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‘E.R.’ star Anthony Edwards saves Broadway musical opposite his wife

With just hours to spare, Edwards stepped in for Robert Joy and gave a "once in a lifetime" performance as Dr. Walker in "Girl From the North Country."
Anthony Edwards received plenty of applause for his last-minute rescue of Friday night's performance of "Girl From the North Country."
Anthony Edwards received plenty of applause for his last-minute rescue of Friday night's performance of "Girl From the North Country."Fitzroy Barrett / NBC Universal via Getty Images/Girl From the North Country on Broadway

Anthony Edwards made his Broadway musical debut with just hours' notice!

On Friday, the "E.R." actor, who played Dr. Mark Greene on the long-running medical drama, filled in for Robert Joy in the Broadway musical "Girl From the North Country," after Joy tested positive for COVID-19.

He explained how it happened in a behind-the-scenes video that was posted on the official "Girl From the North Country" Instagram page on Saturday.

Edwards, who played the role of Mr. Walker, the show’s narrator, said that he didn’t know that the show was in trouble until that afternoon, when his wife Mare Winningham called. Winningham leads "Girl From the North Country," and her performance has garnered her a 2022 Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.

"Mare called me and said, 'Hey, guess what? We've lost another and they're gonna have to cancel the show because (Robert) Joy's out... But (director) Conor is thinking, would you like to come and read the book?" Edwards explained, adding that Winningham called him around "1:30 to 2 p.m." on Friday while he was at the couple's Connecticut home. The evening's performance was scheduled for 8 p.m.

But after giving the "insane" idea some thought, he decided to give it a try, counting on the kindness of audiences.

"I was like, wow, 'This is a once in a lifetime'(moment)'," Edwards said. "I know audiences are so loving and forgiving."

"And I just thought, I love this show. I love everything about it and if this means like 800 people, 1,000 people are going to be able to see it tonight as opposed to cancel it," he said.

Although Edwards was confident that he made the right decision, he started to second-guess himself as he drove two hours from Connecticut to New York City.

"That was the one point where I was like, 'Oh no. I just ran out of gas,'" he joked.

But after taking the stage and acting opposite his wife in the night's performance, he realized that it was all worth it.

"It was fun," he said.

"I got to share the star's dressing room," he joked, referencing to the fact that he shared Winningham's dressing room because of the short notice.

The "Casa Valentina" star also thought he did a great job too.

"I am beyond impressed and proud," Winningham said. "You're fearless and fun."