List of Diagnosis: Murder characters

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This is a list of characters in the drama/murder mystery television show, Diagnosis: Murder, which ran from 1993-2001. The characters are listed alphabetically by their last name or by the name which appears in the episode credits.

Tanis Archer[edit]

Tanis Archer
First appearance Retribution Part 1
Last appearance Down Among The Dead Men
Portrayed by Susan Gibney
Information
Occupation Police Detective

Tanis Archer, played by, (Susan Gibney) is Steve Sloan's 2nd partner. In The Diagnosis Murder Books it mentions her and Steve dated once but that it didn't work out.

She appears from seasons 5-6.


Amanda Bentley[edit]

Amanda Bentley
First appearance Diagnosis of Murder
Last appearance Without Warning
Portrayed by Cynthia Gibb and Victoria Rowell
Information
Occupation Medical examiner/pathologist for Community General Hospital Chief of Pathology

Dr. Amanda Bentley is a medical examiner/pathologist. She appears in seasons 1-8 and is played by Victoria Rowell. However, in the first three TV Movies (Diagnosis of Murder, The House on Sycamore Street and A Twist of the Knife), Amanda is played by Cynthia Gibb. Victoria Rowell appeared in all the episodes of the series, with the exception of 11 (both sporadically and during the last season) on (CBS).

In The first three TV movies Amanda Bentley (Cynthia Gibb) had feelings for Jack Parker (Stephen Caffrey). But she denied these feelings for him for the first two TV movies. In The TV movies she was not adopted and her father was a doctor who wanted her to leave Community General Hospital and open up a practice with him financing it.

Dr. Amanda Bentley is a colleague of Dr. Mark Sloan's, with her specialization being pathology. Fiercely intelligent, beautiful and loyal to her friends, it is revealed in the series that the character of Amanda is an orphan (just as Victoria Rowell is), taken to an orphanage when she was younger and soon adopted. Her adopted father was an owner of a yacht, and his sailors were always good friends with the family. When she was six, Amanda took up ballet. She stopped dancing for medical school, but returns to it at the end of season eight. She once fainted during medical school at the sight of her first corpse. She is constantly kidded about it in the first two seasons. It was revealed in season 1 that she was considering changing her specialty. In the episode Reunion with Murder Amanda got a Guard Dog named Yoda. And in the episode "Confession" her and hers kids adopt a Rabbit. In The Diagnosis Murder books written By Executive Producer and Writer Lee Goldberg, it takes place right after the end of season 6 right when he left the show, which means seasons 7-8 + The 2 reunion Telefilms are not considered canon by the books. In The last book "The Last Word" it has Amanda being framed for selling body parts out of her morgue. At The end of the book after she was proved innocent The Hospital and The County Coroner's Office offer her her job back, but she thinks she might not go back there because they aren't really wanted there.

At one point during the show Amanda's character is married once to Mr. Colin Livingston, a military man. In later episodes it is made clear that she is separated from Colin, however whether this is the result of his death in a plane crash or a divorce varies from one episode to the next.

Amanda's character has a child from her marriage with Colin, her son, CJ (Colin Jesse). CJ was delivered by the character of Jesse and Mark is chosen to be his godfather. Later in the series, she adopts another boy, named Deon, from his abusive parents.


Norman Briggs[edit]

Norman Briggs
First appearance Miracle Cure
Last appearance The Murder Of Mark Sloan
Portrayed by Michael Tucci
Information
Occupation Head of Administration for Community General Hospital

Norman Briggs, played by Michael Tucci, is the Head of Administration for Community General Hospital.

Norman attended Yale University. He graduated in 1978, and was voted "Most Popular". Before going to graduate school, he served in the Peace Corps, and was sent to Nigeria.

He took his first job at Community General, two years before Dr. Jack Stewart or Dr. Amanda Bentley came.

In a lot of episodes Norman talks about his mother "Minnie Briggs". He's constantly worried about his mother and what his mother thinks. He also has a sister named "Marie Briggs".

Throughout the show, Norman shows measurable contempt for Dr. Mark Sloan's solving cases for the LAPD/his son Steve. Norman feels it takes Mark away from his patients, and thus is not giving them the attention they deserve. To please Norman, Mark often lies to him about his involvement with cases.

Though not popular with the staff at Community General (And well aware of that fact), he is still deeply committed to the work of the Hospital, and his efforts at managing to balance the books allowing the Hospital to continue to function, and in fact prosper, are heroic in their own right.

He now volunteers at the Malone Foundation, a trust fund dedicated to giving money to charity or free clinics. Norman enjoys this job because he says it is good to give money, knowing it will help people, instead of "pinching pennies" as he does at Community General.

The characters appears in the four first seasons only.


Cheryl[edit]

Cheryl
First appearance "Jake's Women"
Last appearance "On The Beach"
Portrayed by Charmin Lee
Information
Occupation Police Detective

Cheryl, played by (Charmin Lee) is Steve Sloan's 2nd partner. She has feelings for Steve and he has feelings for her. They thought about dating each other after she was divorced.

She appears from seasons 7-8.



Kate Hamilton[edit]

Kate Hamilton
First appearance Diagnosis Of Murder
Last appearance The House On Sycamore Street
Portrayed by Mariette Hartley
Information
Occupation Head of Administration for Community General Hospital

Kate Hamilton, played by (Mariette Hartley) is the Head of Administration for Community General Hospital. Her and Mark have feelings for each other.

She appears in the first two TV movies only.

In The 3rd Diagnosis Murder book "The Shooting Script" it says in a file that Noah Dent has about Past Administrators that Dr. Sloan defanged her, convincing her to quit her job, sell her home, and use the proceeds to establish a nonprofit food bank in the inner city of Los Angeles.


Susan Hillard[edit]

Susan Hillard
First appearance Drill for Death
Last appearance "Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of My Life"
Portrayed by Kim Little
Information
Occupation Nurse for Community General Hospital

Nurse Susan Hillard, played by (Kim Little) is Jesse Travis's Girlfriend from the 5th to the 6th seasons.

In one of the episodes it mentions she's originally from Oklahoma.

In The 7th season episode "Bringing Up Barbie" it mentions that Susan Hillard dumps Jesse for a Chiropator. But In the Diagnosis Murder Books which are written by Lee Goldberg one of the Writers and Executive Producers of the show has it that seasons 7-8 and the 2 Reunion Telefilms never happened. It has Susan Hillard in most of the eight books and in the sixth book "The Dead Letter" her and Jesse get married. In the last book "The Last Word" it Has Jesse and Susan Travis framed for contaminating organs and murdering several people. Carter Sweeney was behind it and by the end of the book Mark proves them innocent. Community General Hospital offers both Jesse and Susan their jobs back but, they think that they don't really want them there so they think they will find new jobs.


Josie[edit]

Josie
First appearance "It Never Entered My Mind" from "Jake and The Fatman"
Last appearance "It Never Entered My Mind" from "Jake and The Fatman"
Portrayed by Ally Walker
Information
Occupation Medical Student for Clairemont Hospital

Josie, played by (Ally Walker) is A Medical student at Clairemont Hospital and a close friend of Dr. Mark Sloan.

When Dr. Mark Sloan was accused of Murdering Clairemont Hospital Administrator Russell Havilland, Josie, Richard, and Thad help Mark find the real murderer.


Delores Mitchell[edit]

Delores Mitchell
First appearance Miracle Cure written by James Kramer
Last appearance My Baby Is Out Of This World
Portrayed by Delores Hall
Information
Occupation Secretary for Mark Sloan at Community General Hospital

Delores Mitchell, played by Delores Hall is Dr. Mark Sloan's Secretary at Community General Hospital for the first two seasons.

In The Episode (The 13 Million Dollar Man) it mentioned that Delores Mitchell had an EX Husband.


Jack Parker[edit]

Jack Parker
First appearance Diagnosis Of Murder written by Dean Hargrove
Last appearance Diagnosis Murder TV movie : A Twist Of The Knife
Portrayed by Stephen Caffrey
Information
Occupation Medical Student for Community General Hospital

Dr. Jack Parker, played by Stephen Caffrey is a Resident at Community General Hospital, and a good friend of Dr. Mark Sloan. He is in love with Amanda Bentley (Cynthia Gibb) and he tries desperately to get a date with her. He changed his last name to his Mom's Maiden Name because he didn't want anyone to realize he was The son of Gangster Mr. Foss (Michael MacRae). He tried to get out of the shadow of his Dad's bad image. Jack Parker has a relative named Uncle Lester.

Details[edit]

Dr. Jack Parker was later replaced by Jack Stewart for the weekly series.


Richard[edit]

Richard
First appearance It Never Entered My Mind from Jake and The Fatman written by Joyce Burditt
Last appearance It Never Entered My Mind from Jake and The Fatman
Portrayed by Steven Eckholdt
Information
Occupation Medical Student for Clairemont Hospital

Richard, played by (Steven Eckholdt) is a Medical Student at Clairemont Hospital and a good friend of Dr. Mark Sloan.

When Dr. Mark Sloan was accused of Murdering Clairemont Hospital Administrator Russell Havilland, Richard Josie, and Thad help Mark find the real murderer.


Mark Sloan[edit]

Dr. Mark Sloan
Diagnosis Murder character
Portrayed by Dick Van Dyke
First appearance Diagnosis of Murder
Last appearance Without Warning
Profile
Occupation Head of Internal Medicine, Community General Hospital
Silent partner, BBQ Bob's
Residence Malibu, California

Dr. Mark Sloan, played by Dick Van Dyke, has been in medicine for over 40 years and is chief of internal medicine at Community General Hospital as well as being a consultant to the LAPD. As a doctor, he is the black sheep of the family, coming from "a long line of cops" (his father was a police detective). He thought his dad left him and his when he was ten years old but his dad was murdered by his dad's partner, Danny McNamara. In 1963 Mark was going to become a cardiac surgeon but his mentor Gregory Nordhoff (David Purdham) disappeared and it looked like he embezzled $50,000. However, 34 years later his body was found where the hospital was being worked on back in 1963 and at the end of the episode his murderer was found. He refers to himself as an amateur sleuth. Dick Van Dyke was one of two actors (next to his son) to appear in all the episodes of the series, during its eight season run on (CBS).

Mark Sloan is the son of James Sloan (Lewis Smith), and his wife Henrietta Sloan . Mark also has an older sister, Dora (Betty White), who owns a travel agency. He also has a younger brother, Stacey (Jerry Van Dyke), who owns a malt shop in Arkansas and has a tendency to sleepwalk. In the episode The 13 Million Dollar Man Mark is given a Pot bellied Pig named "Miss Piggy". He probably finds her a good home. He also takes a care of a Basset Hound named "Bob" for a while and gives him to a couple of girls who live on the beach where he lives. He also has a sister in-law named Edna and a brother in-law named Earl . Mark is a widower, since his wife Katherine died of cancer a little over 10 years ago. With Katherine, he had two children. His son Steve (with whom Mark shares his Malibu beach house) is lieutenant and police detective for the LAPD. Mark and Steve mentioned in an episode that they once had a dog and it died ten years ago. Mark also has an estranged daughter, Carol Sloan Hilton (Stacey Van Dyke), a nurse, who lives in Northern California. She later married Yvette Fahd and she changed her last name so her new name is Carol Sloan Fahd. She and her Husband were Murdered in the Diagnosis Murder TV movie "A Town Without Pity". But her Dad and Brother Steve helped bring their Murderers to justice.

Before Mark and his wife Katherine had a house they had an apartment at Armacost Avenue, in West Los Angeles. In the Diagnosis Murder book "The Silent Partner" it mentioned that mentioned Mark and his wife Katherine lived for many years in a ranch style house in Brentwood California. His first home in the first two seasons was a small house at 6544 Colorado Drive, Los Angeles. Sometime later, he buys a beach house located at 3231 Beach Drive, Malibu.

To pay for medical school, Mark served in the Army during the Korean War.

Mark likes jazz and Glenn Miller, enjoys dancing (soft shoe and tap). He can play a number of instruments including the clarinet and keyboards. He is good at chess and can often be found rollerblading when his car breaks down. His party piece is magic tricks.

In The Last Book "The Last Word" Mark Sloan has his life turned upside down when Carter Sweeney has his son Steve framed for murdering D.A. Neil Burnside, Jesse and Susan Travis for murdering People on the operating table with contaminated organs. Mark ends up getting fired by new Head Administrator Janet Dorcott, who she blames for causing a scandal around the Hospital. Mark asks Jack Stewart to pretend to get murdered to incite the wrath of his Uncle Elias Stewart. Uncle Elias helps Mark prove that they were framed by Carter Sweeney.


Steve Sloan[edit]

Steve Sloan
First appearance Diagnosis of Murder
Last appearance Without Warning
Portrayed by Barry Van Dyke
Information
Occupation Police Detective/Lieutenant for LAPD

Police Detective/Lieutenant Steve Sloan, played by Barry Van Dyke, is a police detective/lieutenant. The character appears in all 178 episodes across eight seasons.

Steve Sloan is the son of Dr. Mark Sloan and Mark's wife, Katherine. Katherine died of cancer when Steve was younger—throughout the series, Mark refers to her death occurring "ten years ago." Steve has one sibling, an estranged sister named Carol. (Carol is only mentioned in a few episodes.)

Right out of college, he joined the army and spent 18 months on one tour to Vietnam during the War. He took a second tour towards the end of the war. Afterwards, Steve joined the LAPD and, after season two, was promoted from homicide detective to lieutenant. Following this appointment, Steve was subsequently promoted to his own one man army, in his genuine pursuit of justice.

His apartment burns down and he moves to a separate apartment in his father's Malibu beach house. He often tries to move away, once even buying an electric house. After the house almost kills Mark, Steve begins renting it. Steve was once shot in the chest and was legally dead for three minutes until doctors were able to resuscitate him. This makes him a target in "Murder On The Hour".

At the beginning of season six, he and Dr. Jesse Travis go into business together. They co-own a barbecue restaurant called BBQ Bob's. Mark is also a silent partner.

Sloan is unmarried and it becomes a running gag that all his girlfriends turn out to be involved in murders that he is currently investigating or they end up dead.

As a character he is quite active. Sloan played Little League, where he badly broke his nose, and American football in high school. He is quite athletic, enjoying jogging and playing and watching basketball, while he also rides dirtbikes and has a small catamaran on the beach. One of his dreams was to become a stunt man and in the episode "Frontier Dad" (Season Seven) he gets this chance, though is overcome with stage fright. (This episode was also written by Barry Van Dyke and starred all of Barry's children.) He also often uses his patented dive to apprehend criminals.

In the last TV Movie "Without Warning" Steve Sloan proposes To Ellen Sharp a Tabloid-News paper, and she said yes. Ellen Sharp is also in the episode "Dance Of Danger".

In The Diagnosis Murder books written By Executive Producer and Writer Lee Goldberg, it takes place right after the end of season 6 right when he left the show, which means seasons 7-8 + The 2 reunion Telefilms are not considered canon by the books. In the last book "The Last Word" it has Steve being framed for murdering D.A. Neil Burnside by Carter Sweeney. By The end of The book The Police ask Steve to come back to the force but he doesn't thing he will go back to being a cop. He said maybe he would become a Private Investigator.

Details[edit]

Towards the end of the series, Barry began writing his own episodes, such as "Never Say Die", and "Frontier Dad". All episodes Barry wrote star his four children: Carey, Shane, Wes and Taryn. Shane becomes a regular during season eight, portraying Alex, a medical student.

Alex Smith[edit]

Alex Smith
First appearance Sleeping Murder
Last appearance Diagnosis Murder TV movie: Without Warning
Portrayed by Shane Van Dyke
Information
Occupation Medical Student for Community General Hospital

Alex Smith, is played by Shane Van Dyke and Is a Medical Student that is good friends with Mark, Steve,Jesse, and Amanda.

Alex Smith appears in the 7th-8th seasons and the last TV movie "Without Warning".


Jack Stewart[edit]

Dr. Jack Stewart
First appearance Miracle Cure written by Bruce Franklin Singer
Last appearance My Baby Is Out Of This World
Portrayed by Scott Baio
Information
Occupation Doctor for Community General Hospital

Dr. Jack Stewert, played by Scott Baio is a Doctor at Community General Hospital and is a close friend Of Dr. Mark Sloan. Jack Stewart appears only in the first two seasons. In season 3 it Mentions that Jack Stewart leaves to start his own Practice in Colorado. In the 1st Book "The Silent Partner" Jack Stewart returns to perform a surgery on a wealthy patient. Jack reveals that he left Community General because he fell in Love with Amanda Bentley, and that he didn't want to say anything to ruin their relationship as friends. Jack Stewart also appears in the last book "The Last Word". In "The Last Word" Jack Stewart pretends to get murdered so Jack's Uncle Elias Stewart will help Mark go after Carter Sweeney who framed his Son Steve for murdering D.A. Neil Burnside, and framed Amanda for selling Body parts out of her Morgue, and Jesse and Susan Travis for Murdering several people with Contaminated Organs. Jack Stewart smoothed things out with Elias Stewart after he pretended to be killed.

Family[edit]

Almost all of Jack Stewart's family is Connected to the Mob. His father was Mob Boss Charles Stewart and his Uncle's name is Elias Stewart. In The episode The 13 Million Dollar Man It mentioned that he has a relative named Uncle Lou who was a bootlegger. His godfather's name was Albert Bartell (Abe Vigoda) and he was murdered in the episode "You Can Call Me Johnson". Albert Bartell had a son named Vinnie Bartell (Mark Rolston).


Thad[edit]

Thad
First appearance "It Never Entered My Mind" written by Joyce Burditt
Last appearance "It Never Entered My Mind" written by Joyce Burditt
Portrayed by Kristoff St. John
Information
Occupation Medical Student for Clairemont Hospital

Thad ,played By (Kristoff St. John) is a Medical Student at Clairemont Hospital, and a good friend of Dr. Mark Sloan. When Dr. Mark Sloan was accused of Murdering Clairemont Hospital Administrator Russell Havilland, Thad, Richard, and Josie help Mark find the real murderer.


Jesse Travis[edit]

Dr. Jesse Travis
First appearance An Innocent Murder written by Cynthia Deming & William J Royce
Last appearance Without Warning
Portrayed by Charlie Schlatter
Information
Occupation Trauma surgeon for Community General Hospital
Co-owner of BBQ Bob's restaurant

Dr. Jesse Travis, played by Charlie Schlatter, is introduced in "An Innocent Murder," the first episode of season three. The moment Charlie Schlatter joined the cast in 1995, Jesse became a breakout character. He appeared as a regular character through season 8, missing only five episodes.[citation needed]

After medical school, Jesse became a resident at Community General, where his teacher, Dr. Mark Sloan would inspire him to be a doctor.

According to the background revealed in the show, he was born in Minnesota. His mother's name is never mentioned, but she was portrayed by Kathleen Noone. She is a podiatrist and owns a family practice in Minnesota. She is always trying to convince Jesse to move back. His father is Dane Travis (Robert Culp), who is a retired CIA spy and tennis professional. His parents are divorced. He also has a cousin named Morty.

But In the Diagnosis Murder Books which are written by Lee Goldberg one of the Writers and Executive Producers of the show has it that seasons 7-8 and the 2 Reunion Telefilms never happened. It has Susan Hillard in most of the eight books and in the sixth book "The Dead Letter" her and Jesse get married. In the last book "The Last Word" it Has Jesse and Susan Travis framed for contaminating organs and murdering several people. Carter Sweeney was behind it and by the end of the book Mark proves them innocent. Community General Hospital offers both Jesse and Susan their jobs back but, they think that they don't really want them there so they think they will find new jobs.

(Charlie Schlatter was introduced in Season Three to replace Scott Baio, who'd left the show.)


Madison Wesley[edit]

Madison Wesley
First appearance Sleeping Murder
Last appearance Getting Mad, Getting Even
Portrayed by Joanna Cassidy
Information
Occupation Dean for Community General Hospital's Medical school

Dr. Madison Wesley, played by Joanna Cassidy is the Dean for Community General's Medical School. Mark Sloan seems to have feelings for her and she seems to have feelings for him.


Esther Wiggins[edit]

Esther Wiggins
First appearance Diagnosis Of Murder written by Dean Hargrove
Last appearance The House On Sycamore Street
Portrayed by Vernee Watson-Johnson
Information
Occupation Secretary for Mark Sloan at Community General Hospital

Esther Wiggins, played by Vernee Watson-Johnson) is Dr. Mark Sloan's Secretary at Community General Hospital in the first two TV movies.


External links[edit]