Even more surprising, Chambers’ final episode already aired — two months ago — meaning there is no big sendoff ahead for Alex (more on that here).
“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in a statement to our sister site Deadline. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time. As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”
The Chambers news ends a relatively quiet stretch on the Greys casting front. Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew exited the ABC drama, in an abrupt one-two punch, at the end of Season 14, and two years before that Sara Ramirez ended her decade-plus run as Callie. And in April 2015, original cast member Patrick Dempsey shockingly left the series when Derek aka McDreamy was killed off after a car accident.
Titular star Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. are now the lone remaining original cast members.