Ming-Na leaves ''ER,'' this time for good. Thursday's episode was her last; now, she's promoting a boy band and planning a cooking show

By Gary Susman
December 10, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
  • TV Show

If you saw Dr. Jing-Mei ”Deb” Chen (Ming-Na) storm off the job in a huff to care for her ailing father on Thursday night’s ER, you’d better have taken a good look because it’s the last you’ll see of her. It’s the third time the character has left the show — ”She’s just a spoiled brat who can’t handle the pressure,” the actress tells TV Guide — but this time, she’s leaving for good. Ming-Na calls her departure from the long-running medical drama a mutual decision. ”The producers definitely talked about running out of stuff to do with the character. I felt like it’s been that way for the past year; I wondered if there’s anything left. We both decided it’s time to finish the character.”

Ming-Na says she has several items on her career plate. One is promoting an all-Asian boy band called At Last. Another is developing her own cooking show. ”I grew up in a Chinese restaurant and both my parents are chefs,” she says. ”You know ‘Jenny from the Block?’ Now there’s Ming-Na with a wok!” As for acting, she says she’d like to do a 180 from ER and star in a sitcom. ”No more kids being thrown out the window, no more blood and gore.”