Losing your favorite character isn’t easy. Over the years, some of the best actors have left their hit TV shows. This meant the tragic death of a fan favorite or a shocking twist. Here are the 12 most shocking TV exits ever!
Whenever a main character leaves a TV show, it’s big. It’s impossible to forget George’s death on Grey’s Anatomy or Derek leaving the BAU behind on Criminal Minds. HollywoodLife.com has come up with the list of 12 stars who’ve left their hit TV shows! See who made our list!
*Shemar Moore — Criminal Minds
Shemar decided to leave Criminal Minds after 11 seasons as Derek Morgan. While fans were shocked and devastated that one of their favorite characters was leaving, Derek got a really nice goodbye. Plus, he’s always open to return!
*Nina Dobrev — The Vampire Diaries
It’s hard to imagine The Vampire Diaries without Elena Gilbert, right? Well, Nina decided to leave the series after six season. For Delena fans, this was the worst thing ever, but we all have hope Nina will return. She’s in a permanent nap state until Bonnie dies, but they could definitely find a way around that!
*Patrick Dempsey — Grey’s Anatomy
Derek Shepherd was the last character anyone expected to get killed off Grey’s Anatomy. The character’s death was shocking and sudden, and fans were left reeling. Shonda Rhimes knows how to pull at the heart strings, and saying goodbye to McDreamy was nearly impossible.
*Mischa Barton — The O.C.
Mischa’s character, Marissa Cooper, was killed in a tragic car accident at the end of season three. She was the epitome of a damsel in distress, but Ryan managed to save her every time. Except the last time.
*Katherine Heigl — Grey’s Anatomy
Since the very beginning of Grey’s Anatomy, Izzie Stevens has been a fan favorite. So Katherine Heigl’s departure from Grey’s in season six left fans really upset. There was major drama when the cameras weren’t rolling — Katherine withdrew her name from Emmy contention in 2008 — but we’ll never stop hoping that Izzie will pop back up in Seattle someday. There are a lot of Grey’s characters who are dead, but Izzie is not one of them.
*T.R. Knight — Grey’s Anatomy
We’ll never forget when George was first killed off Grey’s Anatomy. He was the first of the original character to die, and it was absolutely gut-wrenching. Rest in peace, George O’Malley.
*Chris Meloni — Law & Order: SVU
Law & Order: SVU had always been about Stabler and Benson, until Chris Meloni left the series after 12 seasons. Chris went on to star in many different projects — True Blood, Man of Steel, etc. Benson has been kicking butt and taking names since Stabler’s departure, but we still miss him. Whenever the last season rolls around, hopefully Mariska Hargitay will give Chris a call!
*Dan Stevens — Downton Abbey
Dan Stevens opted to leave Downton Abbey after the third season. His character, Matthew, was killed off in the season 3 finale, right after Mary had their baby. Dan confessed he wanted to have a chance to “do other things” with his career. And he’s done just that!
*George Eads — CSI
George left CSI in the season 15 finale. George’s character, Nick Stokes, had been on the show since the beginning, and he got a really touching farewell.
*Josh Charles — The Good Wife
Will Gardner was shockingly killed off The Good Wife in a jaw-dropping season five episode. Will’s death was devastating. Plus, the fact that Eli deleted the last message Will ever sent to Alicia made Will’s untimely death so much more heartbreaking. By the show’s fifth season, Josh Charles admitted he was ready to “move on” from the character.
*Shannen Doherty — Charmed & Beverly Hills, 90210
Shannen notoriously left two shows throughout her career. First, she left Beverly Hills, 90210 after the show’s fourth season. She went on to star in Charmed, but she left at the end of the third season.
*Michael Weatherly — NCIS
Michael will be leaving the role of Special Agent Tony DiNozzo at the end of NCIS’ 13th season. It will be quite the goodbye!
HollywoodLifers, what was the most shocking TV exit ever? Let us know!