As the efficient Nurse Lydia Wright on the NBC series “ER”, Ellen Crawford had the distinction of uttering its first line. Her character went on to marry Sgt. Al Grabarski, played by her real-life husband, Mike Genovese. Nurse Lydia was on staff at fictional County General Hospital for ten seasons, then returned for the series finale in an homage to the first scene of the pilot. About her role on ER as a nurse, Ellen says, "The true gift of acting is that we are allowed to be perpetual students, to step into other lives and worlds. It was an honor to explore such a challenging and noble profession as nursing."
Ellen Crawford grew up in Normal, Illinois, where she became familiar with playacting by participating in theater projects for kids. "That was the best of all worlds", says Crawford, “All the advantages of culture and education of a university town in the middle of corn fields”. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University's college of Fine Arts.
Ellen has guest starred on “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Desperate Housewives,” “Mental”, “Without A Trace”, “Boston Legal” and “CSI”, as well as many other shows. Feature films include recent releases “Angel’s Perch”, “Model Minority” and “Petunia”, as well as “The Man From Earth”, “Soldier”, “Cries Of Silence”, “The War Of The Roses” and “Remember” for which her role as an Alzheimer’s patient garnered her a Best Actress nomination at the California Independent Film Festival.
On Broadway, Ellen originated the role of the ancient and intimidating Sister Lee in “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?” Off Broadway she has appeared in “The Misunderstanding” and “A Touch of the Poet”. Regional theatre audiences have seen her as Miss Havisham in the musical “Great Expectations, Emily Dickinson in “The Belle Of Amherst”, and opposite husband Mike Genovese in both “On Golden Pond” and “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf”.