Former “ER” actress Maura Tierney was all set to star in her new television series, “Parenthood” last year. Then it was announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which forced her to leave the show; Lauren Graham eventually replaced her.
Having undergone surgery in summer 2009, Tierney is now making her return to television in the new ABC legal drama, "The Whole Truth," which will debut on Sept. 22. Her character, Kathryn Peale, works at the Manhattan district attorney’s office as a prosecutor.
In a new interview with Parade magazine, Tierney recalled that she was at first scared to see a doctor for treatment. “I felt something, and my boyfriend at the time made me go. He said, ‘You’ve got to take care of this,’ because I was afraid. That’s one thing I will say: Don’t be afraid to go to the damn doctor. Just go!”
Tierney said she was fortunate to have insurance and a team of doctors at UCLA behind her. Sadly, as she was undergoing chemo treatment, her father also had cancer and eventually died last December.
Afterwards, Tierney went back to work, first in the theatrical production of “North Atlantic” in New York City. For her new TV series, which co-stars Rob Morrow as a defense attorney, Tierney saw humor in her character despite the show being a drama. “There’s something funny about her tunnel vision. At work, she sees things as very black and white. I don’t have that kind of clarity. I’m here… I’m there…”
On reflecting about what she had learned from her cancer experience, the actress, 45, said: “It’s a life-changing thing to be in a position of needing help and being so lucky as to get it. And to feel like that’s okay. You can’t just take care of everybody else all the time. That’s almost as perspective-changing as the illness. For someone like me, that was kind of tough.”
Selected Reading: Parade