Doctors and actors have more in common than you think. Having a clear speaking voice and sound diction not only helps thespians but has also proved to be a valued attribute for doctors who seek to convey a reassuring bedside manner. So it’s little surprise that there are so many convincing portrayals of doctors on the small and big screen – here is a list of ten of the best TV and film doctors.
10. Doctor Leonard McCoy
The Starship Enterprise had quite a neurotic workforce. In the boiler room, Scotty was forever despairing of the orders he was given by Captain Kirk. And in the medical wing, Dr. Leonard McCoy, known by his colleagues as ‘Bones’, also had a ‘I can’t do attitude’ – one which didn’t stop him solving most medical cases after much shaking of his head and bulging of his eyes.
9. Doctor Doogie Howser, M.D.
Isn’t it annoying the way some people have their life and career mapped out from an early age? When most of his school friends were playing (innocent) games of doctors and nurses in the Wendy House, Doogie Howser was curing the sick and the lame of Los Angeles.
8. Doctor Legg, EastEnders
Bushy-eyebrowed Doctor Harold Legg was one of the 23 original cast members of British TV soap opera EastEnders. During his time as a regular character the kindly doctor, who was played by Leonard Fenton, saw to the health needs of characters such as Dirty Den, Lofty and Pat Butcher. Now, Fenton only returns for cameo appearances; normally at the funerals of the key characters whose health he looked after!
7. Doctor Kildare
Popular 1960s TV series Dr. Kildare helped launch the acting career of Richard Chamberlain. The young doctor is told in the first episode that his job is “to keep people alive not tell them how to live”. While he followed the first half of this piece of advice he ignored the second bit and became one of TV’s most popular docs.
6. Doctor Doug Ross
Long before he turned his attention to rabble-rousing at political rallies, George Clooney starred as Dr. Doug Ross in American TV drama ER. Clooney won a legion of female fans in the role – many of whom openly fantasised about marrying the dishy TV doctor. Amazingly, he’s still single!
5. Doctor Zhivago
Omar Sharif is another heartthrob to have played a doctor; taking the title role in the 1965 David Lean film Doctor Zhivago.
4. Doctor Rumack
It’s always reassuring to know that there’s a doctor on board an aeroplane in case there’s an emergency. But if the doctor in question is anything like Dr. Barry Rumack from the 1980 comedy film Airplane then you’re probably doomed. Rumack, played by the late, great Leslie Nielsen, is the character who, when asked “Surely you can’t be serious?” replies, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.”
3. Doctor Who
He’s not a real doctor, he’s just a Time Lord but he still deserves inclusion in this list. What other doctor has the ability to re-generate themselves every time there is a severe spot of bother?
2. Doctor Watson
Sherlock Holmes would probably solve cases a lot more quickly without his bumbling sidekick but life just wouldn’t be as much fun without Watson’s reassuring companionship. And who else but Watson could drag Holmes out of opium dens when the erratic genius embarks on one of his notorious benders?
1. Doctor Hannibal Lecter
If only Dr. Hannibal Lecter could have applied his ferocious intellect for good rather than evil purposes. Played by Anthony Hopkins in the film Silence of Lambs, Lecter gives a whole new sinister meaning to the phrase ‘prison doctor’.
James Christie writes for Thomson Local Business Directory. Use Thomson to find doctors near you.