'Shocked' Alex Kingston Booted from ER

06/08/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT

'Shocked' Alex Kingston Booted from ER
Roger Karnbad/Celebrity Photo
British actress Alex Kingston tells a magazine back home that she has been axed from the NBC hit ER because she is too old – though in a statement released after the interview's publication she's lightened up on her remarks.

Kingston, 41, who joined the medical series in its fourth year and played opposite George Clooney as the widowed surgeon Elizabeth Corday, said she was "shocked and upset" when she learned her contract would not be renewed.

"Apparently I, according to the producers, the writers, am part of the old fogeys who are no longer interesting," she told the BBC's Radio Times listings magazine. "Does it mean that I am the geriatric being pushed out because she is too old?"

She said she had grown "deeply unhappy" with the show and felt her character was being used less and less. Her $150,000-per-episode salary also may have priced her off the show, she said.

"There was a point where I had to find out what was going on and that was when the producers said they would no longer renew my contract," she said.

In a statement, Kingston said, "Statements from an interview I recently gave were spoken tongue-in-cheek and, unfortunately, have been taken out of context. ... I regret if these statements affected the producers, as we are in mutual agreement that the storyline for my character has run its course."

A statement from the producers called Kingston "a gifted actress and a true professional."

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