Ted Kennedy on ‘Chicago Hope': A Role with a Cause

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy didn't make many appearances in scripted TV programming during his life. But it's only fitting that one of his few cameos revolved around an issue dear to his heart, and still very much in the news: health care.   Kennedy agreed to play himself in a 1997 episode of producer […]

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy didn't make many appearances in scripted TV programming during his life. But it's only fitting that one of his few cameos revolved around an issue dear to his heart, and still very much in the news: health care.

 

Kennedy agreed to play himself in a 1997 episode of producer David E. Kelley's "Chicago Hope." The plot featured Tommy (Ron Silver) flying to Washington to testify on behalf of a children's health care bill.

 

In his one brief scene, Kennedy makes a strong plea for insuring 10 million children without access to health care. "Do we have the political will?" to act, Kennedy asks.

 

Kennedy's speech is followed by an equally impassioned stemwinder from Silver's Tommy. "The system is sick and it is killing us," Silver's character says, echoing the health care debate still taking place 12 years later.

 

Ironically, Silver also died this year, passing away in March. Like Kennedy, cancer claimed his life.

 

Here's a look at Kennedy and Silver in action together: