NBC ANNOUNCES COURTNEY B. VANCE WILL JOIN REAL-LIFE WIFE ANGELA BASSETT ON 'ER' FOR MULTI -EPISODE STORY ARC DURING 15TH AND FINAL SEASON
BURBANK, Calif. - August 18, 2008 -- NBC announced that Courtney B. Vance will join NBC's long running show "ER" (Thursdays, 10-11 p.m. ET/PT) in multi-episode story arc during season 15. Vance will be playing the role of Russell Banfield, husband to Cate Banfield played by real-life wife, Angela Bassett. "ER" will mark the first time Vance and Bassett will be acting together.
"We are excited to see the on-screen chemistry and emotion this incredibly talented husband and wife team will bring to our show," said executive producer David Zabel. "Fans are in for a treat and we couldn't be more thrilled that they chose ER to make their first appearance together."
Vance is perhaps best known for his five-year run on NBC's drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series), for his role as New York Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver. Vance's talents also translate well to the big screen and are apparent in his roles in films such as Clint Eastwood's "Space Cowboys," Penny Marshall's "The Preacher's Wife" opposite Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington, John McTiernan's "The Hunt for Red October" and the big budget thriller "D-Tox." He was also seen in Robert Altman's small town mystery, "Cookie's Fortune," as well as "Huckleberry Finn." Vance's other feature film work includes "Hamburger Hill;" "Love and Action in Chicago," which he also co-produced; "The Last Supper," his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Bobby Seale in Gramercy Pictures "Panther;" and opposite Forest Whitaker in Tim Story's "Patriots."
On the small screen, Vance starred in the Emmy-nominated production of "The Boys Next Door," as well as the Emmy-nominated television movie, "The Tuskegee Airmen" opposite Laurence Fishburne and Andre Braugher. He starred alongside Charles S. Dutton in the feature "Blind Faith," for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best Actor. He also appeared in the production of "12 Angry Men" alongside Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott; the television movie "Ambushed;" "The Naked City;" "Whitewash;" "The Clarence Brandley Story" as Clarence Brandley; and "Percy & Thunder" alongside James Earl Jones. Vance also received recognition for his starring role in the television movie, "The Affair," in the form of a Cable Ace Award nomination for Best Actor -- and also his brilliant performance in the Emmy-nominated production of August Wilson's "The Piano Lesson."
Most recently, Vance and wife Angela Bassett completed their first book, Friends: A Love Story that chronicles their story about healthy relationships, love and family.
NBC renewed "ER" for a 15th and final season in April. Combining the extraordinary talents of multiple award-winning producer John Wells ("The West Wing" "Third Watch"), best-selling author Michael Crichton ("Jurassic Park") and the creative team at Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, the venerated series "ER" explores the inner workings of an urban teaching hospital and the critical issues faced by the dedicated physicians and staff of its overburdened emergency room. Currently beginning its 15th season, the highly acclaimed drama series now holds the distinction of being recognized as the most Emmy�-nominated series in the history of television with 122 nominations. Crichton and Wells serve as executive producers, along with Christopher Chulack, David Zabel, Joe Sachs and Janine Sherman Barrois.
A winner of the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, the series has also earned 22 Emmy� Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series in 1996, among many accolades. In addition, the cast has been honored with four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Drama Series.
The long-running series stars Maura Tierney ("Diggers," "Welcome to Mooseport,"), Mekhi Phifer ("Dawn of the Dead," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "8 Mile," "Slow Burn"), Parminder Nagra ("Ella Enchanted," "Bend It Like Beckham"), Linda Cardellini ("Brokeback Mountain, "Scooby-Doo" films, "Grandma's Boy," "Freaks and Geeks"), Scott Grimes ("Band of Brothers," "American Dad," "Party of Five," "Mystery, Alaska"), John Stamos ("A Raisin in the Sun," "Jake in Progress") and David Lyons ("Blue Heelers").
On staff at County General Hospital are Abby Lockhart (Tierney), a recovering alcoholic trying her best to juggle a demanding residency and motherhood while everything around her seems to be falling apart; Dr. Greg Pratt (Phifer), an attending fighting for the chief spot on the floor as well as for a firm grasp on his love life; Neela Rasgotra (Nagra), a skilled surgical resident committed to growing in her craft as well as in her place on the surgical team; Sam Taggart (Cardellini), a spirited ER nurse who is finally getting some time to explore life and love both in and outside the hospital; Dr. Archie Morris (Grimes), the quirky-yet-talented attending dedicated to his work but constantly distracted by his own world; Tony Gates (Stamos), a paramedic-turned-doctor who has overcome numerous obstacles to take on the rigorous challenges of life in the ER and Dr. Simon Brenner (Lyons) the newest attending physician with a penchant for stirring things up.
"ER" is a production of Constant c Productions and Amblin Television in association with Warner Bros. Television.