updated 12/02/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/02/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
Her exit "has been in the works all season," says one ER insider. "She did not like the fame. She's a very shy person." Adds ex-beau Paul Goldstein, 41, chairman of Nevica skiwear: "Millions of people would give their right leg not just to have her salary but her lifestyle. She just wanted a normal lifestyle."
She may get it. In return for releasing her from her five-year contract, Warner Bros., which produces ER, has required Stringfield to agree not to appear in another TV series for 2½ years nor to do any movies without the studio's permission. Planning to return to New York City, where her current love interest, banking executive Odell Lambroza, lives, Stringfield may teach drama at her alma mater, the State University of New York at Purchase College. "We'd love to have her," says Israel Hicks, dean of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film.
And what about ER? Dr. Lewis's final scene, with Dr. Mark Greene (Anthony Edwards) declaring his love, left open the possibility that String-field might return someday. "We all love and adore her," says one cast member. "Everyone is sorry to see her leave."