Grey’s Anatomy’s revolving door just keeps swinging. On the heels of Ellen Pompeo’s exit as a series regular and showrunner Krista Vernoff’s announcement that this season will be her last (for now, anyway) comes word that Kelly McCreary is also departing.
The Thursday, April 13, episode of ABC’s resurgent drama will mark the actress’ final appearance as a series regular, according to our sister site Deadline. Her character — Meredith Grey’s half sister, Maggie Pierce — will likely leave Seattle rather than stay and work on her foundering marriage to fellow doctor Winston Ndugu. (As of this week’s episode, the couple was still living apart. Read the full recap here.)
“After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie and her Grey Sloan family,” read a statement from McCreary, who, like Pompeo, will make return visits later in Season 19. “It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution… I will always be grateful to [creator] Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support.
“To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift,” she added. “It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera. Playing Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter and what the future holds.”
McCreary made her debut as Richard Webber’s surprise daughter with the late Ellis Grey at the tail end of Season 10. The following season, the then-newcomer was bumped up from guest-star to series-regular status.
On your way to the comments to share your reaction to the news — and whether you think we’ll get to keep Anthony Hill after Winston loses Maggie — review how the drama handled other exits by perusing the photo gallery above.