Mark Greene
Key information
Gender Male
Hair Color Brown
Date of birth 1962
Birth place San Diego, California
Date of death May 9, 2002
Age 40
Born San Diego, California
Death On the Beach (Hawaii)
Occupation Physician
Specialty Emergency Medicine
Title ER Chief Resident (1994-1995)
ER Attending (1995-2002)
Family David Greene (father, deceased)
Ruth Greene (mother, deceased)
Spouse Jennifer "Jen" Greene-Simon (divorced)
Elizabeth Corday (widowed)
Children Rachel Greene (daughter, from Jen)
Ella Greene (daughter, from Elizabeth)
Behind the scenes
Portrayer: Anthony Edwards
First episode 24 Hours
Last episode On the Beach
Heal Thyself (flashback)
Appearances 180 episodes (see below)

Dr. Mark Greene was a fictional medical doctor in the television series ER, portrayed by the actor Anthony Edwards. For most of his time on the series, Greene's role was that of a mediator and occasional authority figure, and he was considered the main character of the series for the first eight seasons.

Early life

Mark Greene, an only child, was raised by his mother, Ruth, and father, David. David Greene served in the United States Navy, and thus the family moved frequently. Mark had a very strained relationship with his father, and was decidedly closer to his mother. He'd often act out in an attempt to upset his father, and aimed his goals in the opposite of what his father wanted. Mark thought his father's Navy career mattered more to him than his family, only to later learn that David was on track to be an Admiral and turned down the chance in order to come home and help Mark with a bully. The most memorable time of his childhood was when his family was in Hawaii, a time he would later recreate with daughter Rachel during the last few weeks of his life.

While still in High School Mark met and soon after developed a romantic relationship with Jennifer (Jen). Presumably their relationship kept all the way through college, (Mark admitted he kept faithful and never had sex with another in all the times he was with her. This does not necessarily mean she wasn't.) and as he entered medical school sometime before or during married Jen, and his daughter, Rachel was born shortly afterwards. While in medical school he met future colleague Peter Benton. He then completed his internship and residency in the Emergency Department of County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, from there he was awarded the position of Chief Resident of the Emergency Department. While there, Mark developed close friendships with Dr. Doug Ross a pediatrician, Dr.Susan Lewis an ER resident, and nurse manager Carol Hathaway. Although Mark enjoys working the ER, the many nights on call and the long hours added to Jen's decision to complete law school have strained their marriage.



Mark Greene in the ER Season 1 premiere episode, "24 Hours".

In the pilot episode, which takes place on St. Patrick's Day 1994, Dr. Greene is awakened in the first scene to help sober up his long-time friend Doug, the ER resident often comes in to sober up on his nights off. Also the friendship between him and Susan is shown to be close as the two confide in each other about their personal lives while on break.

Within the same episode, Jen gets Mark to visit a private practice near the hospital to explore the possibility of leaving his job at the ER, to give him more family-friendly hours. Mark decides the "clean" medicine isn't his cup of tea. Back at the ER, Mark removes a hangnail from an older woman, who wanted him to remove it despite the fact she'd be charged $180.

Later during the night, Mark has to urge everyone to get back to work when Carol is rushed into the ER, after a shocking suicide attempt.

During the first season, Dr. Greene's marriage becomes increasingly shaky. When offered an attending physician's position by David Morgenstern, Mark readily accepts, much to Jen's chagrin. As a newly admitted member of the bar, Jen has been clerking in Milwaukee for a judge and becomes increasingly tired of commuting and living separately to accommodate Mark's job. She begins an affair with a coworker, and the marriage soon ends, with Rachel and Jen leaving Chicago first for Milwaukee, and later for St. Louis. Though he spent much time battling his ex-wife about living arrangements and visitation, Mark finally acquiesces when Jen tells him about St. Louis. He tells his daughter, a teenager by then, not to "grow up too fast."

In "Love's Labor Lost", Mark made miscalculations in treating a pregnant woman that led to her death in childbirth, and the after-effects of this case lingered long into Season 2.</ [1][2] Mark and Susan have their picture taken in a photo booth (1996).In "A Miracle Happens Here", a Christmas episode, Mark explains that he is the son of an agnostic Jew and a lapsed Catholic. He lights a Hanukkah candle for a Holocaust survivor.[2] Mark understands some Yiddish.[3]

Mark's career becomes more difficult as he begins needing to make decisions that periodically alienate his friends, such as selecting Dr. Kerry Weaver over another applicant, which angered Susan Lewis first because the other applicant was a good friend of hers, and later because she bristled under Kerry's demanding, sometimes harsh leadership style. His friendship with Dr. Ross becomes strained as his administrative tasks often put him at odds with Doug's wild ways and he was disgusted by Doug's personal problems to the point where he briefly overruled and belittled Doug's abilities as a physician, then reconciled with his friend. His love life took a more drastic downward spin when his feelings for Dr. Lewis became so noticed that he's driven to ask her out, only to have her leave for Phoenix, Arizona. He suffers emotionally again after he is attacked in the ER men's room in the episode "Random Acts", initially believed to be a retaliatory act to avenge the death of a patient who may have been "mistreated" by Dr. Greene because of the patient's race. Later on, though, it was strongly implied that his assailant was a psychotic individual who was randomly attacking doctors. Mark bought a gun and later used it to scare away a crowd of punks on a train, but decided to toss the gun in the river soon afterwards. He would struggle through a large part of Season 4, but came to terms with it in Season 5 when he helped Nigerian-born janitor Mobilage Ekabo reveal his memories of torture by talking about the attack with him in the same men's room where Mark was attacked, allowing him to obtain political asylum and avoid deportation.

With the passing of Doug's father comes the re-entrance of Mark's parents. He and Doug travel to California to settle Doug's father's affairs (Doug's father and new wife were both killed in a car wreck) and take a side trip to visit Mark's parents, who live near San Diego. His relationship with his father David is still strained, and his mother suffers from a string of medical conditions associated with aging. Mark also finds out that his mother viewed his birth as a mistake, as she didn't know his father well and had to get married quickly when she got pregnant. Mark's distrust of the Navy puts him at odds with David when he and Mark fight over whether Ruth should be treated in a base hospital or a civilian hospital. Ruth eventually dies and Mark goes to her funeral, leaving him on edge when he clashes with Kerry Weaver over Robert Romano's successful drive for the chief of staff position.

Mark and his father eventually reach a reconciliation when Mark's mother becomes increasingly ill and David relies on Mark more often for advice. Mark's father later acknowledges he's proud of his son's accomplishments as a doctor when he relates that he served on an aircraft carrier and that he worked 12 hour shifts during air sorties, much like his son works long shifts in the ER where lives are also at stake.

Mark's personal life after his marriage is tumultuous. He takes after Doug, having several flings and an affair with Nurse Chuny Marquez, and even setting up three dates in one day. He has a brief relationship with a needy desk clerk, Cynthia Hooper (played by Mariska Hargitay in season 4). Hooper leaves him after she finds out Mark doesn't really love her. Mark eventually meets a British surgeon, Elizabeth Corday. Corday is in Chicago on an exchange program, under the guidance of Dr. Romano. Romano's advances on Corday fail, as does her relationship with Peter Benton. Eventually, Mark and Elizabeth begin dating. Mark discovers that his father is suffering from advanced lung cancer. After David loses his wife and develops end stage lung cancer, he realises that he can no longer live alone, and he moves to Chicago and stays with Mark. After an emotional bonding that healed their difficult relationship from Mark's youth, David dies. Mark and Elizabeth begin a more serious relationship and move in together. Mark later buys a house, and Elizabeth and he are married. Together they have one daughter, Ella. Their happiness is threatened, though, when the abusive father of a patient goes on a killing rampage after losing his son to social workers. In a bid to get his son back, he kills and injures a number of people and even attempts to go after Elizabeth and Ella. After being shot by an armed bystander, he is brought to the ER. During his treatment, he is being transferred by Mark to the operating room when he goes into arrest. Alone in the elevator, Mark decides to withhold defibrillation and allows him to go into vfib and die. He later falsifies records to show that he did attempt to save him. Elizabeth suspects what Mark did but lets the matter drop without any further discussion. Later, Rachel appears in Chicago unannounced, citing arguments with her mother, and moves in with Mark and a very reluctant Elizabeth. She is found to be sneaking out of the house at night and using drugs, which clouds her relationship with her stepmother.


Mark begins having medical problems and is eventually diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, that is thought to be inoperable, having invaded the Broca's region of the brain, associated with speech and cognition. Given little time, Mark seeks a second opinion from New York City neurosurgeon, Dr. Burke, which proves more positive. Mark's surgery is performed by Burke and things appear to be positive, although it takes him a while to return to his old self and get back to his full function as a physician. A year or so later, the tumor returns, and Mark finds out that it is truly inoperable.

At this point, Rachel has run away from St. Louis and is staying with Mark and Elizabeth. Though she vehemently denies it, her recreational drug use becomes apparent when baby Ella gets hold of some ecstasy in her backpack and nearly dies after ingesting it in the episode "Damage is Done". When Mark refuses to throw Rachel out of the house, Elizabeth says she won't return home with Ella as long as Rachel is there and, with Ella, Elizabeth leaves Mark and moves into a hotel. Unwilling to tell Elizabeth about his condition, Mark stays with Susan Lewis during the course of his chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Elizabeth later finds out the truth and wants to come home, but Mark tells her she shouldn't pretend to be his wife just because he's sick; she eventually returns anyway and begins helping Mark as his terminal illness advances.

Eventually, however, he resigns himself to his fate and decides to halt the debilitating treatments. On his last day in the ER, he meets with the same older woman that viewers saw on the first episode of ER. She again has a hangnail, and complains about how painful it is. Mark tells her that he has an inoperable tumor, asks another doctor to treat her, and tells the patient not to return to the ER again. He leaves the ER, stops his chemotherapy treatments, tells John Carter that he will now "set the tone" and takes Rachel on a last-minute trip to Hawaii to rebuild his relationship with her and relive happier times.

In the episode "The Letter" he had written a letter about his sentiments about the Chicago County ER where he had worked for many years and the staff he had worked with throughout the years. The letter was sent by Elizabeth detailing that Mark had died that morning around 6 A.M. and to show the staff at the ER what he thought of them. The letter and the news of his passing sent many of the ER's staff that day into emotional turmoil. It was also revealed in the episode by Susan Lewis that he died at the age of 38, suggesting that he was born around 1963-1964.

After several moves around the island and some conflict with a surly Rachel, he suffers from increased symptoms, prompting Rachel to call Elizabeth, who comes to Hawaii with Ella. One night, Rachel comes to Mark's room while he sleeps. Mark awakens and smiles at Rachel, telling her with slurred speech that he was just dreaming of her and how she used to love balloons. He tells her that he was trying to think of a piece of advice that every father should tell his daughter, and tells her to be generous with her time, her love, and her life. Rachel tells Mark that she remembers a lullaby that Mark used to sing her when she was a baby and slips a pair of headphones on his head and plays Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's rendition of "Over The Rainbow" for him as he smiles and falls back asleep. While the song plays, he is seen walking through an empty ER. The next morning, Elizabeth discovers that he has died.

Mark's body is returned to Chicago, where he is buried. Many of his friends and colleagues come to the funeral: John Carter, Peter Benton, Kerry Weaver, Abby Lockhart, Luka Kovač, Susan Lewis, Jing-Mei Chen, Robert Romano, Jerry Markovic, Lydia Wright, Frank Martin, Donald Anspaugh, William "Wild Willy" Swift (played by Michael Ironside in 1994), Haleh Adams, Michael Gallant, Cleo Finch, Jen, Rachel, Ella, and Elizabeth. After the funeral, Rachel asks Elizabeth if she can visit to see Ella; Elizabeth responds "Of course, she's your sister." Rachel goes back to living with her mother in St. Louis, but later returns to Chicago when the time comes to select a college, as well as asking a bemused Elizabeth to help her acquire effective birth control pills. In the April 2009 ER series finale, she returns to County General to interview for a spot as a med student.


Dr. Mark Greene was written out of the series because actor Anthony Edwards had decided that he wanted to move on to other opportunities. Greene was shown in an old Christmas photo in Season 10's "Freefall," alongside Abby and Drs. Lewis, Carter, and Kovac. He also appears in photos included in the slideshow shown at Dr. Carter's farewell party in the Season 11 episode "The Show Must Go On". Greene was also heard in a voice-over telling Carter that he needed to "set the tone" in the ER (which, incidentally, was what David Morgenstern told Dr. Greene in the pilot episode). In the Season 12 episode "Body and Soul," he is mentioned during a flashback to 2002, when Dr. Pratt tells his patient, Nate Lennox (James Woods), that the reason the ER has few staff working is because they are at Greene's funeral. In Season 14's "Blackout," Nurse Chuny Marquez says that she can't believe the ER is going to be led by Pratt and Morris and says how she remembers when Mark Greene and Doug Ross used to run the place. Nurse Sam Taggart then says, "Who?", since she started working in the ER long after they had left.

Return to the series

In 2008, ER producers announced that Edwards would reprise his role for the series' final season, with Dr. Greene appearing in flashbacks in the episode "Heal Thyself" shedding light on Dr. Catherine Banfield's (played by Angela Bassett) past.

On November 13, 2008, over 6 years after his exit from the show, Anthony Edwards returned as Dr. Mark Greene. The flashback episode took place in 2002, just months before Greene's death and revealed an encounter he had with Catherine Banfield, 6 years before she began working in that same emergency room. He was treating Banfield's son Darryl who had a debilitating disease which turned out to be leukemia. The story appeared to take place at the point in Season 8 when Mark and Elizabeth were reconciling after she learned his tumor had recurred. Mark takes on the mysterious case to save the 5 year old. He has a run-in with Kerry Weaver and Robert Romano about putting this case ahead of his chemo treatment which took a toll on him throughout that day. Darryl dies in the ER but it was Mark's heroic actions that triggered Catherine in the present day to help save a young girl from drowning, and may have also inspired her to work full time at County. During their encounter, Cate kept pressing Mark, who told her to stop being a doctor and to start being a mother. Cate gave the same advice to the young girl's mother.

In the season 15 episode The Book of Abby, long-serving nurse Haleh Adams shows the departing Abby Lockhart a closet wall where all the past doctors and employees have put their locker name tags. Amongst them, the tag "Greene" can be seen.


The ER Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Mark Greene.


  1. ^ Christopher Chulack; John Wells (1996-09-26). "Dr. Carter, I Presume". ER. episode 1. season 2. NBC.
  2. ^ Season 2, Episode 10.
  3. ^ The expression Loch in kop.
Other offices
Preceded by


Chief Resident


Succeeded by Kerry Weaver
230px-Mark Greene
Anthonyedwards l

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.