ER actress Vanessa Marquez has been shot to death by police after pulling a BB gun on cops.
Officers were carrying out a welfare check on her home just outside Los Angeles when she brandished the weapon which police believed was a genuine firearm.
The 49-year-old, best known for playing Wendy Goldman in the medical TV drama, died after being rushed to hospital on Thursday.
Marquez gained attention last year when she said fellow former ER star George Clooney helped blacklist her from Hollywood, a claim the actor strenuously denied.
South Pasadena police officers responded to a call from Marquez’s landlord that she needed medical help.
When they arrived she was having a seizure, Lt. Joe Mendoza with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.
Paramedics treated Marquez, 49, who improved and began talking with three officers and a mental health clinician who spent an hour-and-a-half trying to talk her into getting medical help, Mendoza said.
Marquez became uncooperative, appeared unable to care for herself and seemed to have mental health issues, he said.
At some point, Mendoza said Marquez got what turned out to be a BB gun and pointed it at the officers, prompting two of them to shoot.
“It looked like a real gun,” he said, adding that it’s unclear where the gun was during her lengthy interaction with police.
The officers were wearing body cameras but footage won’t be released for at least six months pending the investigation, Mendoza said.
Terence Towles Canote, a close friend of Marquez’s, said the actress was having health and financial problems but that she showed no signs of depression or other mental troubles.
She still talked about her dream of winning an Oscar one day and was hopeful for a career comeback, he said.
“She was looking forward to life,” Canote said. “This is not a woman who wanted to die.”
Marquez posted extensively on Facebook and elsewhere about her health problems, saying she was terminally ill and had seizures and Coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestine if gluten is ingested.
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In 2014, she said in an online post that she had spent her life savings on doctors and hospitals who didn’t properly treat her and that she couldn’t work or “do most basic everyday functions.”
She had a recurring role during the first several years of “ER,” which ran from 1994 to 2009 as well as the 1988 flick “Stand and Deliver”.
She also appeared on episodes of “Seinfeld,” ”Melrose Place” and “Malcolm & Eddie” but her career largely fizzled after “ER.”