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Medical Leave

Noah Wyle says this season will be his last. As the sole ''ER'' cast member who's been there for all 10 seasons, he says it's time to move on

Noah Wyle | CHECK OUT Wyle will pursue another career direction
CHECK OUT Wyle will pursue another career direction

Eleven years is enough. That's what Noah Wyle says of his tenure at ER, which begins its 11th season on Sept. 23. Wyle, the only actor who's been with the show for all 10 seasons to date, told E! on Thursday that he'll leave at the end of the upcoming season. ''I've just got other stuff going in my life right now,'' he said. ''I've got a son, I've got family and friends that said goodbye to me 12 years ago and are wondering when I'm coming back, and [I've got] this little urge to scratch a different kind of itch in my career, and it's just coming to the end of the character's run."

Wyle, who took an extended family leave last season to spend time with his newborn son, returns to a show that has seen a number of cast changes in recent years. The actors who started on the show with Wyle -- George Clooney, Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Eriq LaSalle -- are long gone, and veteran Alex Kingston is leaving mid-season. Last season's newcomers included Linda Cardellini and Parminder Nagra; coming this season will be Once and Again's Shane West and Twin Peaks' Madchen Amick, who'll play a social worker and love interest for Wyle's Dr. John Carter. ''It feels like the show is on the edge of reinventing itself,'' Wyle said. ''It's time to take it to that next evolutionary place, where names like George and Tony, Eriq, Julianna and Noah are a thing of the past, and names like Shane, Linda and Parminder are a thing of the future.''

Originally posted Sep 10, 2004
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