Eric Dane Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

by | July 26, 2012 at 6:52 PM | Fall TV Preview 2012, Grey's Anatomy

Eric Dane of 'Grey's Anatomy' (Photo: ABC)

As if there weren’t enough casualties in May’s horrific “Grey’s Anatomy” cliffhanger, now comes word that McSteamy is checking out of Seattle Grace…even though he was (barely) one of the plane crash survivors.

Eric Dane is leaving “Grey’s Anatomy,” reports TVLine, after six seasons of playing Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run,” Dane said to TVLine in a statement. “It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes.”

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The actor, who joined the show in Season 2, won’t leave heartbroken McSteamy fans hanging though; Dane will return for several episodes of the upcoming ninth season to wrap-up his storyline, which includes his own heartbreak at the tragic loss of “Little Grey,” as Meredith’s sister Lexie did die in the plane crash. The eighth season finale also saw the exit of Kim Raver’s character, Teddy.

As we prepare to say goodbye to “one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy,” according to series creator Shonda Rhimes, she explains that Dane “did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end.”

“I wish him the best and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small screen,” Rhimes added in her statement to TVLine.

Season 9 of “Grey’s Anatomy” premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 on ABC.

Catch-up on the Shocking Season Finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” Below: