Chief Surgeon Alfred Summers

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Chief Surgeon Alfred Summers is a career army surgeon rose to the rank of major by virtue of his age, not his ability. He is in no way equipped to run a large institution and continually grumbles at the chaos and inefficiency that surround him. He feels strongly that women should not invade what has always been an all-male preserve: an army hospital. The only exception to this rule is Anne Hastings, who combines charm with the supposed efficiency of a Florence Nightingale-trained nurse. When all conspires to drive him mad, he resorts to his one solace: the good whiskey he keeps in his drawer.

Peter on Alfred:

He's the head surgeon, and in the Civil War, those were mainly the people that ran the hospital. He's in charge. He thinks of himself as being very, very competent, even cutting-edge, but in fact he's rather inept, but with all the best motivations at heart. He's just beset by a number of problems that no sane man could function very well under.

And like most of the surgeons in the beginnings of the Civil War certainly, he kind of resents the presence of women, because he doesn't think they're very well-trained. They're a distraction. They get in the way, and he didn't ask them to come, and he's running the place. So the fact that they are insinuating themselves into his hospital is something that he handles badly.

Actor bio

Peter Gerety has starred on screen and stage for decades. Films include: "Get the Gringo," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," "Public Enemies," "Flight," "Changeling," "Leatherheads," "Charlie Wilson’s War," "Inside Man," "Things That Hang From Trees," "Syriana," "War of the Worlds," "K-Pax," "People I Know," "Magic Hour," "Montana," "The Legend of Bagger Vance," "Mrs. Winterborne," "Surviving Picasso," "Ash Wednesday," "A Most Violent Year," "God’s Pocket," "The Sea Is All I Know," "Hollywood Ending," "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion" and the upcoming "Assisted Living."

Television roles include: “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon 2016), “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “The Bedford Diaries,” HBO’s “The Wire,” “Homicide,” “Law and Order,” “Ed,” Ed Burns’ “Public Morals,” “Kidnapped,” “Daredevil,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Black Donnelly’s,”  “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Brotherhood,” “The House of Mirth,” “Central Park West,” “Third Watch,” “The Return to Lonesome Dove.”

Gerety starred in the Broadway productions of "Lucky Guy;" "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," which transferred after a successful run off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company; "Never Gonna Dance." Off Broadway, he starred in "[Expletive] A" and "Henry V" at N.Y.’s Shakespeare in the Park. He worked predominantly on stage for more than 30 years, performing in over 100 productions with the legendary Trinity Repertory of Providence, R.I.(Adrian Hall, director).

See a preview of the new PBS original drama, Mercy Street, premiering January 17, 2016.
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