Grey’s Anatomy Characters

Adrianna Rowden and Paige Stapp

Grey’s Anatomy is a long running top rated medical show with sixteen seasons so far, and season seventeen comes out November 12,2020. The show has been running so long that sadly some of our favorite characters have said their goodbyes for their own personal reasons. We will be going in depth as to why some of the characters have left. 

Our first two characters are Isiah Washington (Preston Burke) and T.R. Knight (George O’Malley). Washington was told to leave the show and not return after using homophobic terms to co-star knight. He had used the word after he had already used it once trying to defend himself. It was a public mess. Washington was very upset they ended his contract after the third season.  Knight decided to leave after rhymes director and producer cut his screen time and decided it was best for him to move on. by O’Malley was hit by a bus and died, and Burke found a better job for himself. 

Our next character is Chyler Leigh (Lexi Gray). Leigh left the show but not on any bad terms. She left on good terms, and it was a joint decision between her and Shonda Rhimes. In the article from Insider, Leigh thanked her fans and hoped they would continue her acting  journey with her. Leigh’s character Lexi died in the show due to a horrific plane crash. That also took her partner in the show Mark Sloan (Eric Dane). 

Next is Katherine Heigl (Izzie Stevens). Heigl left the show after working for six seasons. After some disagreement at the Emmys, nothing got better so Heigl decided her time was up. There were several rumors she was hard to work with in lots of shows/movies not just Greys. Rhymes, director of Grey’s Anatomy, even used her name in an interview about the worst actors to work with. Higel character stevens had gotten diagnosed with very bad cancer and after surviving it and marrying Karev until things were going good until she just left and never came back.  She just sent him divorce papers. Heigl was supposed to come back to set and film, but Heigl never showed up. Then later in season seven, she showed up trying to get back with Karev, but he knew he deserved better. That was Heigl’s last appearance.

Sandra Oh was an amazing character playing Christina Yang. In season 10, Rhymes decided her time at the show has ended. It was a very emotional agreement, but she knew it was best for her career. “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go. It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go,” said from Insider Weekly.  This was said in 2013. Oh has no intention of coming back to the show. Her character left the show when finding a new job with her ex-husband Preston Burke to become the head of the neuro department in Switzerland. 

Our next 2 characters are Sarah Drew (April Kepner) and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins). Drew  was let go after being told the show had too many characters. The show could not keep up with everyone’s story lines and didn’t want to have anyone in the background. In the season 14 finale, she and her new husband Matthew decided to help the homeless around Seattle. And the same thing happened to Capshaw she also was written off because of too many characters. The show took a hit after these two left because the both played huge roles. Capshaw as she was going to New York where her ex-wife lives so her daughter could live a normal life.

Our next character is Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd). He left the show to focus on his family, his life outside of Grey’s Anatomy, and his passion for auto racing. His character died when he stopped on the side of the road trying to help a woman and got hit by a car.

Our last character is Justin Chambers who played Alex Karev. This was one of the most recent goodbyes. Chambers worked for the show for 16 years, and he had a hard time leaving. He left the show because he wanted to extend his acting career. His character Alex’s last appearance was when he helped in Meredith Grey’s court hearing. The character left with the most shocking goodbye. Chambers left to be with his former wife Izzie Stevens and their twin kids in Kansas. He left his best friends and current wife Jo Wilson.

After all the goodbyes, Greys Anatomy is still a hit medical drama. It’s a good show for most ages. You will catch on to the cast and crazy storylines very fast! Every episode is a surprise you will never know what to expect.