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Jesse Williams is leaving “Grey’s Anatomy” after starring in the ABC series for 12 seasons.
“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda [Rhimes], the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista [Vernoff], Ellen [Pompeo] and Debbie [Allen],” Williams, 39, said in a statement to Deadline on Thursday.
“As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many, and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds.”
He continued, “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”
The news that the actor is exiting the show was announced during Thursday’s episode. His final episode, titled “Tradition,” will air on May 20.
“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift,” executive producer and showrunner Vernoff, 49, said in a statement to Deadline. “Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.”
Williams has starred in the medical drama since 2009, four years after the show originally debuted. His contract ends with the current season.
Williams’ duties had been scaled back recently, as he was set to make his Broadway debut in “Take Me Out,” although the show was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The soap opera star’s exit from “Grey’s” comes nearly a year after his co-star Justin Chambers’ 15-year run came to an end.
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