Hugh Laurie Shocks Fans: ‘My Dad Would Have Hated House’s Fake Doctor!

Even though TV’s most famous doctor was making $700,000 an episode in its final season, House star Hugh Laurie said he feels like a fraud.

Regretting that he played “a fake version” of a doctor instead of becoming a real one like his father wanted, Laurie admitted that his “dad would have hated” the shortcut he chose.

Keep reading to learn more about Laurie’s decision to be an actor instead of a doctor.

Dr. William (Ran) Laurie had big hopes for his youngest son, Hugh Laurie, who was born in June 1959.

Hugh was following in the footsteps of his esteemed father, a physician who, before starting his medical career, was a 1948 Olympic gold medalist in coxless pairs (rowing) and a graduate of a college at the University of Cambridge.

When Hugh Laurie was studying at the same college as his dad, he was also a member of the rowing team with plans to train for the Olympics and then go to medical school.

But then, the young man discovered a drama club, a sketch comedy troupe called the Cambridge Footlights. There, he met Emma Thompson, who would later star in The Remains of the Day, and his future comedy partner, Stephen Fry, known for the 1997 film Wilde.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the now 64-year-old actor appeared in several TV shows, including the BBC sitcom Blackadder, where he co-starred with Fry.

He also appeared in 1995’s Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, who he had previously dated, Disney’s live-action film 101 Dalmatians (1996), and an episode of Friends.

In 2004, he was offered the chance to play a doctor in a new TV series called House, a medical drama that ran for eight seasons.

In his Golden Globe-winning role as the lead character, Dr. Gregory House, Laurie dropped his British accent and convincingly played the narcissistic genius who headed a teaching hospital in New Jersey.

During the show’s run, Laurie became Hollywood’s most popular doctor and attracted a massive global following. However, life as a celebrity came with its challenges.

“I had some pretty bleak times, dark days when it seemed like there was no escape,” Laurie said in a 2013 interview with Radio Times (via Daily Mail). “With my strong work ethic, I was determined never to be late or miss a single day’s filming. You wouldn’t catch me calling in to say, ‘I think I may be coming down with the flu.’ But there were times when I’d think, ‘If I were just to have an accident on the way to the studio and get a couple of days off to recover, how great would that be?’”

Those couple of days off didn’t come until 2012, with the final season of House.

After House, Laurie started making his rounds again, appearing in TV shows like Veep and the 2015 science fiction film Tomorrowland, which stars another famous TV doctor, George Clooney.

In 2016, Hugh Laurie took on another role as a doctor, this time playing a neuropsychiatrist named Dr. Eldon Chance in the TV series Chance.

“In my career, my instinct is to walk away after a small success, but I kept coming back because this project was just too good to pass up,” Laurie told the Los Angeles Daily News in 2016. Comparing his role as Dr. House to Dr. Chance, Laurie said, “The characters are completely different. Their jobs and their outlook on life are not the same at all.”

Despite his huge fame as a Hollywood star, Laurie still feels like he failed his father, who passed away from Parkinson’s disease in 1998.

“My father was a real doctor. It seems that most men try to become like their fathers, but fail. For me, it felt like I ended up being a fake version of a doctor,” Laurie said. He also played a doctor in the 2005 film The Big Empty and in Holmes & Watson (2018).

“My father had high hopes for me following him into medicine.” He continues, “I would have liked to have become a doctor myself and I still have doctor fantasies…We live in a world of shortcuts don’t we? And I took them. Dad would have hated that.”

Calling himself a “cop out,” the Blackadder star adds, “Seriously, this is a source of great guilt to me.”

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