Justin Chambers Leaving 'Grey's Anatomy' After 15 Years
By Liz Calvario
Mike Rosenthal/ABC via Getty Images
It's time to say goodbye to Dr. Alex Karev.
Justin Chambers announced on Friday that he would be leaving Grey's Anatomy after 15 years on the medical drama, ET can confirm. Adding to the abrupt announcement is the news that Chambers' last episode has already aired, on Nov. 14.
"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 ET. "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."
"As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rhimes, 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," he added. Deadlinewas first to report the news.
Fans first met Alex in the show's pilot in 2005. He was a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital, before moving up to resident and becoming a pediatric surgical fellow. Quickly becoming a fan-favorite, viewers witnessed Alex wed Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie Stevens, and then intern Jo Wilson played by Camilla Luddington.
Meanwhile, Grey's Anatomy has been renewed for season 17 by ABC. It's been a landmark 16th season for Grey's, which surpassed ER as the longest-running primetime medical drama last February.
As for when the show will eventually come to an end, Pompeo was candid about when she'd hang up her scrubs as Meredith Grey.
"It's something Shonda [Rhimes] and I will decide together," Pompeo -- who also serves as a producer -- told ET last October. "I've been doing it a long time and I do get restless, but the fans are just still so passionate about the show."
"I think the fans will let us know," she added. "When the numbers start to drop and people aren't watching the same, people aren't as passionate about it... it's time to call it."