles residents who occasionally intersect in odd ways.

Tee starred in the first season as (ironically) Eddie Choi, a former gang member who cleaned himself up to become an EMT. He often has to handle gang crimes in his old neighborhood.

In many ways, it was much like his Chicago Med role of going beyond the call of duty to help others. It’s odd how Tee ended up playing two different docs named Choi on TV. 

Nick Gehlfuss as a legal aide, The Newsroom

Nick Gehlfuss
Nick Gehlfuss on Chicago Med and with Marcia Gay Harden in The Newsroom Pic credit: NBC/HBO

As the handsome and smart Will Halstead, Nick Gehlfuss has shown a great charm in the role, even as the last season had him through a tough wringer involving a medical trial he was running.

Gehlfuss didn’t have as many prominent TV roles before joining Chicago Med. One of the more notable was on the second season of the HBO drama The Newsroom.

The storyline involved the fictional newscast team getting in trouble over airing what turned out to be a fake story. A lawyer (Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden) has to help them with a lawsuit.

Gehlfuss was Ross, one of her aides aiding her in grilling the reporters to prepare them for the trial.

It wasn’t a large role with only a handful of lines but still part of a prestigious HBO show. Given Will’s attitudes toward lawyers, seeing him playing one is funny. 

Marlyne Barrett as a royal aide, Kings

Marlyne Barrett
Marlyne Barrett as Maggie on Chicago Med and Thomasina on Kings. Pic credit: NBC

A powerful Season 6 Chicago Med storyline had veteran nurse Maggie facing a new intern who was the daughter she’d given up for adoption years before.

It was another showcase for Marlyne Barrett’s skills in the role with Maggie always set to help others with her great heart. One of her past roles showed that skill in another way.

NBC’s 2009 drama Kings was set in an alternate world with royalty running a modern-day nation. Barrett played Thomasina, the aide to the king and queen (Ian McShane and Susanna Thompson). 

Her role was mostly to pop up and give information to the royals while running the household staff with a cool eye. That’s not far off from Maggie as Barrett is good at playing the cool eye of a dramatic storm. 

Dominic Rains as a foreign doctor, FlashForward

Crockett Chicago Med
Dominic Rains plays Dr. Crockett Marcel on the Chicago Med cast. Pic credit: Elizabeth Sisson/NBCUniversal

A good late addition to Chicago Med, Dr. Crockett Marcel has toned down his arrogance to be a top surgeon and a romantic lead.

Dominic Rains has done well in the part, making himself believable as a top surgeon. He has a bit of TV experience with that. 

FlashForward was a 2009 ABC series with a wild premise. Everyone on Earth blacks out for two minutes and receives visions of six months in the future. 

One character’s vision has him discovering his long-believed dead soldier daughter is still alive. Traveling to Afghanistan, he eventually finds her.

Rains played the local medic who had saved the woman’s life and aided her and her father in escaping the country. The role was just a few episodes yet proved Rains could be believable as a dashing doctor. 

S. Epatha Merkerson as a future cop, Mann & Machine

Sharon Chicago Med Finale
S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin on the Chicago Med season finale. Pic credit: Elizabeth Sisson/NBCUniversal

Chicago Med fans know S. Epatha Merkerson as Sharon Goodwin, the nurse turned chief administrator for the hospital who navigates various crises. 

Obviously, Law & Order fans will know Merkerson as Anita Van Buren, the steely Lieutenant who ran the station for nearly two decades. But few know this wasn’t Merkerson’s first time as a police boss.

Mann & Machine was a 1992 NBC series about a cop (David Andrews) whose new partner (Yancy Butler) is actually a highly advanced robot. 

Merkerson played their boss, ready to put them both in their place and noting the irony the machine was less of a hassle than the human cop.

The show didn’t last long, but it showed the commanding chops Merkerson would use for her more high-profile roles. 

Oliver Platt as a crime-solving reporter, Deadline

Oliver Platt
Oliver Platt on Chicago Med and with Bebe Neuwirth and Hope Davis on Deadline Pic credit: NBC

As the soft-spoken, kind-hearted Dr. Daniel Charles, Oliver Platt is wonderful, showing a sympathetic side to help troubled patients soothe their problems.

After rising to fame in movies, Platt had his first starring role in the 2000’s NBC drama Deadline. He played Wallace Benton, a Chicago reporter with a love of mysteries. 

Often convinced there’s more to a story than it seems, Benton recruits his class of college journalism students to investigate a crime, not only bringing the guilty party to justice but breaking a huge scoop to boot.

The show was produced by Dick Wolf and Platt was good in the role. However, it never caught on with audiences and was canceled after 13 episodes.

However, it gave Platt the experience with both Wolf and Chicago that he would use for the role of Charles. 

Chicago Med Season 7 premieres at 8/7c September 22 on NBC.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments