Vanessa Marquez, who recurred as nurse Wendy Goldman on early seasons of the 1990s hit medical drama ER and later accused co-star George Clooney of blacklisting her when she spoke out about alleged harassment on the show, died Thursday in an officer-involved shooting at her South Pasadena home. She was 49. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the news:
South Pasadena police officers were conducting a welfare check at Marquez’s home when she allegedly pulled out a “BB-type” replica gun, causing an officer to open fire in response, according to police.
Marquez was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.
At a press conference later Thursday, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the L.A. Sheriff’s homicide bureau described the incident, saying officers were called to the scene by a landlord who reported that the woman was in some kind of trouble. Police said they had been called to the woman’s residence in the past for help, according to the South Pasadenan.
“At the time [of the shooting] there was an LA County mental health clinician here with the officers,” Mendoza said. “They began to communicate with her, she became very uncooperative, and during that contact she armed herself with a handgun, she pointed it at the officers and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
Mendoza said the woman “was undergoing some medical problems, some seizures, it appeared that the female was gravely disabled,” according to the publication.
Marquez made headlines last year when she tweeted that Clooney “helped blacklist me when I spoke up about harassment on ER.” As reported by Deadline, Clooney released a statement at the time saying: “I had no idea Vanessa was blacklisted. 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.“
In addition to ER, Marquez’s other credits include playing Ana Delgado in the feature Stand and Deliver, a recurring role on Malcolm and Eddie and guest roles on Melrose Place and as the Cuban ambassador’s secretary in the 1992 Seinfeld episode “The Cheever Letters.” Her most recent TV credit was in 2001 TV movie Fire & Ice.