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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  1. wooster182 says:

    He has to die and end up in Heaven with Lexie. That’s the only ending for Mark that I’m okay with. He sure as hell wouldn’t leave his baby.

  2. Leah says:

    No no no no no no nooooooooooooooo………………My heart is so broken right now!! But at least if mark dies, he’ll be with Lexie. I don’t see how he could go on without her.

  3. Nate says:

    So, are Callie and Arizona going to have sole custody or will that not be apart of the story line?

  4. Darlene Olsen says:

    It was so sad watching Lexie die. But how is he going to walk away from his daughter? Will be intetesting to see how that plays out….

  5. CaRi says:

    While he could just leave to get some alone time like Dylan Walsh did in 90210 after his wife’s death (who ironically was play by Rebecca Gayheart – Eric Dane’s wife) it would make more sense for him to be killed off. Dylan could at least go be with Brenda who I always liked him with more anyway… there is no one else I’d like to see Mark Sloan with so I would prefer for his character to die… and yes, a Mark and Lexie reunion in the afterlife would make me happy :)….I am glad to see he is leaving the show and I agree that his story line is over…since we didn’t get a happy Mark and Lexie ending, I’d prefer no Mark at all! I think Lexie should have just moved away though and Mark could move after her like George Clooney and Julianna Margulies in ER. We obviously do not write the show though so who knows… Mark could get married, move away with Julia and live happily ever after…that’d suck tho!

  6. calee says:

    i dont want him to leave :( </3 the bromance with mcdreamy so much better than the twisted sisters. i hope he doesnt get killed off or anything so he hopefully makes guest appearances (especially because of sophia) the show will definitely not be the same without him

  7. Ange says:

    Maybe someone can comment on this…I read somewhere a while back of a rumor that someone (female) from the cast was being blackballed by another (male) cast member. It was speculated that it was Chyler ….her Co Cast member was blackballing her because she wouldn’t sleep with him…again…and the show producers just told her to keep mum. Has anyone else heard something to this affect? All speculation.

  8. Gramma says:

    This is bullcrap. As much as I like Greys and wish it could go on forever, it is just getting awful. They have already killed of all great characters, and the stupidest crap is happening! How much more can happen to this group of people? Is a volcano going to erupt next? As much as i HATE to say it, They should have ended it long ago when it was in its prime, instead of dragging it out and disappointed fans. :(

    • Johnny says:

      I agree that the show was over a long time ago. It is disrespectful to the fans for Ms. Rhimes to be so haphazard with the core characters. Neither Lexie nor Mark had to die to be true to their characters. They could have had a happy ending. But Ms. Rhimes is one- dimensional in her outcomes. The plane crash was just the latest shark jump–unnecessary and unrealistic. I like Gramma’s comment about the volcano. Just fire one up and put us out of our misery!

  9. Tricia says:

    Dag so sad to see McStreamy go. I likes him but i guess without Lexie his character will be lost… Three good ppl gone.. Lets see if this season is gonna be good…

  10. rochelle says:

    Btw he dies. Of course he dies. Anyone who thought otherwise is not that bright…

  11. Linda says:

    I really liked Mark . I just wish he didnt leave the show. I am really.going to.miss seeing him on the show. I cried when I saw the show. I hope some day he will come back on the show as.a doctor with a differant name or as.marks twin. But I know one thing for sure I will.miss him dearly. I love greys anatomy it my favorite show. . I do wish him good luck on anything he does. Mark you.will.be missed.

  12. Just heart broken over him leaving, he will be missed..Butchee

  13. april says:

    im pissed mark had to die off i loved him and his acting….

  14. Rachel says:

    I don’t think they should have killed him off completely. They should leave a little wiggle room so if he wants to come back or if they want him to make an appearance he has the opportunity to. Rather him die and never be able to be on the show again.

  15. michelle says:

    And Lexy seriously?? she was freaken funny and cute, the least they could do for not having Izzie back yet!

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  17. Cat JdnJay says:

    I have finally caught up with Greys… I was 3 seasons behind. I was utterly devastated when they killed “Mark Sloane”. It will not be the same without him. Why would they make such a change? Budget problems, get rid of the interns. Kill off Arizona (sorry Callie). Shame shame shame. RIP Mark Sloane.

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  19. Barb says:

    I only watched Grey’s because of Eric Dane……I just loved him to bits!
    Barb from Australia

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  21. Sandra Bogle says:

    I had to use a box of Puff tissues when I watched the episode the first time and second time I watched it. I still go back and watch it some times. I started watching his new show The Last Ship when it began. It is good but Mark was a special person on Grey”s Anatomy.

  22. Leslie Wolfson says:

    The show is not the same without Eric Dane. Where is he now?

  23. Donna Myers says:

    I cried when he died. I don’t know what would of happened after Lexie died but really loved his role.