grey’s Anatomy saying goodbye to another of his own.
Kelly McCreary, who played beloved doctor Maggie Pierce, the half-sister of Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey, for nine seasons is leaving the hit ABC medical drama. Her farewell episode as a series regular will air on April 13.
“After nine seasons, I’m saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Gray Sloan family. It’s been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution as grey’s AnatomyMcCreary said in a statement 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 allowed me to collaborate with, learn from and become 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 deep gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds.”
Latest episode of grey’s Anatomy has highlighted marital problems for Maggie, the head of cardiothoracic surgery at Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital, and her husband, Winston (Anthony Hill), a cardiothoracic surgeon. Maggie entered the show in season 10 as the daughter of Meredith’s mother, Ellis Gray (Kate Burton), and Chief Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Pierce was upgraded to series regular in season 11.
The news of McCreary’s exit comes at a crucial time, as the primetime ABC series recently bid farewell to star and executive producer Pompeo as a series regular and will cope with showrunner Vernoff’s exit as the series awaits a Season 20 renewal.
Similar to Pompeo returning 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. Thank you so much for your super hard work and the valuable contributions you have made to Grey’s legacy. Looking forward to your next chapter.”
Pompeo’s farewell episode came in the season 19 winter premiere, when Meredith left the Seattle hospital and moved to Boston. The February 23 episode marked Pompeo’s penultimate appearance this season, and her next on-screen visit will come in the May 26 season finale.
However, Pompeo remains attached to the show as an executive producer. She also continues to narrate the episodes with her signature voiceover, despite her absence on screen.
Although Pompeo is scaling back as she spins around to star in and produce a limited series for Hulu, she’s been open about her desire to do more Grey’s. And show creator Rhimes has long said there would be none grey’s Anatomy without Meredith Grey.