Ellen Pompeo Officially Says Goodbye To Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo has a major career update. The actor, known for her portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey, first joined the cast of the ABC hit series "Grey's Anatomy" in 2005 as a surgical intern. Pompeo's character became one of the best surgeons in the country and has remained one of the few original cast members on the show. For nearly two decades, the show has provided a platform for rising actors, promoted diverse on-screen roles, and made history. According to People, "Grey's Anatomy" is the longest-running medical drama on U.S. television, even beating out "ER." 

Throughout 19 seasons of "Grey's Anatomy," several cast members have left either for different opportunities, or because writers killed off their characters without warning. However, Pompeo's character has remained a constant through it all — and has played an important role in the success of "Grey's Anatomy." Still, she's often hinted the end was near for her. "I just want to make sure we do this character and this show and the fans, I want to make sure we do it right," she said in a 2021 interview with "CBS Sunday Morning."

Deadline reported in August 2022 that Pompeo would take a break from her duties and scale back on her appearances throughout the season. However, it appears she's ready to officially hang up her scrubs.

Ellen Pompeo thanks her fans for 19 seasons

Meredith Grey is clocking out. Ellen Pompeo shared an emotional message with her fans as she seemingly confirmed her departure from the legendary series, "Grey's Anatomy." She wrote via Instagram, "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 actor thanked her fans for being loyal viewers of the ABC hit series. She also hinted that her exit would be more like a "see you later" rather than an official farewell. "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 added.

"Grey's Anatomy" is slated to return from its mid-season break in February 2023, and Pompeo's last episodes will air throughout the remainder of that season. According to "Good Morning America," although she is parting ways with her role as Meredith Grey, she will continue to act as an executive producer and provide narration for all the Season 19 episodes. While fans are devastated by the news, Pompeo is eager for what's in store and is taking her executive producing skills over to Hulu. Us Weekly reported that Pompeo signed on for her first major role since "Grey's Anatomy" and will star in and produce a limited series on the streaming network.

The show still doesn't have a title, and a lot of details are still unknown — however, it's expected to be big.