Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital is about to lose one of its most cherished staff members. Justin Chambers, 49, revealed that he is leaving Grey’s Anatomy in a poignant statement given to Deadline on January 10. He was last seen on the long-running medical series during its 350th episode on November 14 where that might have just been his last time on the show. “There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” the hunky actor said. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”
He then acknowledged the only OG costars left on the series and its creator in his statement, saying, “As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.” Social media imploded afters news first broke about him leaving, with one fan tweeting “I’m crying i’m going to miss him so much,” and another one chiming in with, “Alexa play please don’t go.”
Justin’s character Dr. Alex Karev made his debut during the series pilot episode that premiered on March 27, 2005. Grey’s Anatomy quickly became a ratings juggernaut for ABC, placing in the top 10 of all other series within its first five seasons. His role saw him start as a surgical intern before making the rise to resident and later becoming a pediatric surgical fellow.
His character was married twice on the show, first to Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and later, to intern Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington). Justin was an integral part of the show becoming a success in its early years as the relationship Dr. Karav developed with other staffers including Izzy, Meredith Grey (Pompeo), Christina Yang (Sandra Oh), and George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) drew viewers in week by week.