An actress who co-starred with George Clooney on the series “ER” was fatally shot by Los Angeles police who thought she aimed a gun at them.
The landlord called police to check on Vanessa Marquez and when South Pasadena police arrived they found the 49-year-old actress at home, suffering from seizures and “unable to take care of herself,” according to Variety.
A mental health professional as well as first responders were called to the home at the 1100 block of Fremont Avenue.
Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza of the South Pasadena Police Department said the former “ER” actress appeared to be having “mental problems,” and that she seemed to be “gravely disabled.”
“While speaking to her, officers became aware she was possibly suffering from mental health issues, became uncooperative, and appeared to be unable to care for herself,” a statement to USA Today read. “They continued to speak to her for over an hour and a half in an attempt to offer her medical care. She then armed herself with a handgun and pointed it at the officers, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Mendoza confirmed to USA Today on Friday that officers thought the weapon was a semi-automatic handgun but it was only a BB gun.
Marquez was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The actress played nurse Wendy Goldman on the first three seasons of NBC’s long-running medical drama, “ER.” Last year, she accused Clooney of being part of an effort to get her “blacklisted” following her speaking out about alleged sexual misconduct from male co-stars on the show.
Clooney denied knowing anything about Marquez’ allegations.
“I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted,” the actor had responded. “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. If she was told I was involved in any decision about her career, then she was lied to. The fact that I couldn’t affect her career is only surpassed by the fact that I wouldn’t.”
According to USA Today:
Terence Towles Canote, a close friend of Marquez’s, told the Associated Press that the actress was having health and financial problems but that she showed no signs of depression or other mental troubles. She still talked about her dream of winning an Oscar one day and was hopeful for a career comeback, he said.
“She was looking forward to life,” Canote said. “This is not a woman who wanted to die.”
Marquez posted extensively on Facebook and elsewhere about her health problems, saying she was terminally ill and had seizures and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestine if gluten is ingested.
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips, who co-starred with Marquez in the 1988 drama “Stand and Deliver,” tweeted that he was “sick to learn of the tragic passing of my friend.”
Heart sick to learn of the tragic passing of my friend, Vanessa Marquez. I was not aware of the pain she endured due to her conditions and saddened to think that they may have contributed to her untimely demise. Her light and her soul still shine in the performances she gave us. https://t.co/eq43Uex4Xx
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) September 1, 2018
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