Mark Albert is a fictional character in the Fox Television show Ally McBeal played by James LeGros. In his introductory episode, Ally viewed Mark as a threat to her own position at Cage & Fish and as an undesirable replacement for her recently deceased friend Billy but, personality wise was much more like John Cage. Because of this, she treated Mark with open hostility, although this conflict was quickly resolved.
Introduced as a new associate for the law firm of Cage & Fish toward the end of season three, Mark was initially portrayed as both highly skilled (nicknamed "the Closer" for his unparalleled skill with closing arguments) and highly eccentric (so obsessed with dental hygiene that he had a dentist's chair installed in his office). However, despite LeGros becoming an official regular cast member in season four, the addition of Robert Downey, Jr. to the cast altered the direction of the series, and Mark's previously established eccentricities and skills were completely abandoned. Mark's role in season four was as a romantic straight man. He was first partnered with Cindy McCauliff (Lisa Edelstein), a closeted transsexual. Ally and Richard Fish both knew about Cindy being transsexual, but were forbidden to reveal her secret to Mark, since they had learned about it in a privileged conversation. Mark is later partnered with Elaine, the firm's receptionist, although Elaine's unabashed lust for other men, particularly Jackson Duper (Taye Diggs) was a stumbling block for this relationship, which finally ended after Elaine had a one-night stand with a former lover.
After the romantic storylines with Cindy and Elaine were resolved, Mark was quickly and quietly phased out of the series, and did not appear again after season four. The character's absence was never explained—a recurring characteristic of shows run by David E. Kelley (see also articles on Ally McBeal, Boston Public, and The Practice).
- Kelly, David E., Ally McBeal
- Smith, Greg M., Beautiful TV
- Watson, Elwood, Searching the Soul of Ally McBeal
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