Actress Barbara Whinnery

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 30, 2001

What happened to Barbara Whinnery? She played a doctor on St. Elsewhere.
—Ray L., Oklahoma

"I seem to have a hospital theme going in my career," Barbara Whinnery jokes. In addition to her four-year stint on St. Elsewhere, Whinnery has had roles on ER, Diagnosis Murder, and General Hospital. That theme almost became her profession. The Berkeley, Calif., native originally planned on a career as a biologist. "But when I got to college as a biology major, I found out that I had to take a lot of chemistry classes," she says with a laugh. She decided a nice low-pressure drama class would break up a tough class schedule. And that's where she found her true calling. Soon, she decided to study acting full time and went to San Francisco's Actor's Conservatory Theater to learn her craft. Two of her classmates at ACT—Denzel Washington and Cynthia Sikes—became her co-stars in St. Elsewhere. Today, in addition to acting on television, she writes and performs in plays in the Los Angeles area. She became a foster parent about three years ago.