With over 15 seasons aired, and numerous characters being killed off and added at intervals, there seems to be no end in sight for the show.
James Pickens Jr, who famously plays the role of Dr. Richard Webber, has remained through it all and is still holding on. He keeps proving that he has nine lives while scaling every health, financial, and emotional issue life has flung at him in the series.
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From the sterling heights of Chief of surgery to the wanton depths of drunken reverie, he has seen and done it all. He’s someone the audience can always count on and there is always a story played out with him at the center.
Some fans are curious if he is human as his tenacity makes him look invincible. Let’s investigate Dr. Weber’s life and see if we can find out for ourselves. Keep scrolling for more details below.
James Pickens Jr. Has Gone Through Hell
Throughout the series, Webber went through several challenges that would have maimed a normal man in real life of course. Yet always found a way to overcome them all. Here are a bunch of those near-death experiences he faced.
In season one, Richard started having trouble seeing, and couldn’t complete simple surgeries. It turned out that he had developed a tumor, pressing against his optic nerve–he was operated upon and subsequently recovered.
In season 9, he got electrocuted and faced several other health complications. It was a long trip down the recovery road for him, but he pulled through. Trust Richard to use this as a teaching tool for the interns.
Season 16 came with an episode of cobalt poisoning from his hip replacement some years back. Webber’s cognitive function rapidly declined to the point of him being minimally responsive. He was just a few weeks from his death before Catherine rightly diagnosed the ailment and got him treated.
Among those near-death experiences, Webber was also threatened by a gunman in season six, lost his job and became a dry drunk, faced Adele’s death and Catherine’s tumor not to mention his complicated romantic relationships. Webber has surely had more than his share of life’s great travail.
The Actor’s Background
The fictional character was born in 1954 to Gail Webber, a music teacher and former receptionist. His siblings are Chris and an unnamed younger sister that he shares a fractured relationship with. The series does not show what inspired him to be a doctor, though we know he graduated from Northwestern University (as shown in the degree placard in his office).
He was the Chief of Surgery at Seattle Grace and was formerly a mentor to Derek Shepherd and Addison Forbes Montgomery during their residency.
Richard proposed to Adele, his wife on New Year’s Day, and got married on Valentine’s Day the following year. Their on and off relationship that stemmed from his infidelity and workaholic nature, could be seen all the way to her demise later in the series. She died from Alzheimer complications.
After Adele’s death, Richard maintained a topsy-turvy relationship with Catherine Fox but they later got married. They faced difficulties in their marriage and later separated.
Throughout the series. Richard showed himself as a determined teacher and boss who cares a lot for his employees and the hospital itself. His profession was a key part of his existence. Without his job, he did not have a real reason to live, especially after his wife, Adele Webber, died. He always placed his duties in the hospital above everything and this caused issues with his romantic and platonic relationships in the series.
Memorable Quotes From James Pickens Jr.
Richard (to Gary): See, I’ve lived. I mean I’ve really, really lived. I’ve failed. I-I’ve been devastated. I’ve been broken. I’ve gone to hell and back… and I’ve also known joy and passion and I’ve had a great love. See, death for me is not justice; it’s the end of a beautiful journey, and I’m not afraid to die. The question is, are you? A life in prison, or an afterlife with your wife … me or you? Your choice.
Richard (to Derek): Put the damn ice on your $2-million-a-year hand.
Richard (to new interns): A thirty day period back, you have been in med college, being trained by medical doctors. Today, you are physicians,” he advised them.
Trivia On Richard Webber
Fans of Grey’s Anatomy may appreciate some of these fun facts on Dr. Richard Webber:
- He is a recovering alcoholic.
- He loves vodka.
- His favorite cake is red velvet with cream cheese icing
- He claims to be strong at history and geography trivia.
- In 2004, Webber won a plaque for “Best Doctors in America.”
- His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Richard is one of the “Grey Sloan Seven”.
- Four of his students (Miranda Bailey, Derek Shepherd, Cristina Yang, and Alex Karev) went on to become Chief of Surgery.
- His favorite place to have sex in the hospital used to be the Chief’s office.
- Sometimes when his name appears on the OR board, it is incorrectly spelled with only one
- He loves OR 2 at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
- He was chief for 11 years.
- He was married to Adele for 32 years.