The end of an era? Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo left fans wondering if her nearly two-decade run on the Shondaland drama is coming to an end after her character, Meredith Grey, left Seattle for Boston. Keep reading for details on her possible exit.
Is Ellen Pompeo Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?
Ellen – who has been playing the show’s lead character since 2005 – is saying goodbye to her beloved character. Meredith gave her two-weeks’ notice as Chief of Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and accepted a new position across the country in order to offer her eldest daughter, Zola, a better education.
What Has Ellen Pompeo Said About Her Exit?
Prior to the season 19 premiere, Ellen opened up about returning to the long-running drama in a “limited capacity.”
“I’m going to always be a part of that show. I’m an executive producer. I spent two decades of my career on [Grey’s] — it’s my heart and soul. I’ll never truly be gone as long as [it’s] on the air,” she told Deadline in September, adding that the show will “be just fine without me.”
Following the season 19 fall finale – which aired on November 10 – Ellen took to her social media to thank the show’s fans for their continued support.
“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons!” the Old School actress shared via Instagram. “Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!”
“I love you madly and appreciate you right back,” she continued.
Is ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Ending?
While Ellen’s run on the show may be coming to an end, Shonda Rhimes’ medical drama will continue.
“This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit,” Ellen said in her November 17 Instagram statement.
Grey’s – currently in its 19th season – has yet to be renewed for season 20.
Is Ellen Pompeo Retiring?
The Massachusetts native previously claimed she would retire after leaving Grey’s Anatomy, telling Buzzfeed in September 2014 that acting was not “terribly empowering.”
“I definitely don’t have a strong desire to act after Grey’s. I definitely feel myself transitioning,” she said at the time. “For the place I am in my life, I think my age, once I hit 40, I feel differently. I don’t necessarily want to work for other people.”
“I mean, never say never, I’m not going to come out and make one of those statements like, ‘I’m retiring after…’ and then in February come back. I try to keep an open heart, an open mind, an open soul and spirit to whatever comes my way and whatever is meant to be for me will be,” she continued.
It appears “never say never” was correct, because Ellen is set to star in Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of the film The Orphan. While the eight-episode miniseries has yet to be named, the ABC alum is also listed as an executive producer on the project.