Vanessa Marquez, a series regular actress on NBC’s hit drama “ER” from 1994-1997, was shot and killed by a South Pasadena PD officer during a welfare check early Thursday afternoon. She was 49.
During the welfare check at the 1100 Block of Fremont Avenue, Marquez was having seizures and possibly suffering from mental health issues, Lieutenant Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau told TheWrap. After more than 90 minutes of officers trying to convince an uncooperative Marquez to seek care, Mendoza says the actress and South Pasadena resident pulled out a weapon and pointed it at police officers. Though it was later identified to be a BB gun, Mendoza said it was a replica of a semi-automatic handgun, and police believed the weapon to be a real firearm.
An officer or officers shot Mendoza, who was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. No officers were injured.
Marquez played Nurse Wendy Goldman on “ER” Marquez made headlines last year after accusing the show’s star George Clooney of having her blacklisted after she reported suffering sexual and racial harassment on the set of the NBC medical drama.
“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” Clooney said in a statement to TheWrap back in October. “I take her at her word. I was not a writer or a producer or a director on that show. I had nothing to do with casting. I was an actor and only an actor.”
Clooney, who starred as Doug Ross on the series for five seasons, denied having any influence on casting the show or on Marquez’s career. “If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career then she was lied to,” he said. “The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”
Marquez accused the cast and producers of “ER” of conspiring to have her blacklisted after she reported being sexually harassed and being discriminated against on the basis of race.
“B.S.” she tweeted when Clooney condemned former pal Harvey Weinstein after the movie producer was accused of sexual assault and harassment by multiple women. “Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke up [about] harassment on ER ‘Women who don’t play the game lose career’ I did.”
Marquez, who played Nurse Wendy Goldman in 27 episodes of “ER,” accused Eriq La Salle and a camera operator of being “p— grabbers,” which she said she reported to showrunner John Wells and to the show’s production company, Warner Bros.
Other credits of Marquez’s include three episodes of 1999 sitcom “Malcolm & Eddie” and an episode of “Melrose Place.” She appeared on the “Cheever Letters” episode of “Seinfeld,” and had roles in movies “Stand and Deliver” and “Blood In, Blood Out.”
The LASD is continuing to assist South Pasadena PD with the officer-involved shooting investigation.
Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Marquez’s passing. NBC did not have a comment.
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