by Chris Harnick | Wed., May. 6, 2020 12:20 PM
Margulies, who is new to the social media platform, went to Instagram to wish Clooney a happy birthday with a photo from her final series regular appearance on ER. Clooney and Margulies, both original cast members on the long-running medical drama, played star-crossed lovers Doug Ross and Carol Hathaway on ER. Clooney left in season five, Margulies followed at the end of season six when her character left Chicago to reunite with Doug in Seattle. Clooney's appearance was kept a secret from pretty much everyone.
To accomplish Clooney's surprise appearance, executive producer John Wells said he convinced production company Warner Bros. to give them a private jet to get to Seattle and shoot the scene with a small crew. Clooney told EW aside from Margulies, nobody in the cast knew. "The only people who knew were Julianna, John Wells, our cinematographer, our sound guy, and one grip, I think," Clooney said.
Wells kept the film—ER was shot on film at the time¬—home with him to protect the secret. It was never in the script. NBC didn't see the scene until it aired.
"Happy Birthday to my sweet pal George Clooney. This picture was taken right after we filmed our very last scene together in Seattle for #ER," Margulies captioned the photo, including the hashtags: #staysafe #dontdrinkbleach #dontinjectlysol #listentoscience.
Both Margulies and Clooney eventually as their ER characters for the show's final season in 2009.