Exclusive

Grey's Anatomy Exclusive: Eric Dane Checks Out!

Eric Dane Leaving Grey's AnatomyGrey’s Anatomy boss Shonda Rhimes hinted that more departures could be on the horizon following last May’s deadly cliffhanger — and she wasn’t kidding.

Eric Dane, whose Dr. Mark Sloan looked on in horror as his soul mate Lexie (Chyler Leigh) passed away from her own injuries suffered in the plane crash, has decided to leave the ABC medical drama after six years, to pursue other opportunities. However, Grey’s fans have not yet seen the very last of him.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run,” Dane tells TVLine exclusively. “It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes.”

RELATED | Chyler Leigh Breaks Her Silence About Grey’s Anatomy Departure

In a statement to TVLine, Rhimes called McSteamy “one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy.” She added that Dane “did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end.

“We’re a big Eric Dane Leaving Grey's Anatomyfamily here at Grey’s with a long history together and Eric will always remain an important part of our family,” Rhimes continued. “I wish him the best and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small screen.”

Dane’s Grey’s doc made quite a memorable entrance at the tail end of the show’s second season — punctuated by his emergence from Addison’s (Kate Walsh) steamy hotel bathroom, clad in nothing but a strategically placed towel. The sequence became one of the season’s biggest watercooler moments and led the hottie plastic surgeon to be dubbed “McSteamy.” It also prompted Rhimes to bring him back the following season as a full-time series regular.

Mark was eventually sprung from the Addison-Derek-Meredith kerfuffle and began an on-again-off-again romance with Lexie — a relationship that ended tragically in last May’s Season 8 finale. Unlike Lexie, Mark will (presumably) survive the crash. According to a Grey’s insider, Dane — whose alter ego suffered a cardiac arrest of sorts in the finale, but was saved by a quick-thinking Cristina — will be back for several episodes in order to ensure he gets a proper farewell.

RELATED | Grey’s Anatomy Boss Opens Up About Heartbreaking Finale: “It Made Me Sick”

Eric Dane Leaving Grey's AnatomyDane’s departure, coupled with Leigh’s and Kim Raver’s (Teddy), means Grey’s will enter its ninth season this fall with three fewer series regulars. (The rest of the main cast are expected to stay put for at least two more years.)  To fill the void, the show has hired Friday Night Lights‘ grad Gaius Charles and True Blood‘s Camilla Luddington as new docs.

Grey’s Anatomy‘s ninth season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 27.

Thoughts? Bummed McSteamy is exiting Seattle Grace? Relieved he’ll at least get a proper send-off? Hit the comments!  

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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251 Comments
  1. florence says:

    NO! but well.. what would he do without Lexie? Be wandering around never finding the right girl (aka Alex). I honest to God hope this is the last season of Grey’s… it’s been a GREAT run but enough is enough Shonda, there are just enough episodes to give everyone a decent coherent ending, I really love Greys but I’d hate to see it overstay it’s welcome and fall into oblivion.

  2. AnnClau says:

    Everybody’s leaving this show. I hope they end either next season of the other.

  3. N says:

    I love McSteamy! I will miss him!

  4. ilovemark says:

    Grey’s is getting a little stale for me. With Mc Steamy gone, unless Cristina and McCutie get back to being in love I may have to jump ship. Mer- Der have gotten to be so boring. I’d love it if she’d get pregnant, so many couples that adopt after trouble conceiving do get pregnant. Otherwise it’s like a big soap opera. They cancelled House but this crap is still on. Shonda needs to come up with something fresh or she will lose me. The first few seasons were sooo good!

    • madhatter360 says:

      There actually aren’t that many couples who have trouble conceiving only to get pregnant after adopting. The only reason it seems that way is because those couples stand out in our memories.

      That being said, yes I’d like to see that as a plot.

  5. hello says:

    It is time to start think about ending it. I honestly think no drama should go beyond 7 seasons

  6. bob says:

    Personally I’m glad hes gone I never liked his character especially with callie. Sad Bout lexis being dead though if she were to have just went to a different hospital they could have brought her back later I hope mark quits and goes back to new York cutting all ties with Seattle or kills himself in callie and Arizona’z apartment leaving them to find him after they leave the hospital

  7. Leigh says:

    To all the posters who are eviscerating Shonda, I think it far more likely the decision for Dane to exit has more to do with issues in his personal life — which may be the contributing forces to his noticeable wasting over the past two+ seasons — and very little, if anything, to do with a creative decision by SR. With that said, I hope his time away from GREY’S brings him renewed health and happiness.

  8. Sarabi says:

    As long as Callie and Arizona stay on the show, I’m okay.
    Bye bye McSteamy, it was good while it lasted.

  9. GRB says:

    I doubt they kill him off. Since he went into cardiac arrest and was saved he will most likely be written out by way of a leave of absence in order to get better but still be around if a storyline with Sophia comes up that needs him to guest star. And just because they leave him there in Seattle doesn’t mean we have to see him.

  10. Ben says:

    Missing the “y” in “family” in Shonda’s quote in the fifth paragraph!

  11. rony says:

    I hope he reconsiders. I don’t know if the show can withstand losing such a vital member. Maybe Mark could decide to go see his daughter, Soane. And come back later.

  12. Jenni says:

    I think this should be the last season of Grey’s. It is clear Shonda doesn’t even communicate with her actors all that well-she could have let Eric know Chyler was leaving at the end of season 8 and written so they could leave together. She is much more invested in her new show Scandal. I don’t blame Kim Raver, Chyler or Eric for leaving. Or Kate Walsh for wanting to leave PP. And look what she did to Tim Daly. Shonda just doesn’t seem to treat her some of her actors all that well.

    • chris says:

      There are unfortunately a lot of moving parts with such a large cast and having to deal with three shows. I have heard of zero complaints from actors about shonda. It’s unfortunate about cast departures but they tried to make sure that the main core of originals remained intact for two years.

      • Jenni says:

        “Having to deal with 3 shows”. That is the problem right there. She clearly can’t deal with 3 shows because she is tanking 2 of the older ones for the newer one. How hard is it to talk to your actors? She didn’t even tell Tim Daly in person he was gone.
        With NCIS, Shane Brennan gave over most of the show running duties to Gary Glasberg because Brennan had NCIS LA to deal with. I think she can’t do 3 shows well.

  13. madhatter360 says:

    Maybe he leaves to do something relating to his other daughter. The one who’s a grown-up.

  14. Tanya says:

    Ive always liked Mark Sloan but this show has just gotten ridiculous. Watching the reruns of the early seasons makes me wonder what the heck happened because the GA that airs now is nowhere near the great show that aired back then. Good for him for jumping ship before if completely sinks.

  15. Ella says:

    I don’t understand why they couldn’t have had a happy ending (like Doug and Carol, ER) if both of them were planning on leaving the show anyway.

  16. chris says:

    Yet annoying April still remains, ugh…. Nothing against the actress, it’s her character.

  17. Gail says:

    Probably Shonda wanted him off the show and they are having him say he wants to leave to make it look better for him. I wasn’t fired, I wanted to leave.

  18. Lily says:

    At least, that way, in my mind, I can pretend that Mark and Lexie will forever be together since we won’t have to see him with another love interest while we all know that he was in love with Lexie.

  19. Sue says:

    I haven’t seen McSteamy in quite a few years. He was great with the comedic one liner’s and as Derek’s BFF in his early years as a cad. It seemed very natural, unlike Derek and Owen being BFF’s. IMO they totally ruined him with the CAM mess in season six? It showed that he wasn’t on the same playing field, acting wise, with the actors who play Callie and Arizona. I thought CL brought out the best of his acting but now that she is gone I’m okay with him leaving. I hope he goes to CA to work with the red head, but will miss the missed opportunities he could have had with Derek and Meredith bonding over losing Lex. I wasn’t a fan at first with Mark and Lexie but I grew to like them together.

  20. J says:

    It’s time to stop watching the series. It has no where to deteriorate further. It reached the end of its way, for me.

  21. Rachel says:

    Ok people. Let’s leave the writing to the professionals. Everyone thinks writing is easy, but it’s not. Writing for TV is the most difficult form of writing because the conditions change over time. Actors have lives outside of TV land. If writing really is as easy as you think it is, then everyone would do it and be wealthy. I’m studying to be a writer and I love Grey’s Anatomy. The characters are consistant, but still develop over time. Great writing is about great characters that people grow to love. Grey’s Anatomy is a great TV show that I will continue to watch and learn from it.

  22. L says:

    Can’t they kill Arizona and Owen off instead??????? Pleeeeeeease?

  23. Sam says:

    Personally I wish it were Arizona over Mark, but they will find them and Mark will make it to the hospital and die from unforseen injuries while in the hospital. He would just leave Seattle without Sofia and they won’t just have him be alive and in Sofias life just not in the show. Since he is leaving they are gonna get the best storyline they can from it. And sadly enough his death will impact many major characters. I will definitely be shedding lots of tears myself when this happens.

  24. Noooo!!! So bummed!!! I think Dr. McSteamy needs his own spin-off!!!

  25. Jen says:

    I’m guessing he’ll make it back to Seattle, but then die once he’s there. That gives him time for a sad goodbye with Callie and his daughter, while still making his departure realistic. I agree that it would be difficult for him to leave Seattle willingly because of Sofia…so unless some other hospital in the area hires him, I don’t see him coming out of this alive. He did look pretty bad in the finale.

  26. TrustNo1 says:

    With Lexie gone, I think it is the right move. They should kill Mark off, so he & Lexie can have a celestial reunion! It’s such a shame Mark & Lexie were not allowed to reunite and leave the show together. And, NO, as heartwrenching & lovely, as the Mark-Lexie “reunion” was via HER DEATH SCENE…It was a complete cop-out!!

  27. Lu says:

    Im gonna say, I LOOOOOVE Mc Steammy and i love him even more with Lexie. Altough I dont forget her for killing Lexie off (And I NEVER WILL), if Mark dies, I might keep watching GA. I was gonna stop watching because she killed Lexie and I wanted her to end up with Mark but , If he dies, they will be together in the afterlife and, at least for me, thats enough: Knowing they are together and that he hasnt move on from the love of his life. (The line: You think you broke me little grey? You are the one that pull me back together.. is the line that made me love them.)

    But, If Mark was gonna leave, they should have make them leave together and happy. I mean, we´ve been waiting for SO long to have them together (They are mean to be) and at the end, at least for me, I feel they made fun of me: It was not bitter sweet at all and it wasnt worth it, it was horrible.

    Also, Shonda said EXACTLY the same or very similar of what she said about Chyler´s departure.

    Sorry about my english, Im from Argentina =)

    • Jen says:

      These are my exact feelings too! Shonda made promise after promise to Mark and Lexie fans to just keep holding on and we’d get this amazing reunion and then she drags it out for two years with the payoff being Lexie’s death. At least if he dies we can think of them being together for eternity and that’s really the only way I can keep watching the show. I couldn’t watch if he was still alive and Lexie was gone. Oh and I loved those lines you quoted *sniff* They were the best!!!

      • Lu says:

        Heyy! Glad to know someone share my feelings =) Its exactly like you said, Also we can have a sort of reunion with a scene similar to George/Izzie in the elevator, right? Something like Lexie receiving Mark. I couldnt watch the show without her either, more if there is a possibility of Mark moving on! This is a good way for us to be calm and happy, with a “final” as close as possible of what we deserve, right? We dont deserve this, but at least, is better than she diying and him telling her how great there life could have been.

        That quote is the best! I will never get tired of that quote! I love them so much!

    • Caro says:

      I agree. I couldn’t believe him getting in a relationship with some dumb girl. Only if it’s Addison… they made sense as a couple. I loved Mark/Lexie as a couple but Mark and Addison could make it work, too.

      • Lu says:

        True about the dumb girl! Like Julia. I CANT STAND JULIA, please, someone just.. shut her up! its a really bad copy of Lexie! I used to like Mark and Addison but then Mark/Lexie came.. and it was never the same! jaja!

  28. Rosemary says:

    about time,his acting is poor,i didn’t like him ever,waste of time & no good SL for him anyway,now Calzona will be much better without him,no standing in their kitchen every morning lol!

  29. Ruby says:

    Grey’s doesn’t appear dead to me. I thought season 8 was very good, actually…until we got to the over-the-top plane crash.

    Sad to see McSteamy go, but without Lexie he’s not really got a good ‘plot’ besides being the third-wheel in Calzona.

    I would love to see Grey’s complete 10 seasons and call it quits before it goes the ER route.

  30. Darla says:

    Something is off with Eric Dane. I know he struggled with pain killer meds. This past season he looked thin, pale and old. I have seen that kind of face before and Im worried that he is not healthy.

  31. Hope says:

    Actually, this might be it for me and my Grey’s run; but we’ll see. I’ve been a Grey’s fan since day 1, and of these past few seasons, Eric Dane and Chandra Wilson have kept the show worthwhile. Take away Mark Sloan and you take away one of the characters that embodies every single human emotion in such a loving and endearing way that made me enjoy him, his character and his performance week after week. He will certainly be missed by this viewer.

  32. Caro says:

    I’d want Mark to either give up and die, now that his true love has died, or recover to pursue Addison and give her a one option choice: To get back together, period. We know Kate Walsh is leaving PP (good for her!) so now that Eric is leaving GA it seems some kind of closure. I wanted Mark to be with Addison and when that didn’t happen, I rooted for Lexie and Mark. But I really hope Mark will visit Addi in LA and get comforted by her and in the end rekindle their relationship and stay together. Now that Shonda has killed not only Lexie but also our hope of a Mark/Lexie romance, this is the least she can do for us fans!

  33. kariuki diane agnes says:

    f shonda rhimes !i hated her when she sent burke away always hoping for his return and now she wants t break my heart again by killing slexie am donewith this show who’s next huh shonda? who?i hate you

  34. Char says:

    Sorry to see Erik (and Lexie) leave. Perhaps he’s in talks to play Christian Grey in “50 Shade of Grey”? We already know he can handle sex scenes.

  35. charlotte says:

    Oh noo!! Mc Steamy. He is so great! They Kind of Run out if characters don’t they? They need new people!!

  36. mar says:

    Really hate to see mcsteamy go. Him and derek really made the show great.

  37. nic says:

    Greys is getting DUMB!!! Why would he leave his child!!! I was bummed when Izzy left, and Lil Grey broke my heart! Now MARK!!!! Can you say going down hill!!! What a disappointment!

  38. Pam says:

    I’m through now with this show. My mom quit watching a while ago with the “afterlife” story which she thought was stupid. Now since my fav character and the only one I really liked is off, so am I. Acutally this show is not near as good as it used to be so I won’t be missing much it seems.

  39. Sarah Claire says:

    I am very sad to see Mark go. What about his baby with Cali? I hope he makes appearances in the future. Also it would be cool to see him on Private Practice.
    Farewell McSteamy you will be missed.

  40. Becky says:

    I never warmed up to Teddy’s character. I loved Lexie and remain ticked off about killing her off. She was my favorite. After losing her, losing Mark might as well be next.

  41. Nikki says:

    This sucks.so not happy.they’re killing off all the good cast members so they can end the show

  42. amy says:

    Im in Australia and the plane crash season final hasnt been shown yet. gutted that lexi is leaving, and to top it off Sloane. They keep killing off the characters that i love. whats the deal with christina – had enough of her, bt theyll keep her just coz she’s grey’s (person) lol. the insanity of it all. Sounds like their jst going to kill everyone off over the next 2 seasons till no ones left. terrible way to end the show. can understand though why actors are leaving now. its easier to get acting jobs while theirs still hype surrounding them than after the shows ended. makes sense career wise – just sad for the show.

  43. Real life says:

    Wow. These people aren’t real. Get a life. Make real friends. Seriously?

  44. wendy says:

    Nw dis is just crazy….first was Dr bruke,den came,den George,izzie,addison,lexie,nw mark,who knws who’s next…lemme guess,cristina or mer,derek ohhhhhh,Bailey,,,ure serzly bringin ur show 2 an end….Mark is one of my favourite characters lemme him b,who’s gonna continue d friendship he has with callie…take arizona or april out n leave Mark d hell alone..,ad

  45. felicia says:

    I swear down I’m always gonna love SR decision…whatever she decides upon. We really should stop hating/disapproove her creativity! I mean why do something good if really you can’t do it bad? If the actors/actress wants to move on for whatever reason,then let them for crying out loud it’s freaky free world,innit? *zillio of hugznkisses*for ya Shonda,me likey really jus do! bite me haters,yeah d@’s wah I said ‘bite me’

  46. felicia says:

    Honestly, there’re times I wonder if she’s doing the right thing but *shrugz carealessly* but what the hell,it’s her show she gets to run it her way. The episode I could really remember the number of times I did the *sign of the cross* was when bailey dumped the anesthaelogist and started dating the nurse guy got me thinking for a really long time! Let’s just understand one thing that if she can come this long then there’s something she’s doing right and it’s working for her. Infact,she keep doing that one I keep thinking about and it’s: why do something really good if you can’t do it bad? Really,guys tell me? So…

  47. mzklynn says:

    I am truly sad. I was hoping Lexie survived the crash! I remember watching the season finale thinking “oh, they are going to resuscitate her…she’s not going to die”. I was hoping Lexie would finally have the man of her dreams. Now, He’s going to be leaving the show?! I’m a die hard grey’s fan. I enjoy all the characters & storylines (except Callie). Come on Ms. Shonda, give us great tv…again!

  48. Tai says:

    I freakin’ hate Shonda Rhimes. After two years of teasing the fans, she gets rid of two of my favorite characters without any resolution. I am so done with this show.

  49. Patti says:

    I think killing Lexie was such a bad decision and with Mark leaving, even more unneccessary. Way not reunite them and just have them move away. That’s life. People move. I’m kinda glad him and Chyler are gone though. The show has stunk for the past two seasons and now with them gone, I can finally give up on the show.

  50. Chris says:

    I would really miss Lexie if she had anything going on for her character-wise in the last two seasons. I mean, if they had killed off “season 6 Lexie,” I would be upset, but honestly, her “storylines” have been going nowhere for AWHILE. Oh, she’s a babysitter. Oh, she’s Lexiepedia. Oh, she’s slumming it with Avery while Sloan ignores her. Whatever. I’m glad she’s gone (as a character). I wish Chyler Leigh the best with her family, though.
    As for Mark leaving, that upsets me. He was the most underated comic-relief on a show that sometimes takes itself WAY too seriously. The “Sloanzonie” triangle was a strong story motivator, and his bff thing with Shepard always made me laugh, like they were brothers that couldn’t stop needling each other long enough to realize how much they meant to each other.
    Teddy leaving… means nothing to me, but I wish it could have been on happier terms, maybe with her husband surviving or something. At least it will clear the way for Yang to step up to her cardio destiny or whatever.
    I’m ready for some fresh faces, honestly.

    By the way, STOP HATING ON APRIL, PEOPLE!!! She’s awesomely neurotic and funny, & VERY easy on the eyes. Sarah Drew, you rock. :)

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