Gallagher will play Dr. Alan Hamilton, who knew Meredith’s mother Ellis Grey (played by Kate Burton) back in the day and meets Meredith in the season premiere. Burton is also set to reprise her role as Meredith’s mom in multiple episodes next season — even though Ellis passed away in Season 3 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Grey’s Anatomy began filming Season 18 earlier this month, with the season premiere set for Thursday, Sept. 30 at 9/8c on ABC. Last season saw the return of several Grey’s fan favorites as Meredith spent time on a “dream beach” while she was unconscious in a hospital bed after contracting COVID. Former stars Patrick Dempsey (Derek), Chyler Leigh (Lexie), Eric Dane (Mark) and T.R. Knight (George) all returned to reconnect with Meredith — on the spiritual plane, at least.
Gallagher has been a familiar face to TV fans for decades, perhaps best known as dad Sandy Cohen on the Fox teen soap The O.C., which ran from 2003 to 2007. He recently played Zoey’s dad Mitch on the NBC musical comedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and Nick on the Netflix sitcom Grace and Frankie. His other TV credits include Covert Affairs, Law & Order: SVU, The Gifted and New Girl.