Eric Dane Announces Exit From 'Grey's Anatomy'

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Grey's Anatomy's Eric Dane, aka Dr. McSteamy, is taking his leave from Seattle Grace. 

"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," said Dane in a statement to TVLine. "It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes."

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Dane, who joined the show in 2006, is said to be leaving Grey's to pursue other opportunities.

Rhimes, the series' creator, responded to Dane's announcement with a statement of her own, calling McSteamy "one of the most beloved characters on Grey's Anatomy," adding 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. We're a big family here at Grey's with a long history together and Eric will always remain an important part of our family. I wish him the best and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small screen."

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No word yet as to how Dane's storyline will end. In last season's dramatic finale, his character Dr. Mark Sloan lost his lover Lexie (Chyler Leigh) in a devastating plane crash.

Season nine of Grey's Anatomy comes to ABC Thursday, September 27.