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Noah Wyle is back on the small screen courtesy of TNT’s new alien-invasion drama Falling Skies. Wyle plays Tom Mason, a former Boston history professor tasked with leading a pack of resistance fighters against the aliens as he works to reunite his family and free his middle son from alien captivity. The role marks his first regular TV series role since he rose to fame playing Dr. John Carter on NBC’s long-running medical drama ER.
Here are five things to know about Wyle:
1. Wyle played Dr. John Carter on NBC’s ER for 254 episodes, from 1994 to 2005 and again in 2006 and 2009, earning five Emmy nominations in a row for his role as the doctor with a heart of gold. He also is a three-time Golden Globe nominee. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Falling Skies marks Wyle’s first TV series regular role since ER.
2. While taking time off from ER in 2008, Wyle kept busy with roles as Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans in Oliver Stone’s W., as well as the TV movie The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice, the third telepic in the franchise in which he stars as a librarian who protects a secret collection of artifacts. He also filmed Rod Lurie’s Nothing But the Truth, a drama based on the case of journalist Judith Miller who in 2005 was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Valerie Plame as a covert CIA operative. The film never received theatrical release after its distributor, Yari Film Group, filed for Chapter 11 protection.
3. He’s a theater fan and is actively involved with Hollywood’s Blank Theatre Company, 2nd Stage, and chairs on its board of directors, where he also serves as an artistic producer, helping to oversee its young playwrights festival. The Blank’s board of advisers also includes Debbie Reynolds, D.B. Sweeney and Vanessa Williams, among others.
4. He’s a member of the Human Rights Watch Council and involved with the nonprofit Doctors of the World. He also was the spokesman for The Cover the Uninsured campaign in 2004, which counted former Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter as co-chairs. A vegetarian, Wyle also supports animal rights and has been a spokesman for the World Wildlife Fund in 2009.
5. Taking his role as Steve Jobs beyond the small screen in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, Wyle appeared as Jobs during the 1999 keynote presentation of the Macworld Expo, where he wound up sharing the stage and being heckled by the Apple CEO.
Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit
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