Jan 24, 2013

5 Most Famous TV Doctors Of All Time

Medical dramas have been a part of the television landscape for more than five decades. Who knows how many young television viewers have been inspired to pursue a career in medicine thanks to the inspiration provided by Robert Young's "Dr. Marcus Welby", Deforest Kelley's "Dr. Leonard McCoy" on "Star Trek" and Chad Everett's "Dr. Joe Gannon" in "Medical Center." Here are 5 of the most famous TV doctors of all time who continue to keep audiences interested thanks to reruns and syndication:

The Too Cute Dr. Kildare

The intense young resident Dr. James Kildare was suavely portrayed by actor Richard Chamberlain who made patients in the series as well as female viewers swoon as he strived to save the sick and the dying at Blair General Hospital every week. The crusty and much older and wiser Dr. Gillespie, portrayed by veteran actor Raymond Massey, was Kildare's mentor and tutor in the series which enjoyed a long run during the early 1960s.

Calling Dr. Casey

Ben Casey, a highly skilled but always dour-faced neurosurgeon portrayed by actor Vince Edwards, is another of the most famous TV doctors of all times. Viewers often tuned in just to see if that would be the week that the infamously serious Dr. Casey might crack a smile. Like Dr. Gillespie on the Kildare series, Ben Casey also had its own much older physician to help guide the young doctor, portrayed in this series by Sam "Dr. David Zorba" Jaffe. Both Casey and Kildare ran during the early 1960s and a rivalry developed between those who favored the sweeter and blonder Dr. Kildare and the camp that were die-hard fans of the dark and swarthy Dr. Casey. In any event, sales of bubble gum cards featuring both series were fast and furious.

Female Frontier Doctor

Jane Seymour has the privilege of being the only female to be cast in her own medical drama, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Although there have been numerous female doctors who have been part of an ensemble cast in such medical dramas as "Grey's Anatomy", "St. Elsewhere" and "The Practice", "Dr. Quinn" revolved solely around the gentle and forthright Dr. Michaela Quinn who although born and trained in Boston, travelled west to the wilderness of Colorado Springs to establish a medical practice and start a new life.

Operating in a MASH Unit

M*A*S*H enjoyed an 11 year run and made a household name of Alan Alda, who played the fun-loving, womanizing Army surgeon Dr. Benjamin Franklin Pierce, nicknamed "Hawk Eye." The subject matter was mostly comedic, dealing with medical situations at an Army hospital during the Korean War and Alda was supported by a brilliant cast of other acting veterans who also portrayed doctors at the MASH unit, including Harry Morgan, Mike Farrell and David Ogden Stiers.

TV's First Black Doctor

Two years before comedian Bill Cosby portrayed an OB-GYN on his comedy series "The Cosby Show", actor Denzel Washington in 1982 became the first African-American to portray a doctor. He did so in the award winning network television drama "St. Elsewhere", as Dr. Philip Chandler who would leave the drama before its long run ended to pursue film opportunities, specialized in Internal Medicine at the fictitious St. Elegius Hospital in Boston.

Brendan McGuane has recently completed his medical studies and has a passion for good television. He is currently looking for medical doctor jobs through Healthtaff Recruitment and says that although there have been many influential TV doctors, these particular doctors have stood the test of time to prove themselves as the most famous.

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

No comments: