In 2017, Dr. Christopher Duntsch, better known as “Dr. Death,” was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of maiming one of his patients. Four years prior, the former surgeon’s license was revoked following the deaths of two of his patients and accusations that he injured 33 out of his the 38 patients. During his time as a spine surgeon, Duntsch worked in hospitals in Plano and Farmers Branch.

The idea that such events could take place in our own backyard is frightening, but the story of Dunstch is one that Dallas-Fort Worth residents have followed for years. Earlier this month, Peacock premiered Dr. Death, an eight-episode miniseries about the events that took place across multiple Collin and Dallas County hospitals. Before you binge-watch the series, we’ve put together a guide breaking down the star-studded cast and the real-life people they portray.

Joshua Jackson as Christopher “Dr. Death” Duntsch

Joshua Jackson plays the titular Christopher “Dr. Death” Duntsch, a former surgeon in Plano accused of maiming patients | Photo credit: Scott McDermott/Peacock

Jackson has played heartthrobs, scientists and loving fathers, but Dr. Death marks his most terrifying role yet. Although Dr. Death may be the villain of the series, Jackson mentioned to Vanity Fair that he hopes viewers will understand the commentary on the American healthcare sector. At this point, we’re not sure what we’re more afraid of.

Grace Gummer as Kimberly Morgan

Grace Gummer plays Kimberly Morgan, Dr. Death’s nursing assistant and alleged lover | Photo credit: Scott McDermott/Peacock

Given her runs on American Horror Story, we’re sure Dr. Death was child’s play for Gummer. The daughter of Meryl Streep plays Kimberly Morgan, a nursing assistant and alleged lover to Dr. Death. The real Kimberly Morgan has since laid low since the events of Dr. Death took place, however, it was reported she filed a protective order against him in 2012 after he showed up at her home at 2 a.m. one morning.

Christian Slater as Dr. Randall Kirby

Christian Slater as Dr. Randall Kirby, a key figure in taking down Dr. Death | Photo credit Barbara Nitke/Peacock

After Duntsch caused damage to a patient of his during surgery, Dr. Kirby, who worked with Duntsch in Plano, worked to repair said damage. This would be Duntsch’s last surgery, and Kirby, alongside Dr. Robert Henderson, would make it their mission to make sure Duntsch would never see a patient ever again.

Alec Baldwin as Dr. Robert Henderson

Alex Baldwin at Dr. Robert Henderson, who accused Dr. Death of impersonating a doctor | Photo credit: Barbara Nitke/Peacock

Dr. Henderson helped repair damage to a previous patient of Duntsch’s. He also accused Duntsch of impersonating a doctor. When Henderson realized that Duntsch was, in fact, an actual doctor, he and Kirby were relentless in bringing his sociopathic ways to light and taking him down.

AnnaSophia Robb as Michelle Shughart

AnnaSophia Robb as Michelle Shugart, the ADA who prosecutes Dr. Death, eventually resulting in his conviction | Photo credit: Barbara Nitke/Peacock.

Robb, who previously worked with Jackson on Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, plays Michelle Shughart, a District Attorney in Dallas County. When she first got involved with the Dr. Death investigation, she was an assistant district attorney, and her then-boss handed the case over to her. While it was a challenge finding evidence that contradicted Duntsch’s then-clean record, as well as learning the ins-and-outs of spinal and neurosurgery, Shughart successfully compiled proof and evidence to help convict Duntsch.


Already binge-watched Dr. Death? Learn more about HBO Max’s Candy Montgomery murder series coming soon.


Looking for something lighter? Check out these five shows where you can catch Collin County-raised talent.

Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez is a writer at Local Profile. He is a lover of food, music, sports, art, and world cultures. Alex was born and raised in Plano and graduated from University of North Texas in 2017. When he...