"Three Rivers" was a medical show about a fictional transplant hospital in Pittsburgh. Alex played the leading role of Dr. Andy Yablonski, a cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in transplantations. His character was based on a real-life surgeon named Dr. Gonzalez-Stawinski, with whom Alex spent some time preparing for his role - even joining "Dr. Gonzo" in the OR.
The show's approach of telling the stories from the different points of view of the donor families, the organ recipients and the doctors was quite good. Thus, different aspects - the blessings and benefits, as well as the tragedies involved in organ donation - were highlighted.
Here's the IMDB info page about the show:
Although the series was very short-lived, it made a huge impact regarding organ donation because it not only inspired Alex to become an ambassador and spokesperson for organ donation charities and organisations but his fans joined him in raising awareness and funds for organ donation, too.
Below you find interviews with Alex about the show and on organ donation, which make clear how important organ donation became to him.
Interviews with Alex related to "Three Rivers"
Most of them include short clips of the show to give you an impression of what it's like !
CBS Interview with Alex about the show
Good interview with Alex on ET
You ask, they tell (CBS): Alex about the show, organ donation and Donate Life
Extended interview with Alex at Three Rivers press tour
Another extended interview with Alex at Three Rivers press tour
Three Rivers Soundbites - Interview with Alex
Interview with Alex at photo-shoot (TV Guide Magazine)
Talk with Alex on "The Doctors" - with Dr. Stawinski, the man who inspired and trained Alex for his role as a surgeon
Interview with Alex on the Bonnie Hunt Show
Funny interview with Alex on the Late Late Show
Fan videos: 'Three Rivers' scenes by 'moonlightaddicted' (No talking, just music):
Video mix 1 // Video mix 2 // Video mix 3
Alex from 2009 showing him during his preparations for "Three
These pics were taken in 2009 at the Cleveland Clinic where Alex was training for his role as a surgeon. It sure looks like Alex and the staff were having a good time together - although the hospital's staff, as well as the show are dealing with the rather serious subject of organ transplantations.
Alex even got to wear Gonzo's clothes (Dr. Gonzalez-Stawinski was the real surgeon who trained him) so he could pretend to be him :-)
Here is the set of pictures (shared by H50BAMF / original pics from Natalie Johnson on Facebook)
Press coverage about the show 'Three Rivers' and Alex's support of organ donation
Feb. 2012: Article by Cheryl Hollar - The CBS series that changed a generation
July 2013: Interview with Dr.
Gonzalez-Stawinski - the real-life surgeon Alex's character in "Three Rivers"
was based on Interview by Cheryl Hollar in which Dr. G.-S.
talks about Alex preparing himself for the role and about Gonzo's own
participation in the series. He also talks about how the series affected its
viewers and about a few important facts related to organ donation:
Dr. Gonzales-Stawinski keeps AOL's previous character alive
Oct. 2013: Excellent article by
Cheryl Hollar based on an interview with Alex at the SOTB4 premiere of H50
Alex points out in this interview that he'd love to have more time to support organ donation and to do more service work!
Alex O'Loughlin - Hawaii Five-0's actor with a vision
Sadly, the actor who played the happily smiling patient in the collage below died in 2017. Even more reason to look back at the scenes with his fan-loved character Kuol.
P.S.: Many of the best pics in these collages from 2014/15 were originally from the "AOL World Wide" fansite which no longer exists.
A few more pictures from the show
Now who wouldn't want to get a new heart transplanted by
THAT doctor?! :-)
Of course, only if someone needs a new heart anyway!
I've always been of the opinion that operations should only be performed if they are necessary for medical reasons.
Last but not least, here's the link to
the Amazon order page for the DVDs of "Three Rivers" in case you understand
English well enough. Unfortunately, the German dubbed version is not yet available on DVD
although the show aired on German television. Since the medical
terms used on the show make it hard for many foreign fans to understand the
English version, the DVDs would be very welcome in German or other foreign
languages. Since 2017, the show is also available on Blu-ray.
Amazon.com's order page for the Three Rivers DVDs
Amazon.com's order page for the Three Rivers Blu-rays
Please view these pages, too, if you haven't already:
Why Alex and his fans support organ donation:
About our "AOL Fans for Organ Donation" team and our
personal experience with organ donation:
Alex supporting Donate Life, Taylor's Gift & more -
Interviews, video clips etc.:
Link collection about organ donation and
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Designed, created & owned by: Angela Gerstner
Last update: 2017