Sarah Ramirez Leaving Grey's Anatomy

Sara Ramirez Confirms Grey's Anatomy Departure: 'I'm Taking Some Time Off'

Turns out Sara Ramirez’s cryptic goodbye tweet last month was much ado about something.

The longtime Grey’s Anatomy actress — whose contract was up for renewal this season — confirms in a statement that she will not be back for Season 13. Her character was written out in Thursday’s Season 12 finale when, in the episode’s closing moments, Callie moved forward with plans to follow girlfriend Penny to New York.

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy and ABC, but for now, I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez said in a statement. “[Series creator] Shonda [Rhimes has] been so incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations. I send my love to Ellen [Pompeo], the rest of the cast and crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

Rhimes, meanwhile, issued her own statement, saying, “Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago, and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey. Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland.”

Ramirez, who joined Grey’s in its second season, is one of several veteran cast members whose contracts are set to expire in June. Her longtime scene partner, Jessica Capshaw, however, is not one of them. As TVLine exclusively reported, she inked a new three-year deal with the show last May.

This marks the third major Grey’s exit in as many seasons, following the departures of Sandra Oh (in Season 10) and Patrick Dempsey (in Season 11).

Where does Ramirez’s departure rank among past Grey’s Anatomy exits? Deposit your comments below!

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. Nita Hammon says:

    Hey, at least Torres got to go out alive!!

  2. NM says:

    “Taking some time off” – so does this mean we’ll see her back at some point?

    • Larc says:

      “Taking some time off” is code for “looking for other opportunities.”

      • NM says:

        Which I totally understand after 10 and a half years of being on a series. However, just be upfront about it and don’t get people’s hopes up of a return.

        • Until or unless she gets a new gig, she wants to keep her options open. Hence the hedge. Plus, WE MUST PLAY NICE WITH SHONDA…

          • NM says:

            I definitely agree, but as I stated below, this departure was last minute and definitely a contract issue over money.
            We all know Shonda would have prepared a good departure storyline rather than this garbage of sending Callie off with ‘Perfect Penny’. To put it in Arizona’s words (season 6 finale), Callie is more in love with the idea of love than being in love with someone. They obliterated a good character

          • Falcon says:

            @NM, couldn’t have said it better myself. All of my exact same thoughts.

          • sharon says:

            Money,its always about the money

        • Remember she is a TONY Award winning actress who has an amazing voice. Perhaps she wants to take some time off and come back to Broadway and so something. (Which would be so awesome!)

      • Anna says:

        Yeah, but they could be short term opportunities. She was a Broadway actress pre-Grey’s (she has a Tony!), so she might be looking to do a theater stint to change things up a bit. And theater stints don’t last that long. Chances are, she’ll be back in a season or two if Grey’s is still going strong.

    • Gail says:

      I think the only time Sandra and Sara will come back is when the series is wrapping up if they are still alive. Grey’s looks like it will never end.

    • Maddie says:

      She’s leaving because she wants to lose weight and the screen writers told her she can’t because that’s not what her character looks like. It’s kinda dumb 😞

  3. Stephon JS says:

    i hope she comes back after her time off

    • NM says:

      As do I, however I don’t think it’s likely.
      This departure was last minute and definitely a contract issue over money.
      We all know Shonda would have prepared a good departure storyline rather than this garbage of sending Callie off with ‘Perfect Penny’. To put it in Arizona’s words (season 6 finale), Callie is more in love with the idea of love than being in love with someone. They obliterated a good character.

      • Pedro says:

        It’s an ageing show. The older players made over US$ 300,000 an episode and want more every renewal. Meanwhile, ratings have declined over the years – although they are still good. People end up going if they want a raise they can’t give.

        • rockgolf says:

          Actually this year the ratings went up.

        • NM says:

          No problem with it being an ageing show. Just staying the obvious of Sara’s departure. Aside from returning to a Dick Wolf show for a few guest appearances and some Broadway, she won’t get far. Greys was her ticket.

          • Tony says:

            She currently does voice work on Sofia The First as Sofia’s mom. So she won’t be completely out of a job. If she doesn’t get another live action role, she’s got that experiment to fall back on (when that show eventually ends)

          • Tony says:


          • Eran says:

            Perhaps in your mind, Broadway success isn’t getting far but for many, it is the pinnacle of their dreams. Sara Ramirez is a super versatile actress and performer and for all we know, she misses the thrill of the stage and of singing to an audience every night and has decided it’s time to feed her soul with a bit of that too for a while.
            Good luck to her in whatever she does.

      • Tanya says:

        the last epi i saw, Callie broke it off with Penny. She was making arrangements with Arizona when to get Sofia.

      • Molly says:

        Shonda announced that the story line for Callie leaving to New York was already put in place!!! Her plan was to have Callie go to New York for a bit and then come back and reunite with Arizona!!! Shonda confirmed that in her interview!!! So when Sara told her 3 days before the finale Shonda was kinda glad that she had Callie leaving for New York in the finale!!!

        • Tanya says:

          Callie did NOT leave for NY in the finale, as you probably know. She broke up with Penny and hugged Arizona later on when AZ brought Sofia over. So? No clue how they’ll explain her being gone next season, unless they show ONE episode with Callie in it to explain.

          • Molly says:

            What episode were you watching because at the end of the episode Arizona handed her plane tickets too New York for her and Sofia and told her that Sofia deserves to have 2 happy moms and Shonda was going to have her come back, but then Sara announced that she was leaving the show taking some welcomed time off so it worked with the story line

  4. Luli says:

    Noooo!!!!! I’m going to miss her! hope she comes back one day!

  5. Linda Bryant says:

    Sounds like she’s left the door open to come back.

  6. 777 says:

    Nooooooo! Callie was annoying this season but she’s still one of my favourite characters. I guess the silver lining is that she’s not dead.

  7. NM says:

    I am hoping with this, they will not add any further cast members. I love Sara and the character of Callie, but focus on what you have.

    • 777 says:

      They kinda have to though, otherwise Arizona will be single for the rest of the show.

      • NM says:

        That’s fine on a recurring basis like Catherine Avery. However, there are several single cast members on this show. There’s nothing wrong with being single.

  8. Lindsey says:

    Did we watch the same episode, because the last scene with Torres was Arizona bringing Sophia to her place saying they needed to do better.

  9. Andrew Hass says:

    I can understand Sara Ramirez wanting some time off from Grey’s after been on it for 10 years.Plus maybe a break will help the character of Callie too in the long run.However it wouldn’t surprise me if Sara does come back as Callie sometime next season even if it’s just for a few episodes.

  10. Suzie says:

    Wait did I miss something? I watched the whole episode and the only thing with Callie was that Arizona was more open with custody but I didn’t hear either of them talking about Callie moving? I’m just confused maybe the episode got cut off.

    • Este says:

      Rewatch the scene. Arizona hands her plane tickets and throws out a shared custody schedule.

      • Suzie says:

        How were we supposed to know they were plane tickets? It literally just looked a piece of paper? I thought it was a custody schedule not plane tickets. I know I’m not the only one who is confused though. Like the last thing I remember with Callie and Penny was that they broke up so I wouldn’t have thought they would do something without making it more obvious.

    • Alyson says:

      She gave her plane tickets as well, to go to Penny.

    • Kate says:

      Right? I’m so confused. The only thing even close to that, that was said, was Arizona gave Callie plane tickets to take Sofia away for the weekend . That was it. Nothing was said about her leaving to chase Penny or whatever. I’m confused.

      • Falcon says:

        Arizona hands her the tickets and says: “I want Sofia back next weekend. I want summers and school breaks. We can switch off school years. And I want her this Christmas, but we can switch off after that”…. Sounds pretty clear to me.

        • Heather says:

          I agree! It was clear to me that she was leaving for NY w Penny.

        • Mary says:

          I guess many needed the actual words, go to Penny, to comprehend what happen. I like Callie but in all honestly I really won’t miss the character. I think it was time. Good luck to Sara on future endeavors.

          • Tanya says:

            Well, Penny thinks they broke up so….. hmm. I don’t think it was time for her to go off the show. She’s head of ortho, has a BIG thing with the vets.

  11. Alyson says:

    This would be sad regardless, but after what they did to her character this season, and for Penny?? Ugh.

  12. AZ handed her a plane ticket and laid out future custody arrangements. Its a done deal. Callie is GONE.

    • Olivia says:

      Good. Love Sara but can’t stand Callie.
      Now maybe we can finally see Arizona focused on apart from Calzona (that I used to love but that has been fubar for a couple seasons) and get a new love interest. Maybe that cool firefighter can come back, or a new woman idec I just want to see Arizona happy.

  13. Viv says:

    I remember this beautiful, raven-haired, strong, smart ass goddess standing center stage on Broadway hitting the purest notes I’d ever heard in a little show called Spamalot. I knew then that person was an absolute star. Enjoy your time off Sarah. You deserve it!

  14. LE says:

    Sad to see Callie go :(. But after 10 years on the show it’s comprehesible that she wants t pursue other things but at least I’m happy that Callie didn’t die as it was on George Mark, Lexie or Derek cases

  15. Terry Mangnall says:

    Gee wish you hadn’t email this to me 2 hours before the show even starts in California. No spoiler warning, just the big reveal!

    • luv2cook says:

      Really? It’s season finale weeks and you don’t change your email preferences? I don’t even look at my phone or computer until after the episode has aired.

    • Danyelle says:

      Usually i feel some sympathy for people on spoilers but here it doesn’t really stick. Its not like Callie got killed off and the way the episode ended doesn’t even suggest she is gone for good. So what was supposedly spoiled?

  16. Ron says:

    Thanks for the spoiler alert! Damn

  17. abz says:

    Such a disappointing send-off for one of the most beloved characters on this show. To have her send off revolve around Penny of all characters. I hope the door is still open for her to return. It could be like those special event episodes once or twice a season like when Addison left for Private Practice and they would have her check back in every now and then. Also, unlike Addison, Callie has deep ties to Seattle and the hospital. So it’s not like they’d have to go out of their way to come up with some way for her to return.

  18. tahimar says:

    I will miss you, Dr. Callie Torres! My Calzona heart is broken…

  19. Alicia Gray says:

    Wat a hugely disappointing and lackluster exit for her. After all of this time you’d think she would get at least a full REAL scene (not her final reaction one to Arizona – doesn’t count) to give her the sendoff she deserved. Yikes.

  20. Tony says:

    Good for her. I’ll miss Callie. But as has been for 12 seasons now, things change and the show goes on.

  21. Anna says:

    I think your making a mistake they should keep her put her back on how long seasons are there left for greys l am disappointed !

  22. Falcon says:

    It’s not *that* she left that has me most upset, it’s *how* she left. Callie Torres is a 10 year character and by all standards a fan favorite, to have her final episode be the C plot with less than 4 minutes of screen time is inexcusable. To have her leave over “perfect penny” is inexcusable. As someone else said on this thread, they tore apart all of the character’s growth.
    All the way back in season 6, Arizona told Callie that she loved the “idea” of love more than the specific person, and after 5 seasons of growing and growing past that, in season 12 Callie completely reverted and proved Arizona right. I get that contract negotiations ran late into the year, this has all the feeling of a last minute hack job and I’m sure there were real time limitations, but still Callie Torres (and her decade of fans) deserved a better goodbye.
    I’m hopeful there is a more complete goodbye of sorts in the fall. Both Mark and George’s big goodbyes came in the September premiere as opposed to the May finales. But also, in both of those cases the character had died. I don’t know how you can have a big farewell after the fact if someone just- moved- I guess we will have to see what Shonda comes up with.
    I hope the character gets more than this, because man I will miss her.

    • NM says:

      I believe you were referring to my comments so thank you for agreeing with me.
      I also feel the same about how she left, not her leaving.
      For a fan of Callie since day one, I am appalled with her storylines this season and overall the dismemberment of her character. Shame on the writers of this show. I am disappointed.
      I do hope as suggested having her come back for the premiere next season to say goodbye, but seems unlikely.

    • Tanya says:

      she did NOT leave with Penny, as I guess you now know. So I have no idea how they’ll explain her being gone next season. and what about Sofia? I can’t imagine what they’ll do with her character to explain her being gone.

  23. Geneviève says:

    The fact that all the promo about 12×22 – though it was huge for Callie & Arizona SL – was made by Kevin McKidd (who only directed the episode) and Betsy Beers instead of the 2 main protaganists, would have already had to alert us at certain level, right? I mean, I can understand that Capshaw who was on the point to give birth, wanted to rest but Ramirez was free (in the past, she had committed a lot to the media level when her character and Arizona and/or Mark had got an important development in their storyline), even if she was in full negotiation for a renewal of her contract.
    Plus, remember that she didn’t react to the media concert around a possible exit of her character, even though sources said that ABC and her agent were rather confident for a return in S13, In brief, as say some people, this departure was last time and definitely and a contract issue to over money. Result: Ramirez and her character didn’t get a good departure storyline rather than this disappointing sending off with Penny.

    Anyway, it’s a sad exit but it seems that doors are still open for an eventual return in the future, at less for Sofia, as seeing as Shoonda Rhimes didn’t kill the character of Callie (maybe will she return as guest star for Capshaw/Arizona’s exit like Washington/Burke with Oh/Cristina’s exit OR for the series finale). I keep thinking that Calzona is endgame, even if Arina meets.

    Now we know that Callie is in NY, I hope that Arizona is going to be able to re-concentrate on her work and her love life (and why not a serious relationship with someone like Doctor Lauren soemthing) while continuing to take care of Sofia. Jessica Capshaw is a good actress and whatever the scenarios which Shonda Rhimes and varied scriptwriters could invent, she will be prove to be worthy… and with a little luck, we will FINALLY hear her point of view with regard to people and situations met.

  24. Heather says:

    So sad to see Sara leave. I hope she will be back at some point down the road. She is a amazing actress!

  25. Kervindran Mohanasundaram says:

    They could have given her a better exit. I mean, she was in the finale like what – 3 minutes? For a series regular who has been on the show for over 10 years, she should have been given a better exit. Yeah, a lot of other stuff were going on but still. Feels incomplete.

  26. A3rynSun76 says:

    I know this is weird to say, and uncomfortably optimistic, but I have a feeling that Sara will be back in season 14. I recognize the insanity, but she just got less than five minutes of screen time in her send off and the court thing was a near character assassination. But really I don’t have a truly good reason for this feeling. Callie’s coming back. We just have to be patient.

  27. I can’t recall another Greys’ regular who left (on good terms, no less) and came back. I kept hoping Teddy would make a few appearances but nope. I think it’s goodbye for Callie. Too bad — she had so much spunk. Love her. But I never did see the big appeal of Penny for her. I mean, she’s no Arizona!! I wish Sara luck. She has the voice of an angel. I hope some live theatre is in her future.

    • Falcon says:

      Burke. Addison. And Sandra Oh will almost definitely make a return in Grey’s final season, whenever that maybe (2023? Lol)
      But yes, it’s a rarity. I get your point.

  28. Skyler says:

    One of my least Favorite characters. glad to see her go honestly, maybe Arizona can get a decent storyline/love interest now.

  29. EM says:

    I didn’t like Callie’s storylines this year but I will miss Sara. The door is open for a return but I doubt she’ll be back. The character of Addison came back a few times but that was mainly to prop up interest in her own show.

  30. dman6015 says:

    The Shondaland Broadcasting Co. has spoken. She’ll be welcomed back with closed fists.

  31. Kim says:

    So upset…. She is one of my favorites.. Please bring her back!!

  32. Yolanda Rosario says:

    Hey, o.k. Will let Sara take a break, but please bring her back. We need Latin blood in these show, especially Dr Callie Torres is a fantastic doctor, will. Be missed so much.

  33. NC says:

    In the words of Jon Snow “my watch has ended”.

    They could have given Callie a better sendoff. The character and actress deserved much more than what she got.

  34. TinLV says:

    I’ll miss Sara, but truthfully, since Callie and Arizona broke up,I haven’t cared much for the characters. If they are not going to get them back together, then Callie leaving is the best solution.. now Arizona can get on with her life and maybe Shonda will give her a storyline and make her interesting again. .

  35. Annmarie Curran Liguori says:

    I’m so sorry to see Sara ramirez leave. Callie has been one of my favorites. Another hole in the heart for Grey’s anatomy and me. Best of luck Sara. You are amazing❣

  36. Fabricio says:

    Shondaland killed again another fan favorite. Calzona is dead.

  37. Mary says:

    I wonder if Sara would ever be open to visiting another Shondaland production.

  38. Cindy says:

    Shonda, bring back an Izzy look a like. We want to see Alex and Iz again. You don’t need to hire Katie back but how about another actress who looks like her. She did freeze her and Alex’s eggs. Hummmm

  39. Tanya says:

    wait a minute. Callie and Penny BROKE UP at the end of the last episode I saw.

    • Molly says:

      That’s what I don’t get!!! After Callie had lost the custody battle she started blaming Penny for it and broke up with Penny because she believed it was her fault why she lost so idk why Shonda would have her go back to her!!!

  40. Suzie says:

    I get it, you know. I do. But it is so hard to lose this character, this person who has inspired, excited, drawn us in with her beauty, pizazz, intensity and passion. It is a reminder that life is truly temporary. Thank you Callie (Sara) for sharing your talent with all of us. Best in all you do! I’ll be watching for you!

  41. Lilly says:

    Ok-let’s face it…..She said show me the money….. Boss lady said no. Then Ms full of herself said peace out…. She’ll end up like the actress that played Izzy.

  42. I will miss her character immensely! It will be difficult to fill the void! Good luck Shonda Rhimes!

  43. Connie Luebkeman says:

    With her character leaving and she only got about a minute or two of screen time on the finale, I was quite upset. Sara gave Greys Anatomy 10 years and they gave her 2 minutes. It felt like a slap in the face to Sara’s fans. Esp most of us couldn’t stand Penny. We were again insulted with Callie going with Penny. Only hope is that Sara returns in a year. I do wish Sara all the best!

  44. Deb says:

    Sara Ramirez will be greatly missed. I hope she comes back. It won’t be the same. Just as it isn’t killing Dempsey off. I realize Shonda likes Ellen and prefers her over Patrick but it’s a big mistake.

    • jane says:

      The show is so much better with Derek gone. Everything was always about his big chauvinist ego conflicting with his wife and his sister — now they can live their lives without him constantly trying to sabotage them. While we’re on the topic of reality, how does Meredith have SO much free time with 3 kids, and how are you going to change Sophia’s school every year from NY to Seattle? You cant do that to a kid. I’m getting tired of these contrived plots — kids shouldnt be contrived plot points.

      • Cindy Tudyman says:

        Where does Merdith’s kids sleep ? She lives with Alex and Maggie and they each have their own rooms. Does Merdith share her one room with three kids? This show is getting so unbelievably stupid. She was worried about being like her mother and she’s heading there because her kids are God knows where and she’s drinking and going to house warming parties, and Joes bar. I know her house has ONLY THREE BEDROOMS🤔

  45. Allie says:

    Does this mean the Penny character is now gone as well?

  46. yaya says:

    She still has to get on a plane ooooooooo how do you spell crash..CRASH

  47. Molly Intlekofer says:

    I think she will be back!!! Her goodbye said that she was taking some welcomed time off!!! I just think she needs some time off to collect her thoughts and be herself!!! I do believe she will be back though!!!

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