This page is a comprehensive listing and detailing of the various characters
in the television series House
, divided sectionally as appropriate.
- Dr. Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) – Department Head: Department of Diagnostic Medicine. The show's protagonist, Dr. Gregory House is a maverick diagnostician with a double specialty in infectious disease and nephrology. Dr. House is seemingly lacking in bedside manner and prefers to avoid direct contact with his patients whenever possible. Due to an infarction in his right thigh, House lost a substantial portion of the muscle in his upper leg and must use a cane to assist with walking. As a result, House is also forced to deal with constant physical pain, which he manages through a dependency on the prescription pain medication Vicodin. Although his behavior can border on antisocial or misanthropic, House is viewed as a maverick physician whose unconventional thinking and excellent instincts have afforded him a great deal of respect and an unusual level of tolerance from his colleagues and the medical world.
- Dr. Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein) – Administration: Dean of Medicine, endocrinologist. Though commonly seen as a thorn in Dr. House's side, Dr. Cuddy is an ally and frequently acquiesces to House's often outlandish medical requests. Additionally, Dr. Cuddy has the distinction of being one of the few characters on the show (Dr. Wilson being the other) who can match wits with the fast-talking Dr. House in conversation (and arguments) and be considered one of his "friends". She usually gets left to pick up the pieces of House's questionable medical practices. She is also one of the few people who can stand House's rude manner, strange requests, and his many obnoxious (sometimes nosy) habits. Although she frequently criticises House's methods, she does trust his decisions to be in the best interest of his patients. Over the course of the show, it is seen that she is one of the only people who would hire House at all, due to widespread disapproval of House's results-oriented methods and constant insubordination.
- Dr. James Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) – Department Head: Oncology. Dr. Wilson is Dr. House's best friend. Dr. Wilson is very well-respected and well-liked by both his colleagues and his patients, making his close friendship with the antisocial House especially puzzling to the other hospital employees. Wilson claims that his job and his "stupid, screwed up friendship" with House are the two most important things to him. He, along with Dr. Cuddy, usually aids and abets House's Vicodin addiction.
The original diagnostic team consisted of Dr. Cameron, Dr. Chase and Dr. Foreman. Cameron first resigned in the Season One episode "Role Model
", however returned two episodes later in "Love Hurts
". Foreman resigned in the Season Three episode "Family
", and officially left in the finale
. Chase was fired by House in the same episode, and Cameron also resigned for a second time. Currently, all three characters are still in the show, though at different positions in the hospital, except for Foreman who returned to the team in "Mirror Mirror
- Dr. Allison Cameron (Jennifer Morrison) – Department: Emergency Medicine, immunologist. Cameron was written as an earnest and sincere character and the most empathetic of the team. Her character history reveals an early marriage to a victim of thyroid cancer, whose subsequent death had a lasting impact on her. In the first season, she has a flirtatious relationship with House, but eventually embarks upon a tenuous affair with Robert Chase. Cameron resigned at the end of Season 3, but returned in Season 4 as a member of the Princeton Plainsboro Emergency Room staff.
- Dr. Robert Chase (Jesse Spencer) – Department: Surgery, intensivist. Dr. Chase's demeanor appears to have been either influenced or amplified by House, as he has previously displayed a penchant for insulting patients behind their backs, takes clear and vicarious joy in watching House tear into others, finds House's antics more amusing than others do, and repeats House's mantra of "everybody lies" whenever a patient's full disclosure of any required medical history is called into question. Moreover, when suggesting treatments to diagnoses, Chase is arguably the most creative member of House's staff, often proposing unconventional treatments that had not previously been considered, but whose perceived effectiveness is generally agreed upon. Chase was fired by House at the end of Season 3, but he returned in Season 4 as a member of Princeton Plainsboro's surgical staff.
- Dr. Eric Foreman (Omar Epps) – Department: Diagnostic Medicine, neurologist; attended Johns Hopkins Medical School. Of all the members of House's staff, it is strongly implied that Foreman performed best academically throughout college and medical school. However, during the pilot, Dr. House tells Foreman that a major factor in his hiring was the fact that he was a former juvenile delinquent who once broke into houses and had 'street smarts'. As a result, he frequently voices his disapproval of House's maverick methods and daring decisions. Foreman resigned at the end of Season 3, feeling that the more time he spent with House, the more he became like him. Foreman then took a position as Head of Diagnostic Medicine at New York Mercy Hospital. During that time, he saved a patient's life by going against their protocols, something that House frequently does. Foreman is then told that while he may have saved the patient's life, he cannot be there if he cannot be trusted to obey his senior medical officers. Foreman is then fired. Although he applied at other medical facilities, no one would hire him because of the incident, attributing it to his past association with House. He later returned to Princeton Plainsboro because Cuddy was the only person willing to hire him after his actions.
Following the events of the season three finale
, House began a long-running competition to select a new diagnostic team, progressively eliminating "contestants" from an original pool of 40 applicants. This story arc ran through the first half of Season 4, from episodes 4-02
. His final team consists of Dr. Foreman and the three successful "contestants": Dr. Taub, Dr. Kutner and "Thirteen".
- Dr. Chris Taub (Peter Jacobson) is a plastic surgeon who has proved adept at, like House, working around the "rules" that Cuddy imposes. Ironically Cuddy suggested Taub become a member of House's new diagnostic team because his knowledge and combative nature would be able to keep House focused. Though married he has already cheated on his wife and has made comments that suggest he would be willing to do so again.
- Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Kal Penn) is a sports medicine specialist. Out of all the fellows, Kutner is the most enthusiastic and the one most likely to go along with House in taking risks.
- "Thirteen" (Olivia Wilde) is an internist. Her nickname originates in the numbers that House assigned to each of his fellowship applications in "The Right Stuff," with hers being #13. She is noted for the many mysteries surrounding her character.
- Stacy Warner (Sela Ward) was Dr. House's former live-in girlfriend (for five years), a Constitutional lawyer and Duke University graduate. Two years after their breakup, she married Mark Warner. She appears in 9 episodes during the run of season 2, taking a job at PPTH (after asking Cuddy to make sure it was okay with Greg) to be close to her husband during his recovery. House and Stacy's relationship has been strained due to his relentless pursuit to prove she still has feelings for him. Mark aided House's cause by driving a wedge between himself and his wife when he suspects a brewing affair. Mark was eventually proven correct, as Stacy fell for House all over again and they slept together. As Stacy prepared to leave her husband for House, he then rejected her (stating that he could not make her happy, because he could not change). She quit her job at the hospital and went back home to Short Hills with Mark. An enraged Wilson believed House broke her heart not out of guilt for Mark (which is not his modus), but as a last-ditch resort to ensure that he (House) does not allow himself happiness. The aftermath of this botched affair left House in a stark depression. Once when playing a questions game with a patient, to make a diagnosis, House admitted that he had been in love once. He said they met when she shot him. This was a game of paintball, Doctors vs Lawyers. Presumably, House was talking about Stacy. When the patient asked if that was the only time he'd ever been in love, House avoids answering and changes the subject. Stacy has not appeared on the show since.
- Mark Warner (Currie Graham) is Stacy's husband. A high school guidance counselor by profession, he became a patient at PPTH against his will in episode 1.22 (Honeymoon) and was eventually diagnosed with porphyria by House. Mark is jealous of House, and House's sharp words and actions indicate the feeling is likely mutual. Still recovering from his illness, Mark is confined to a wheelchair and attends both physical therapy sessions and psychological counseling at PPTH; during this time, Stacy and Mark began arguing with increasing frequency due to Mark's frustration with his illness and slow recovery. In episode 2.11 ("Need To Know"), Mark confronted House about Mark's own fears of losing Stacy and his suspicions of House and Stacy's interactions; their confrontation led Mark to physically grapple with House and undo months of rehabilitation. House realized that Mark was willing to do the things House himself could never do for Stacy, giving him an excuse not to not follow through with their relationship. House broke up with an astounded Stacy and she left with Mark for good.
- Edward Vogler (Chi McBride) is the billionaire owner of a pharmaceutical firm and former board chairman of PPTH, a position he gained through a $100 million donation to the hospital. Vogler appears in five episodes (1.14–18): "Control", "Mob Rules", "Heavy", "Role Model", and "Babies & Bathwater". Vogler sought to reshape PPTH into a testing facility for his firm's new drugs and saw House's maverick ways and blatant disregard for rules and authority figures as a substantial legal and financial liability. When House refused to kowtow to Vogler's increasingly capricious demands (including an order for House to fire one of his fellows) and made a mockery of Vogler's company at a press banquet, Vogler gave the board an ultimatum: Fire House, or lose Vogler's grant. After an impassioned motion from Cuddy for the board members to put the hospital's independence ahead of Vogler's deep pockets, the board voted to retain House, as well as voting Vogler off the board of directors and therefore losing his $100 million.
- Detective Michael Tritter (David Morse) is one of House's clinic patients. After House refuses to run tests at Tritter's request and insults him, Tritter trips House. House agrees to the tests and tells Tritter he has to check his temperature to rule out infection. (Infection usually presents with fever). House proceeds to use a rectal thermometer, and his supposed reason for using the rectal thermometer over a normal mouth thermometer is Tritter's use of nicotine gum, however it is unknown whether this reason is true, and it is assumed House uses this as a justification for the use of a rectal thermometer as revenge for being tripped. House then leaves the room on a pretense with the thermometer still inserted in Tritter's rectum; House never returns and Tritter endures the rectal thermometer for two hours. Afterwards, Tritter demands an apology from House for deliberately leaving the thermometer in him. House refuses, apparently spurred on by the patient's attitude, which is as bad as House's. Caught speeding and arrested for possession of allegedly unprescribed medication, House is thrown in jail overnight by Tritter, who searches his house the next week and finds a large amount of Vicodin. He also interviews House's staff looking for inconsistencies in their stories. He proceeds to tighten his vise grip on Wilson by freezing Wilson's bank account, towing his car, and revoking his drug prescription rights because he wants Wilson to testify against House in court. After Tritter discovers that Wilson refuses to betray House, he turns on to House's assistants, freezing Foreman and Cameron's accounts, before talking to each one of them in turn. Foreman and Cameron refuse to testify in court about House, but when Tritter talks to Chase, he makes it appear to the hospital staff as though they had had a pleasant lunch together. Chase is concerned that this makes Foreman and Cameron think that Chase has told Tritter something, although he had refused to, his only stated reason being that he would lose his job. Tritter finally succeeds in his goal however, when Wilson comes to him, requesting "thirty pieces of silver" in a symbolic statement of his decision to betray House, whom he has come to see as spiraling out of control. In the final days leading up to House's trial, House enters rehab. Tritter confronts him in rehab to see if he was really going through with it. When the charges against House were dropped at the trial, because the judge believed Tritter had gone too far, Tritter wished House good luck and said that he hoped he was wrong about him. Tritter has not appeared on the show since.
- Amber Volakis (Anne Dudek) is an interventional radiologist. She is #24. Volakis is willing to do anything to get the job, including acts of dishonesty. This is first seen when she convinces a group of applicants to quit, rather than be humiliated by House. She later admits it was a ruse. She is subsequently referred to as "Cutthroat Bitch" and "Bitch" throughout the season, and is even referred to as such on House's speed-dial. She sometimes coerces Chase and Cameron, now reassigned to different departments of the hospital, into helping her. Her persistence and unorthodox approaches initially win her praise, but she is ultimately eliminated because House feels she cannot accept being wrong, something he says she would need to be able to accept on a regular basis if she were to work for him. Dr. Volakis returns in "Frozen" when House discovers that she is Wilson's new girlfriend, a fact Wilson had been trying to conceal from House. House and Amber quickly develop an adversarial relationship, bickering over "shared custody" of Wilson. In the two-part season 4 finale, Amber is involved in a bus crash alongside House, who had seen symptoms of an unknown disease in her immediately before the crash, later found to be amantadine poisoning caused by kidney damage in the crash. She dies in Wilson's arms as a result of multiple organ failures due to her accidental poisoning. She appeared in 14 episodes throughout the fourth season. Critic Kelly Woo, from TV Squad, placed her on #3 on her list of "Seven new characters that worked" just below Lost's Benjamin Linus and Desmond Hume.
- Lucas Douglas (Michael Weston) is a private investigator. He was hired by House in the second episode of the fifth season to spy on his team and gain information about them. House later uses him to spy on Wilson, who had recently left the hospital following Amber's death, and to also help gain information about one of his patients. At the end of episode 5-02, House decides to put him "on retainer". Lucas continues to obtain information about House's team, including finding out about a secret bank account started up by Taub's wife that Taub was unaware of. Lucas had also began to take an interest in Cuddy, including agreeing to dig up dirt on House for Cuddy's interest.
Unsuccessful applicants for fellowship
- Jeffrey Cole (a.k.a. Big Love, Black Mormon) (Edi Gathegi) is a geneticist. He is #18. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Cole is a practicing Mormon which draws the ire of Dr. House, an atheist. House is eventually punched by Cole when he calls Joseph Smith a "horny fraud." This impresses House. Dr. Cole is also African-American, and a surrogate for House’s racial epithets towards Dr. Foreman. Cole refused to drop out of the running when Amber deceitfully encouraged candidates to quit rather than be humiliated by Dr. House. Cameron believes Cole is a decent and principled man, and gives him advice on how to gain House's respect. In the episode "Guardian Angels" it is revealed that he is a single father, and does not know where his child's mother is. In the episode "You Don't Want To Know", Kutner mentions that he has babysat for Cole's son. He is nicknamed "Big Love" in reference to HBO’s popular series about Utah polygamists. He is fired after House discovers he has allied himself with Cuddy instead of bucking her authority.
- Travis Brennan (a.k.a. Grumpy) (Andy Comeau) is an epidemiologist. He is #37. Brennan was invited back for the second round of cuts, and survived again when the female's team was eliminated for failing to properly supervise the patient, resulting in his death. He offered the final (though incorrect) diagnosis of eosinophilic pneumonia of this patient, and House authorized treatment. House nicknames him "Grumpy", and he tends to be gruff and straight to the point. It is revealed he worked with Doctors Without Borders for eight years, making his experience in third world countries provide him more awareness of exotic pathologies. He interviewed for this job to settle down to a life in New Jersey with his fiancée, though from his own testimony and the mirroring of a patient he would rather be back working in other countries. He was forced to quit in the episode "Whatever It Takes" after House discovered that he was poisoning a patient in order to provoke studies into cures for Polio. House gave him a period of time to leave and then had Foreman call the police.
- Henry Dobson (a.k.a. Scooter/Ridiculously Old Fraud/Bosley) (Carmen Argenziano) was a former Medical School Admissions Officer. He is #26. Dobson refuses to perform even basic tests on patients, saying that, with his advanced age and the other applicants' inexperience, they have more to prove; however, he shows a very gifted medical mind. House pulls Dobson aside and reveals the truth: Dobson is not even a doctor, and never even graduated from medical school - in his time as an admissions officer, he simply audited 30 years of medical school classes. Dobson admits this, but House, impressed by his gall, allows him to stay on to compete for a job as an "assistant." He argues age should not matter (jokingly claiming he is 21) and demonstrates he is as effective as any of the real doctors by finding a way to break into a patient's home to acquire key information and offering a diagnosis of cancer for a patient that House agreed with and scheduled surgery for. However, in "97 Seconds", House does reveal to the remaining team members that one of the remaining "applicants" is not even really a doctor, although they have yet to realize who this is. Ultimately he is dismissed when House realizes that Dobson's thought processes are very similar to his own, illustrated when Dobson explains that "you don't need someone to tell you what you're already thinking" before House can explain the dismissal. Its implied that during Henry's time as a fellowship applicant, that he and House maintained a friendship. This is evident when Henry tells House that if he wants to stay in touch, he'll go through Wilson. Nicknamed "Scooter", "Ridiculously Old Fraud" and "Bosley" after the Charlie's Angels character in a episode where House was pretending to be Charlie and the other applicants the Angels.
- Nurse Brenda Previn (Stephanie Venditto) is the Head Nurse seen in many earlier episodes. She was often snarky towards House and his team. She was last seen in the episode "Que Sera Sera".
- Dr. Samira Terzi (Michael Michele) accepted a position on Dr. House's team in the episode "Whatever it Takes". She formerly worked for the CIA. However, she was quickly fired in the next episode ("Ugly") because Dr. House found that his attraction for her was impairing his ability to be objective in rejecting her ideas, which often had a weak medical basis.
- Steve McQueen (named after the Hollywood actor) is House's pet rat, which he captured in Stacy's attic in episode 2.07 ("Hunting"). Originally supposed to be exterminating the rat, House granted him reprieve in order to diagnose his odd neck tilt. By the end of the episode House had determined the cause to be mycoplasmosis, aggravated by Stacy's smoking. House has used Steve McQueen for medical experimentation. In Episode 2.21 "Euphoria, Part 2", House uses Steve to do a walkthrough of the Cop's home and stated that if Steve begins showing symptoms, as House saw it on his webcam, that there was a '"good chance" that he would be hit with a "cane-shaped object". Steve never showed symptoms, however, so House didn't end up killing him. Since then, he has been seen in the background in House's apartment during various episodes. It was revealed on the official House website that Steve has passed away. .
- John and Blythe House (R. Lee Ermey and Diane Baker) are House's parents. One episode, 2.05 ("Daddy's Boy"), Mother Blythe seems to be the standard military housewife, and House calls her a "human polygraph". His father John used to be a Marine Corps pilot and is incessantly honest, a trait which House seems to be quite bitter about. House's father is hard on him for not dealing with his leg better, telling him "your problem is that you don't know how lucky you are". When House was young, his father was stationed in Egypt, and was stationed in Japan when he was a teenager. In episode twelve of season three ("One Day, One Room"), House reveals that his father abused him, making him sleep on the lawn and take ice baths. House's mother is notably the only person aside from Wilson and Stacy towards whom he appears to show genuine affection, and although it's implied that he doesn't keep in regular contact with his parents, he has been seen to phone his mother on Christmas.
- Dr. Rowan Chase (Patrick Bauchau) is Dr. Robert Chase's estranged Czech-Australian father and an acclaimed rheumatologist. He left his alcoholic wife and teenage son, and some unspecified time later, remarried. He is seen in one episode, 1.13 ("Cursed"). In episode 2.08 ("The Mistake"), the character was revealed to have died of lung cancer, without ever saying goodbye to his son, and in 2.22 ("Forever"), House concludes from the fact that Robert Chase worked at the neonatal department during his vacation to earn some extra money that he also left his son out of his will.
- Rodney Foreman (Charles S. Dutton) is Dr. Eric Foreman's religious father, appears in "Euphoria, Part 2" and "House Training".
- Foreman's mother (Beverly Todd) who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, appears in "House Training".