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Grey’s Anatomy is saying goodbye to another one of its own.
Kelly McCreary, who has played beloved doctor Maggie Pierce, the half-sister to Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey, for nine seasons, is departing the hit ABC medical drama. Her farewell episode as a series regular will air April 13.
“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,” says McCreary in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I will always be grateful to Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support.”
She continues, “To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift. 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.”
Recent episodes of Grey’s Anatomy have been highlighting marital trouble for Maggie, the head of cardiothoracic surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, and her husband, Winston (Anthony Hill), a cardiothoracic surgeon. Maggie entered the show in season 10 as the daughter to Meredith’s mother, Ellis Gray (Kate Burton), and Chief Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Pierce was upped to series regular in season 11.
The news of McCreary’s exit comes at a pivotal time, as the staple ABC series recently said goodbye to star and executive producer Pompeo as a series regular and will weather the exit of showrunner Vernoff as the series awaits a season 20 renewal.
Similar to Pompeo, who will return for the season finale, McCreary will also return for a visit later this season following her farewell episode.
“Kelly McCreary is a writer’s dream come true; brilliant, nuanced, thoughtful and kind. We will deeply miss her and her beautifully crafted Dr. Maggie Pierce,” Vernoff tells THR. (She remains showrunner and executive producer through season 19.)
Pompeo paid tribute on Instagram, writing, “Congratulations Kelly. Thanks so much for your super hard work and the valuable contributions you’ve made to the Grey’s legacy. Looking forward to your next chapter.”
Pompeo’s farewell episode came in the season 19 winter premiere, which saw Meredith leaving the Seattle hospital and moving to Boston. The Feb. 23 episode marked Pompeo’s second-to-last appearance this season, with her next onscreen visit coming in the May 26 season finale.
Pompeo, however, remains attached to the show as an executive producer. She also continues to narrate the episodes with her signature voiceover, despite her absence onscreen.
Although Pompeo is scaling back as she pivots to star in and executive produce a limited series for Hulu, she has been open about her desire to do more Grey’s. And show creator Rhimes has long said there would be no Grey’s Anatomy without Meredith Grey.
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