Dr. Alex Karev is leaving the building…and Grey’s Anatomy.
After many big name losses and exits on the hit medical drama, one of the show’s longest running stars, Justin Chambers has announced he is leaving Grey’s Anatomy after 15 years and 16 seasons.
On Friday, January 10, the 49-year-old actor made the sad announcement. “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 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.”
He added, “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.”
Chambers was one of four original cast members left standing alongside Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey, Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey and James Pickens Jr.’s Richard Webber.
The series had previously lost big characters with exits including Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, T.R. Knight, Sara Ramirez, Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew just to name a few.
It has also been reported that Chambers’ last episode has already aired back on November 14. The following episode it was merely said that he had gone to take care of his mother.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s midseason premiere airs on Jan. 23 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.