Ellen Pompeo is putting her white coat to rest and has begun saying her goodbyes to Grey's Anatomy and its fans.
The 53-year-old American actress plays the show's lead, Dr. Meredith Grey, who rose to the rank of general surgery chief at the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital from being an intern at the Seattle Grace Hospital during the show's pilot episode released in March 2005.
A week after the long-running medical drama aired its midseason finale last Nov. 10, Pompeo took to Instagram to bid farewell to its fans.
"I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons! 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," Pompeo wrote in her post on Nov. 18.
The actress noted, though, that she will be reappearing on the show for a visit. "This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on and I’ll definitely be back to visit," she said. "With a lot of love and immense gratitude XoE"
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Grey's Antomy season 19 so far shows Meredith set on leaving Grey Sloan to join Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) in finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease in Boston. She announced her departure from the Seattle hospital through an email during the show's fall finale.
While Pompeo described her stay throughout the show's 19 seasons as "fun and iconic," her decision to cut her storyline didn't come as a surprise for some Grey's Anatomy fans.
According to a report by People last August, the actress has been attempting to convince the show's network, American Broadcasting Company, to end the series as each episode has become "preachy."
She said she wanted the show to "touch on these social issues that are important and have them be threads throughout" instead of "constantly [hitting] you over the head for just one hour."
This is in addition to her plans of pursuing other projects, which include Hulu's spinoff series to the 2009 film Orphan.
Pompeo's last regular appearance on Grey's Anatomy will be on the show's winter return on Feb. 23, 2023.