“Grey’s Anatomy” is the longest running series of the ABC network and that’s not possible without the star cast. In this 15 season-long series, many characters left the series since its start. Find out below who left the series and why.
Isaiah Washington was removed from the series in season 3 when he used a homophobic slur on the set and then again backstage. He also apologized later for his words but that didn’t stop him from making himself notorious before the audience. However, he did appear in one episode of season 10 as Sandra Oh’s ex.
After playing the role of Dr. Addison Montgomery for three seasons, Kate Wash left the series as she was cast as a lead role in “Private Practice“. Getting rid of Addison was easy as she was the ex-girlfriend of Dr. Sloan and ex-wife of Dr. Shepherd. However, she continued making guest appearances until season 8.
When Isaiah Washington slur Knight, it was revealed that Knight was gay. And that’s what caused his exit. Later he revealed that he left the series due to lack of screen time and he labeled the reason as “breakdown in communication“. While commenting on his exit, Knight said that his exit had nothing to do with the comments made by Washington and when looks back he realizes that he has learned a lot during his time at the series.
Brooke Smith who played the role of Dr. Erica Hahn in the series was very clear about her exit. According to Brooke, her role was dropped from the series on the request of Network. Brooke was made off screen after her fight with her lover Dr. Callie Torres. But according to the Shonda Rhimes, the lack of chemistry between the duo was the main reason for Hahn’s exit.
The departure of Katherine Heigl was the one that amazed the audience. According to Heigl, she left the series because she wanted to spend more time with her family. She left the show during season 6. But everyone knows that she left the show due to low screen time in season 4.
Chyler Leigh who played the role of Dr. Lexi Grey in the series also made exit in season 8 as the character died. During a plane crash in the finale of season 8, Dr. Lexi Grey got injured and that’s what caused her death. Later it was revealed that Leigh herself asked for some spare time to spend with her family.
Dr. Teddy Altman whose original name was Kim River left the show when her contract expired at the end of season 8. But according to Shonda Rhimes, she will be back from season 15 and will be a regular starter afterward.
Another major character that was departed from the series in season 8 was Dr. Mark Sloan (whose original name is Eric Dane). Just like Chyler Leigh, Eric was injured in a plane crash and then died after that. The main reason for Dane’s exit was the Network wanted to cut low on its budget.
Dr. Cristina Yang who original name is Sandra Oh left the series in season 10 even she had two more years remaining in her contract. While commenting on her exit, Sandra said that it was totally her decision and she thought that she gave her all in that role and it’s time to move on.
Among all departures, Patrick Dempsey’s one was most controversial. Dempsey who played the role of Dr. Derek Shepherd in the series died in season 11. According to him, it was the time to leave the show and perhaps he should have left it earlier. Dempsey said that it is time to pay attention to other important things in the life.
There was no controversy in the exit of Sara Ramirez but Shonda Rhimes was shocked by her exit. While commenting on her exit, Sara said that leaving the show has allowed her to get clear about the things which are meaningful to her. But Sara hasn’t ruled out a shock return to the series.