Family & Companions
Effortlessly likable, and emotionally accessible, actress Gloria Reuben rose to television fame as a member of the distinguished ensemble cast of the Emmy Award-winning medical drama "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). The Canadian-born beauty pageant winner and accomplished singer moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s to pursue an acting career, where she quickly landed roles on television series, including "21 Jump Street" (Fox, 1987-1991). Within a few short years, Reuben landed a co-starring role alongside action star Jean Claude Van Damme in the sci-fi action hit "TimeCop" (1995) and made several impressive guest spots on the crime drama "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99). This all led to her stint as stalwart Physician Assistant Jeanie Boulet for a five-season run on "ER." Initially cast as the love interest of over-confident surgeon Dr. Peter Benton (Eriq La Salle), Boulet eventually came to be regarded by many as the emotional core of the long-running series. Upon departing "ER," Reuben embarked on various endeavors, including a tour as a backup singer with Tina Turner in 2000, a starring role in another series, "Missing" (Lifetime, 2003-06), and stage work in a 2006 production of "Stuff Happens." Although fulltime work on an ongoing series continued to elude her - perhaps by choice - frequent appearances in productions like "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) and "Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost" (CBS, 2011) made it clear that Reuben's appeal and talents as an actress made her still very much in demand.
Gloria Reuben was born on June 9, 1964 in Ontario, Canada. Her mother was a singer from Jamaica and her father was a Canadian architect. Interested in music and dance from an early age, Reuben learned piano as a child and studied music and dance at the Canadian Royal Conservatory. In 1985, she briefly hosted the Canadian-produced children's show "Polka Dot Door" (TVOntario, 1971-1993), on which her half-brother, actor-singer Denis Simpson, had also served as a host since the late-1970s. Because her father was Caucasian, Reuben became a subject of brief controversy when she was crowned "Miss Black Ontario" in 1986. Attracted to acting after landing sporadic work in several commercials, Reuben made an early dramatic appearance in the Schoolbreak Special, "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book" (CBS, 1987). Encouraged by the experience, she moved to Los Angeles immediately thereafter and began to pick up guest spots on television series, including a 1988 turn on the Johnny Depp drama series "21 Jump Street" (Fox, 1987-1991).
Reuben made her feature film debut with a small part as a maternity nurse in "Immediate Family" (1989), a drama about a married couple (Glenn Close and James Woods) who choose to adopt after discovering they are unable to conceive. With her fledgling career beginning to pick up steam, she landed a recurring role on the short-lived superhero adventure series "The Flash" (CBS, 1990-91), followed by a supporting role in the erotic thriller, "Wild Orchid II: Two Shades of Blue" (1991), an "in name only" sequel to the Mickey Rourke original. She also picked up small parts in several made-for-TV movies, such as the Native American reservation-set thriller "Shadowhunter" (Showtime, 1993), starring Scott Glenn and Benjamin Bratt. Reuben's breakout role, however, came as agent Fielding, the Time Enforcement Commission officer and partner of Jean-Claude Van Damme's futuristic "TimeCop" (1994). The time-traveling action adventure proved to be Van Damme's biggest theatrical hit, and did much to help Reuben land the recurring role of Theresa Walker, a sex-crimes detective, on three 1995 episodes of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-99).
That same year saw Reuben sharing screen time alongside former "Jumpstreet" heartthrob Johnny Depp in the taut conspiracy thriller "Nick of Time" (1995). There had even been talk of making the talented actress a "Homicide" regular, until the producers of another NBC series chose to utilize her talents on the venerated medical drama "ER" (NBC, 1994-2009). Initially intended as a guest role, Reuben joined the series as Jeanie Boulet, the physical therapist hired by Dr. Benton (Eriq LaSalle) to look after his ailing mother. Fan reaction was so positive that Reuben's role was written into the storyline as a permanent addition. By the second season, her character had transferred to the Emergency Room as a physician's assistant, been romanced by Dr. Benton, and had won the empathy of the audience after it was discovered she had contracted HIV from her philandering ex-husband. It was a groundbreaking role, as well, being the first fulltime member of a cast to be depicted as diagnosed with the deadly disease. Suddenly rising to prominence as a lead on one of the most successful shows on television, she maintained the role for five seasons before moving on to projects such as "Inferno" (Cinemax, 1999), a neo-noir co-starring Ray Liotta. Also that year, she took a starring role in the independent drama "Macbeth in Manhattan" (1999), in which she portrayed an actress playing Lady Macbeth whose life begins to imitate her art.
In the wake of leaving "ER," Reuben employed her substantial musical gifts when she toured with rock-n-roll legend Tina Turner for a year in 2000, followed by the release of an album of her own, Just For You four years later. She starred with Jennifer Beals in the miniseries "The Feast of All Saints" (Showtime, 2001), an adaptation of the non-vampire related Anne Rice novel examining racial hierarchies in 19th century New Orleans. Reuben also took on a regular role as an operative for the first season of the CIA drama series "The Agency" (CBS, 2001-03), before moving on to another starring role as a fulltime cast member - once again for the first season only - as an FBI agent in the crime drama "Missing" (Lifetime, 2003-06). The latter series also marked Reuben's debut as a producer, in addition to allowing her to contribute as a composer on the show's theme song. She impressed on stage with her portrayal of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in playwright David Hare's satire of the Bush Administration, "Stuff Happens," at New York's Public Theater in 2006.
Reuben gave series television another day in court when she took on a regular role on the short-lived "Raising the Bar" (TNT, 2008-09). Unfortunately, the legal drama, co-starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar, failed to gain a favorable verdict with audiences and was cancelled within a season. In 2011, she made a pair of appearances on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ), a show on which she had made periodic guest turns as far back as 2002. Also that year, Reuben lent support to the seventh entry in the Tom Selleck series of crime dramas based on the works of novelist Robert B. Parker in "Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost" (CBS, 2011).
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made her screen-acting debut in the "CBS Schoolbreak Special" episode "The Day They Came to Arrest the Book"
Made her feature debut in a bit role in "Immediate Family"
Played recurring role of Theresa Walker on "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC)
Played HIV-positive physician's assistant Jeanie Boulet on popular NBC medical drama "ER"
Starred opposite Luke Perry in "Indiscreet" (HBO)
Played a biracial child seeking her birth mother in fact-based TV movie "Deep in My Heart" (CBS)
Played leading role as an actress playing Lady Macbeth in independent feature "Macbeth in Manhattan"
Toured as backup singer to headliner Tina Turner on her "Twenty Four Seven" Tour
Co-starred in Showtime miniseries "Feast of All Saints"
Returned to series TV with recurring role on CBS drama "The Agency," which ironically aired opposite "ER"
Appeared on Lifetime crime drama series "1-800-Missing"
Portrayed Condoleezza Rice in David Hare's off-Broadway play "Stuff Happens"
Co-starred on TNT legal drama "Raising the Bar"
Portrayed former slave and First Lady's confidante Elizabeth Keckley in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln"
Cast opposite Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in "Admission," directed by Paul Weitz
Had a recurring role on the Noah Wyle-led sci-fi series "Falling Skies"
Had the supporting role of a psychiatrist on "Mr. Robot"
Played the mayor of a city beset by crime on "Saints & Sinners"
Reteamed with Noah Wyle for "The Librarians"