Grey’s anatomy says goodbye to someone else.
Kelly McCreary, who played beloved doctor Maggie Pierce, half-sister of Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey, for nine seasons, is leaving the hit ABC hospital drama. Her farewell episode as a series regular will air on April 13.
“After nine seasons, I say goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Gray Sloan family. It was a great honor to be part of such a legendary television institution Grey’s anatomy‘” McCreary 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 global audiences with compelling stories is a rare gift. It has given me the opportunity to work, learn from and be inspired by countless brilliant artists in front of and behind the camera. Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I walk with deep gratitude for every step of that journey. I look forward to this next chapter and what the future holds.”
Recent episodes of Grey’s anatomy have highlighted the marital troubles of Maggie, the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital, and her husband Winston (Anthony Hill), a cardiothoracic surgeon. Maggie joined 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 promoted to series regular in season 11.
Kelly McCreary and Anthony Hill present Grey’s anatomy. Courtesy of Raymond Liu/ABC
The news of McCreary’s departure comes at a crucial time as the ABC series recently bid farewell to star and executive producer Pompeo as a series regular and will survive the departure of showrunner Vernoff as the series awaits a Season 20 renewal.
Much like Pompeo, who will be returning for the season finale, McCreary will be returning later this season for a visit after her farewell episode.
“Kelly McCreary is a writer’s dream come true; brilliant, nuanced, thoughtful and kind. We will introduce her and her beautifully designed Dr. Miss Maggie Pierce deeply,” says Vernoff THR. (She remains showrunner and executive producer through season 19.)
Pompeo paid tribute on Instagram, writing, “Congratulations Kelly. Thank you for your super hard work and the valuable contributions you have made to the Grays Legacy. I look forward to your next chapter.”
Pompeo’s farewell episode took place in the season 19 winter premiere where Meredith left the hospital in Seattle and moved to Boston. The February 23 episode was Pompeo’s penultimate appearance this season, and her next on-screen visit will be in the May 26 season finale.
However, Pompeo remains attached to the show as executive producer. She continues to narrate the episodes with her signature voiceover despite her absence on screen.
Though Pompeo is going back while she’s turning to star in a limited series for Hulu and become an executive producer, she’s been open about her desire to do more Grays. And show creator Rhimes has long said there wouldn’t be Grey’s anatomy without Meredith Grey.