“House” Actor Killed Off to Work for Obama

This TV star is moving on to a different kind of "House."

Kal Penn's character was killed off on FOX's medical hit "House" Monday so that he could leave his post at the doctor drama to work for President Barack Obama's administration, Entertainment Weekly revealed Tuesday.

Penn's character, Dr. Lawrence Kutner, shot himself to death on Monday's episode of the show. Kutner was one of the three medical interns working under Dr. Gregory House, played by the Emmy-winning Hugh Laurie.

Penn, who campaigned heavily for Obama during his presidential run last year, will work as the Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Liaison -- and take a serious pay cut along the way, the magazine reported.

"There's not a lot of financial reward in these jobs. But, obviously, the opportunity to serve in a capacity like this is an incredible honor," said Penn, who's also starred in comedy hits like "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle" and "National Lampoon's Van Wilder." 

It wasn't clear what Penn would make as part of Obama's campaign, but similar jobs earned between $41,000 and $91,000 last year, the AP reported.

Penn's duties will be to remove the "red tape" between the general public and the Obama administration, doing outreach with American citizens to spread information about presidential policies.

He'll be responsible for working with Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, specifically arts groups, White House officials told the AP.

"I love what I do as an actor. I couldn't love it more," said Penn, who took political science classes through his time in high school and studied international relations at Stanford University.

"I thought this might be the right time to go off and do something else," he said.

Penn approached "House" producers about the move, and they OK'd the actor's early exit from the show. Producers were mum on how Dr. Kutner's departure would specifically affect the remaining characters on "House," but they did say it would cause serious waves among hospital staff.

"There's fallout in every part of the hospital because of this," producer Katie Jacobs said. "This will affect everybody."

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