Gray’s Anatomy has been on the air since 2005, which suggests the present has aired greater than 400 episodes (and counting).
With such a future, characters have come and gone on the present — some with good exits, and others with not so nice ones — so here is a glance again at among the largest actors who’ve departed Gray’s Anatomy over the past 19 seasons and what went down behind the scenes:
First, Katherine Heigl left the present in the course of Season 6, with Izzie deciding to take a brand new job away from Seattle Grace. On the time, Katherine’s departure got here after a number of behind-the-scenes moments the place she criticized Gray’s Anatomy. Notably, she dropped out of the 2008 Emmys race, which was reportedly seen as a “swipe at producers for diminishing her presence on the sequence.”
Sandra Oh exited the sequence on the finish of Season 10, with Cristina deciding to maneuver to Zurich and work on the high cardiothoracic hospital, which was based by Burke. When she introduced her exit, Sandra stated, “Creatively, I actually really feel like I gave it my all, and I really feel able to let her go.”
Patrick Dempsey departed the present in Season 11, with Derek dying after succumbing to move accidents following a automobile crash. On the time, Patrick stated his character’s exit “unfolded in a really natural means,” nonetheless in 2021 it was reported that he was “terrorizing the set,” which led to his exit. There was obvious preventing between him, Ellen Pompeo, and Shonda Rhimes, and “solid members had all kinds of PTSD with him.”
Ellen Pompeo lately left the present as a sequence common when Meredith and her household moved to Boston. After greater than 400 episodes, Ellen needed to discover different initiatives and she or he’ll now be starring in a brand new restricted sequence, which marks the primary time she’s performed a special character since Gray’s began in 2005.
On the finish of Season 5, T.R. Knight left the sequence with George dying after he saved somebody from getting hit by a bus. T.R.’s exit was a shock to followers and got here after a variety of offscreen drama, particularly with Isaiah Washington, who known as him an anti-gay slur earlier than T.R. publicly got here out. In the end, T.R. departed the present after realizing George’s storyline was hitting a standstill.
Isaiah Washington was fired from Gray’s Anatomy in 2007 — Burke left Cristina on the altar within the Season 3 finale — after calling T.R. Knight an anti-gay slur on set. Reportedly, this led to a bodily altercation between him and Patrick Dempsey, who had been at odds with one another.
Chyler Leigh exited Gray’s Anatomy after Season 8, with Lexie Gray shockingly dying after the notorious airplane crash episode. On the time, Chyler stated she made the choice to step away and labored with Shonda Rhimes to present “Lexie’s story acceptable closure.” She needed to have extra time to spend together with her household, particularly her three youngsters.
Eric Dane departed Gray’s Anatomy firstly of Season 9 after Mark died because of the accidents he sustained within the airplane crash. On the time, Eric needed to discover different performing alternatives, and killing Mark was what made sense for the writers and Shonda Rhimes, who defined that Mark would by no means recover from Lexie’s loss of life.
Justin Chambers departed Gray’s Anatomy throughout Season 16, with Alex deciding to depart Gray Sloan to go be with Izzie. On the time, Justin stated he left as a result of he needed to “diversify [his] performing roles and profession decisions” and that it was a tough choice to make.
Giacomo Gianniotti left Gray’s Anatomy throughout Season 17 when Andrew died after he was stabbed whereas pursuing a human trafficker. Giacomo was instructed about this storyline by showrunner Krista Vernoff, who had the thought to kill off his character on this means.
Sara Ramirez exited Gray’s Anatomy in Season 12 as Callie left Seattle to go stay and work in New York Metropolis with Penny. Reflecting on their choice to depart the present, Sara lately stated, “I had reached a bodily, emotional, psychological capability for taking part in the character — and had type of misplaced myself with it.”
Jesse Williams departed the present in Season 17 when Jackson determined to maneuver to Boston to guide the Catherine Fox Basis. Jesse determined to depart after realizing Jackson’s storylines have been reaching an “natural” change, and he felt this was one of the best transfer. Whereas he left as a sequence common in 2021, he has appeared in a number of episodes since.
Jessica Capshaw left the present after the Season 14 finale when Arizona determined to maneuver to NYC with Sofía so that they may very well be nearer to Callie. Jessica’s departure was a shock for followers and was stated to be due to “the present’s inventive course.” Nonetheless, on the time, individuals questioned if it was related to Ellen Pompeo’s new wage, which Ellen denied.
Sarah Drew exited the present following the Season 14 finale after April married Matthew and stop her job at Gray Sloan to work at a charity clinic. Sarah and Jessica Capshaw’s exits have been introduced on the identical time. Once more, individuals speculated if it was associated to Ellen Pompeo’s new $20 million per yr wage, however it was stated to be due to new storylines.
Gaius Charles left Gray’s Anatomy following Season 10, with Shane deciding to go work with Cristina in Zurich. His exit was a little bit of a shock contemplating he was solely upped to a sequence common that very same season after becoming a member of in Season 9.
Jerrika Hinton departed the present after the Season 13 finale, which featured Stephanie escaping a fireplace at Gray Sloan and deciding that she did not need to be a physician anymore. Previous to her official exit, Jerrika was already exploring different performing choices, which made followers speculate that she was prepared to depart.
And eventually, Kim Raver initially exited Gray’s Anatomy after Season 8, with Teddy deciding to take a brand new job. Nonetheless, she returned in Season 14. Kim’s authentic exit occurred when she elected to not renew her sequence choice as she “was prepared to present Teddy Altman a much-needed trip,” in keeping with Shonda Rhimes.