T.R. Knight, as Dr. George O'Malley in the second season of "Grey's Anatomy", was little-known outside the character he plays on the hit ABC series. Knight has now been nominated for an Emmy, but he had already gotten plenty of attention a few months earlier.
Knight's Dr. George O'Malley is nervous and quirky but also warm and well-meaing; viewers found him cuddly. The character had a crush on Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo.
He winds up marrying Dr. Callie Torres, an orthopedic surgeon played by Sara Ramirez, but it not a marriage free of problems.
But it was another character, or rather the actor who plays him, who made Knight stand out. In this scene from the first season, respected surgeon Dr. Preston Burke, played by Isaiah Washington, is offering some advice to the new intern Dr. George O'Malley, played by T.R. Knight, while Dr. Izzie Stevens, played by Katherine Heigl, looks on.
It was reportedly during a spat between Washington and another cast member, Patrick Dempsey -- here seen with Knight months later during the People's Choice Award -- that Washington called Knight a name, which is used derogatorily to describe gay people.
Credit: GETTY IMAGES/Vince Bucci
Here Washington and Knight posed at the TV Guide Emmy after-party in Hollywood last August, before any of the ruckus. By the following June, one consequence was that Washington's contract was not renewed for a fourth season of the show.
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles
There were consequences for T.R. Knight as well. He came out: "While I prefer to keep my personal life private," he said in a statement, "I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me." Here he is speaking onstage during the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
Credit: GETTY IMAGES/Frederick M. Brown
Backstage at the People's Choice Award earlier this year, co-stars Kate Walsh (left) and Katherine Heigl kiss Knight. All three have had good years: Knight and Heigl have received Emmy nominations, and Walsh has gotten her own TV series, "Private Practice," a spin-off of "Grey's Anatomy"