Kelly McCreary to Exit ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 9 Seasons – Kelly McCreary’s Dr. Maggie Pierce, is leaving Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, marking yet another high-profile departure from Grey’s Anatomy. On April 13, McCreary will appear in her final episode as a series regular, but she will return for further episodes this season.
In an emotional Instagram message, the 41-year-old actress expressed appreciation for the last nine seasons of Grey’s. McCreary also reflected on playing Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) half-sister Maggie Pierce after becoming a series regular in season 11.
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“After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution as Grey’s Anatomy,” she said in a statement. “I will always be grateful to 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 continued. “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 Maggie 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.” Vernoff, 51, also addressed McCreary’s exit in a statement.
“Kelly McCreary is a writer’s dream come true; brilliant, nuanced, thoughtful, and kind,” she said. “We will deeply miss her and her beautifully crafted Dr. Maggie Pierce.” McCreary’s departure comes as Maggie and her husband Winston (Anthony Hill) are at odds over prioritizing career over their personal lives on the medical drama after he changed specialties to protect their marriage.
McCreary told producers of her desire to leave Grey’s Anatomy to explore other opportunities and gave them permission to write the character’s last plotline in season 19, according to Deadline. McCreary is the most recent actor to leave the ABC drama series.
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Last season, Pompeo left Grey’s Anatomy to pursue other projects, including Orphan, a horrifying adoption story in which a couple’s new daughter turns out to be an adult woman in child’s clothing. The 53-year-old actress discussed her reduced role on the ABC medical drama last December.