Sherry Stringfield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sherry Stringfield
Born (1967-06-24) June 24, 1967 (age 56)
EducationState University of New York, Purchase (BFA)
Years active1989–present
Larry E. Joseph
(m. 1998; div. 2006)

Sherry Stringfield (born June 24, 1967)[1] is an American actress. She is best known for playing the role of Dr. Susan Lewis on the NBC medical drama ER, a role for which she received three Emmy Award nominations. Stringfield was a member of ER's original cast, but she quit the show during its third season, despite being contractually tied to appear in five. She returned to the role in 2001, and quit once again in 2005. She is also known for her regular roles on NYPD Blue and Guiding Light.

She has acted mainly on television, but she has also played various parts in films.

Early life and education[edit]

The eldest of three children, Stringfield was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her family briefly relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, before settling in Spring, Texas, a suburb of Houston, where Stringfield grew up.[2]

She developed a penchant for acting while attending Klein High School, where she starred in various musicals and plays including Oklahoma, Mother Courage, and Fiddler on the Roof. At 18 she attended the Acting Conservatory of SUNY at Purchase — rooming with fellow actress and student Parker Posey.[3] During that time, she appeared in numerous off-Broadway productions and learned to control and alter her Texan accent with the help of a college speech teacher.[4] Stringfield graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.[2]


Early career[edit]

She got her first role on the CBS Daytime soap opera Guiding Light, playing Christina "Blake" Thorpe from 1989 until 1992. After three years she left the show to spend a year traveling Europe, but soon returned to television on the ABC drama, NYPD Blue. She played Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Laura Kelly, the ex-wife of officer John Kelly (David Caruso) during the first season (1993–94) of the series. Unsatisfied, she was released early from her contract.[5]


Stringfield became one of the original cast members of NBC's medical drama, ER. Her personal success mirrored the show's success — she was nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress during each of her first three seasons of the show. Stringfield was contractually tied to appear in five seasons of ER; however, a desire for a "normal life" and to escape ER's grueling filming schedule prompted her to leave the drama early in its third season.[5] In order to be released from her contract, Stringfield was forced to sign a no-work agreement, which blocked her from working on television for the remainder of her original contract. Stringfield's decision to quit reportedly angered the show's executive producer, John Wells, because she left just as Dr. Lewis got embroiled in a budding romance with Anthony Edwards' Dr. Mark Greene.[5] Stringfield has commented: "I wouldn't describe the situation as pleasant. The producers were in shock. They tried to talk me out of it. It took a long time to get out of my contract."[6]

Stringfield's much publicised departure reportedly "sent a small shock wave through Hollywood"[7] and her exit episode in November 1996 attracted 37 million viewers, the biggest night of the season for the NBC network.[8] Stringfield quit just as television executive Dick Robertson was closing a deal that guaranteed the ER cast millions in future earnings from sales to cable and syndication, meaning she effectively "walked away from a fortune."[9]

Stringfield claims she was asked to reprise the role of Susan Lewis in ER several times, but turned each offer down.[10] However, following the birth of her daughter, she approached the producers of ER and then rejoined the cast in 2001, the show's eighth season.[10] "I changed my mind," Stringfield commented, "I really want to work now. It just made sense for me to go back to ER."[11] 26.7 million people watched Stringfield's return, placing the show at first place in the ratings. During her second stint in ER, Stringfield's character was featured in a special 'crossover' with NBC's New York City based police drama, Third Watch, which aired in 2002. She remained in the role for four additional seasons; however in August 2005, Stringfield announced that she would be leaving the show again as the 12th season came underway. "I am extremely grateful for the time I spent on ER," Stringfield explained. "It is a wonderful show, and there are so many people I will miss. But I'm ready for new roles and new challenges."[12] In 2009, Stringfield returned to ER for the series finale "And in the End...".[13]

Other work[edit]

After leaving ER in 1996, Stringfield taught a script analysis class and directed several plays at her alma mater. She took roles in films such as 54 (1998) and Autumn in New York (2000) and appeared in the television movies Border Line (1999) — produced by her ER co-star Anthony Edwards — and Going Home (2000), in which she starred opposite Jason Robards. She also guest-starred in the CBS drama Touched by an Angel in 1999.

In 2005, Stringfield was cast alongside Michael Michele, Blair Underwood, Esai Morales, Gary Cole and Catherine Bell in the pilot episode of the CBS drama Company Town (created by Elwood Reid; directed by Thomas Carter), playing Angie Amberson, a mother of teenagers and a whistle-blower on the investment firm where she works. Company Town failed to get picked up for the 2006 fall season. The series was produced by Jack Clements and Larry Sanitsky. In 2007 Stringfield starred in the Andrew Shea film Forfeit. She played the role of Karen, the ex-girlfriend of a clinical sociopath who schemes and plots to stage a massive robbery and sets Karen up to take the rap.[14]

In 2007, Stringfield guest-starred as attorney Nora March in the CBS drama Shark. She also played a recurring role in the HBO drama Tell Me You Love Me (previously known as Sexlife), which also aired in 2007.[15] In 2009, she appeared in The Stepfather, a remake of the 1987 American thriller film of the same name.

She appeared in an episode of the USA Network drama In Plain Sight. Stringfield also guest-starred on Law & Order in late 2008 as a ruthless court clerk and Michael Cutter's love interest. She also played Mary Jane Porter, an old girlfriend of Larry David's who runs into and then goes on a date with him in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm that aired on October 11, 2009.

In 2010, Stringfield appeared in Who Is Clark Rockefeller? playing the role of Sandra Boss.

In addition to acting, Stringfield has done voice-over work, including the voice of Eyeleen in the children's television show Blue's Clues and voicing her ER character for the PC game ER: The Game. Stringfield was also featured in the U.S. Got Milk? advertising campaign, despite being lactose intolerant.[16]

In 2012, Stringfield starred in The Confession, a Hallmark Channel movie and a sequel to The Shunning.[17]

In November 2013, Stringfield guest-starred in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in season 14: episode 8 titled "Helpless", playing swing shift CSI Dawn Banks.[18] In 2014, Stringfield played a recurring role on the CBS mystery Under the Dome during its second season.

In 2017, Stringfield appeared on Criminal Minds spinoff, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders as the wife of Gary Sinise's character, Jack Garrett.

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 1991 and 1993, Stringfield was nominated in the "Outstanding Villain/Villainess" category at the Soap Opera Digest Awards for her role in Guiding Light. She has also received multiple awards and award-nominations for her role as Susan Lewis in ER, including three separate Emmy Award nominations in the category "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" in 1995, 1996 and 1997. In 1995 she was nominated in the category "Favorite Female Performer" at the People's Choice Awards and in 1995 and 1996 she was nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series -Drama" category at the Golden Globe Awards.

In 1996, she won a Q Award for "Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series" and in 1997 she, along with several of her ER cast-mates, won a Screen Actors Guild Award for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series". In addition Stringfield was voted one of the "100 Sexiest Women in the World" by readers of FHM magazine in 1997.

Personal life[edit]

In the early 1990s Stringfield dated British businessman Paul Goldstein (chairman of Nevica skiwear) for nearly three years, but the pressures of a long-distance romance eventually ended the relationship.[19]

Stringfield married journalist Larry E. Joseph in October 1998; they have two children. Stringfield and Joseph divorced in January 2006 after seven years of marriage. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her two children.[citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Burnzy's Last Call Jackie
1998 54
2000 Autumn in New York Sarah Volpe
2001 Viva Las Nowhere Marguerite
2007 Forfeit Karen
2009 The Stepfather Leah
2011 Born to Race Lisa Abrams Direct-to-video
2015 Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief Sara Northrup Voice
2016 The Dog Lover Jackie O'Connell


Year Title Role Notes
1989–1992 Guiding Light Blake Marler Contract role
1993–1994 NYPD Blue Laura Michaels Kelly 22 episodes
1994–1996; 2001–2005; 2009 ER Dr. Susan Lewis 142 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1996-1997)
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series (1996)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1996-1997)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1995-1997)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1995)
1999 Border Line Allison Westlin Television movie
1999 Touched by an Angel Major Josephine Saunders Episode: "Godspeed"
2000–2001 Blue's Clues Dr. Eyeleen 2 episodes
2002 Third Watch Dr. Susan Lewis Episode: "Unleashed"
2007 Shark Nora March 2 episodes
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Rita 6 episodes
2008 In Plain Sight Marci Allen Episode: "Who Shot Jay Arnstein?"
2008 Law & Order Carly Episode: "Zero"
2009 Curb Your Enthusiasm Mary Jane Porter Episode: "The Hot Towel"
2010 Who Is Clark Rockefeller? Sandra Boss Television movie
2010 Night and Day Elizabeth Hollister Television movie
2011 The Shunning Laura Mayfield-Bennett Television movie
2011 Criminal Behavior Molly Collins Television movie
2012 Hornet's Nest Molly West Television movie
2013 The Confession Laura Mayfield Bennett Television movie
2013 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Dawn Banks Episode: "Helpless"
2014 Runaway Miranda Television movie
2014 Under The Dome Pauline Rennie Recurring; 9 episodes
2016–2017 Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Karen Garrett Recurring; 4 episodes

Video games[edit]

Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2005 ER: The Game Susan Lewis Voice

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Horoscopes June 24, 2022: Mindy Kaling, invest in yourself
  2. ^ a b "Sherry Stringfield". tvnz. Archived from the original on January 29, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  3. ^ "Parker Posey". Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  4. ^ "The Reluctant Yankee". Soap Opera. March 20, 1990. Archived from the original on December 26, 2004. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Kennedy, Dana (October 17, 1997). "Why I left ER, by Sherry Stringfield". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  6. ^ Kennedy, Dana (October 17, 1997). "Sherry Stringfield, the Goodbye Girl". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  7. ^ "STRINGFIELD YEARNS FOR 'NORMAL LIFE'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 22, 1996. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "ER' grabs healthy dose of ratings". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. November 26, 1996. Retrieved April 12, 2007. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Syndication means $$$$ for ER cast". The Virginian Pilot. December 9, 1990. Archived from the original on December 27, 2004. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Wenitraub, Joanne (October 17, 2001). "Actress' love of stories leads her back to ER". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  11. ^ "Dr. Lewis' return 'just made sense'". Chicago Sun-Times. October 17, 2001. Archived from the original on November 24, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  12. ^ "Sherry Stringfield quits 'ER' Again". Digital Spy. August 6, 2005. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  13. ^ "Sherry Stringfield is Back!". TV Guide. February 12, 2009. Archived from the original on February 18, 2009. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  14. ^ "Forfeit: Synopsis". Retrieved April 12, 2007.[dead link]
  15. ^ "DEVELOPMENT UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 18-22". Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  16. ^ "Sherry Stringfield". Archived from the original on December 1, 2021. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  17. ^ DeCwikiel-Kane, Dawn (March 9, 2012). "Hallmark movie filming in Randolph County". News & Record. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  18. ^ "CSI Brings on ER's Sherry Stringfield as Substitute Investigator". Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Stringfield Interview". Lifestyle Magazine. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved April 12, 2007.

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