Through 18 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, there have been plenty of changes.
Some of the biggest changes come from the cast, as any show that has been on as long as Grey’s has surely seen plenty of cast exits.
Luckily, the cast that departed early in the series (or even more recently) can still be seen in other projects. So where are they now?
Isaiah Washington — Dr. Preston Burke
Isaiah Washington portrayed Dr. Preston Burke for the first three seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
Washington also returned as a guest on Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 after Cristina left Grey Sloan.
Since leaving Seattle Grace, the actor has remained steady in both TV and film, having been in the main cast of The 100 through The 100 Season 5.
He’s also appeared in shows such as Blue Bloods, Bull, Law & Order: LA, and was recurring during Survivor’s Remorse Season 4.
On the film side, Isaiah Washington has done the TV movies Secret Summer and Behind the Movement, as well as the documentary Trump Card as himself.
He starred in the fourth installment of the God’s Not Dead franchise, God’s Not Dead: We the People in 2021.
His most recent role is in 2022’s James the Second.
T.R. Knight — Dr. George O’Malley
T.R. Knight memorably played Seattle Grace intern George O’Malley for the first five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.
Until his character was met with tragedy after being struck by a bus while leaving to join the Army.
He did, however, end up reprising his role in Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 for Meredith’s COVID dreams.
But Knight has been plenty busy on television since saying his emotional goodbyes to Seattle Grace.
Since leaving the series, T.R. Knight has appeared in a number of shows, including The Good Wife, The Catch, When We Rise, and the miniseries The Comey Rule.
Knight also provided the leading voice of Sir Cedric in The Bravest Knight.
He can currently be seen in HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, which received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Brooke Smith — Dr. Erica Hahn
Smith has done plenty of projects on both the big and small screen since saying goodbye to Seattle Grace, including Ray Donovan, Bates Motel, Big Sky, Them, To the Bone, Dude, and Bombshell.
Upcoming, Smith will be appearing on the miniseries Class of ’09, due to premiere on August 15 for FX on Hulu.
The series follows FBI agents who graduated from Quantico in 2009.
The group reunites after the death of a mutual friend.
Class of ’09 is set to have eight episodes and also stars Isaiah Stratton, Bryan McClure, Sarafina King, Nick DeKay, Phil Armijo, and Jefferson Cox.
Katherine Heigl — Dr. Izzie Stevens
Katherine Heigl portrayed intern Izzie Stevens through Grey’s Anatomy Season 6.
She left when Izzie left Seattle after Alex refused to resume their marriage despite everything they had gone through.
Izzie made a stand-in reappearance in Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 after it was revealed that Alex left the city to be with her and help raise her five-year-old twins, born as a result of Izzie’s IVF treatment.
Despite rumors that Heigl is “difficult to work with,” the actress has stayed pretty prominent on the screen.
She’s been in films such as The Nut Job, Unforgettable, and 2021’s Fear of Rain, with executive producer credits on numerous films.
Heigl’s had main roles in State of Affairs, Doubt, Suits, and Firefly Lane on Netflix.
She will also star in the upcoming series Woodhull as the titular character.
Kate Walsh — Dr. Addison Montgomery
Kate Walsh had a memorable entrance on Grey’s Anatomy Season 1 Episode 9 as Dr. Addison Montgomery.
Walsh portrayed Dr. Addison Montgomery throughout the first eight seasons, and led the spin-off Private Practice.
Walsh then made her highly-anticipated return to the ABC drama in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 to help out at Grey Sloan.
Since initially leaving, though, Walsh has remained pretty steady on the screen.
The actress portrayed Hannah Baker’s mom, Olivia, on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why for the first three seasons.
For films, she was in Girls Trip, Reality High, Honest Thief, and Scary Movie 5, just to name a few.
Chyler Leigh — Dr. Lexie Grey
Known as “Little Grey” on the series, Chyler Leigh portrayed Meredith’s younger half-sister Lexie for four seasons.
Then, Lexie met her heartbreaking fate in Grey’s Anatomy Season 8 Episode 24, taking Chyler with her.
Like some of her co-stars, Leigh returned to the series for an episode.
For Chyler, it was on Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 10, along with Eric Dane, in Meredith’s COVID fantasy dream.
In 2021, the actress wrapped The CW’s Supergirl, where she portrayed Alex Danvers/Sentinel for the show’s entire six-season run.
She also reprised the role in multiple Arrowverse shows, most recently on The Flash Season 8.
As of now, Leigh has no follow-up for Supergirl, though it’s likely she just wants to take some time off to spend with her family.
Eric Dane — Dr. Mark Sloan
Eric Dane portrayed everyone’s favorite plastic surgeon Mark Sloan beginning in Grey’s Anatomy Season 2.
He remained on until Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 Episode 1 after Mark sadly succumbed to his injuries sustained in the Season 8 finale plane crash.
Like Chyler Leigh, Dane came back in Season 17 with his former on-screen love interest for Meredith’s COVID coma dream.
But the actor has been plenty busy since initially saying goodbye to the Seattle hospital.
Dane was in 2021’s The Ravine and 2022’s Redeeming Love and American Carnage.
Upcoming, he will be seen in Into the Beautiful, though there’s no set release date for it yet.
He portrayed Captain Tom Chandler on The Last Ship for the show’s entire five-season run.
Dane can currently be seen as Cal Jacobs on HBO’s Euphoria, who is not the greatest father.
Sandra Oh — Dr. Cristina Yang
Sandra Oh portrayed the snarky Dr. Cristina Yang, also known as one half of the Twisted Sisters and Meredith’s “person.”
Cristina left at the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 after accepting an offer from her ex Preston Burke as the head of a hospital in Switzerland that he built.
While she hasn’t returned yet, fans do see an occasional text or phone call from her.
The Golden Globes and SAG winner has since gone on to appear in many films and shows.
Perhaps Oh’s most notable role post-Grey’s is as Eve Plastri on Killing Eve, which ended its four-season run on BBC America earlier this year. She also starred in Netflix’s The Chair in 2021 and the recent supernatural horror film Umma.
The actress has lent her voice to numerous projects as well, including She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, 2021’s Raya and the Last Dragon as Virana, and 2022’s Turning Red as Ming.
Next year, Oh will star in The Tiger’s Apprentice, while she also has an untitled sister comedy in the works at Netflix.
Sandra Oh is also big into activism, giving a speech at a Stop Asian Hate rally in Pittsburgh in 2021.
Patrick Dempsey — Dr. Derek Shepherd
Patrick Dempsey may have left the series seven years ago, but he will always be known as McDreamy.
The actor portrayed neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd until the character’s heartbreaking death caused by a car accident and brain bleed on Grey’s Anatomy Season 11 Episode 21.
He made a surprise reappearance in Season 17, reuniting with his widower Meredith in her COVID beach fantasy.
Dempsey has done a decent amount of acting since initially leaving, including in Bridget Jones’ Baby and the miniseries, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.
He also served as producer on the film The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Later this year, Patrick Dempsey will reprise his role of Robert Philip in the highly-anticipated sequel to Disney’s Enchanted, titled Disenchanted.
He will also star in the upcoming series Ways & Means, serving as an executive producer as well.
And he can be found on Devils, which airs on The CW.
Sara Ramirez — Dr. Callie Torres
Sara Ramirez came onto the series as orthopedic doctor Callie Torres in the second season.
The character has many pivotal storylines before leaving for New York at the end of Grey’s Anatomy Season 12 when Callie lost custody of her daughter Sofia to Arizona.
Both members of the ‘ship couple CalZana eventually left the show.
Ramirez, whose pronouns are they/them, has stayed pretty steady on TV since leaving Grey Sloan.
From 2012-2019, they voiced Queen Miranda throughout the Disney Junior show Sofia the First and reprised the role for the TV movie Elena and the Secret of Avalor.
They were on Madam Secretary Season 4 and Season 5.
Ramirez got some big news with her latest role on And Just Like That…
Che will be a focal point of the upcoming season, according to the showrunner.
Sarah Drew — Dr. April Kepner
Part of the merger with Mercy West, Sarah Drew portrayed the farm-raised (former) virgin and trauma surgeon Dr. April Kepner beginning in Grey’s Anatomy Season 6.
After her tumultuous relationship with fellow doctor Jackson Avery and a near-death experience, she married a paramedic named Matthew.
April eventually resigned to provide medical care for homeless communities in Seattle in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 finale.
Drew returned in Season 17 as Jackson was getting some much-needed closure.
April and Jackson reconciled and moved to Boston together with their daughter Harriett so Jackson could run the Fox Foundation.
She then returned in the 400th episode of Grey’s Anatomy and helped in the pit once again.
Since leaving, Sarah Drew has starred in a few Hallmark and Lifetime movies, having also starred in and produced her own movie, Indivisible.
The actress also recurred in the Freeform anthology series Cruel Summer in 2021 and will star in the upcoming series Amber Brown later this summer for Apple TV+
Jessica Capshaw — Dr. Arizona Robbins
Jessica Capshaw portrayed fun-loving pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins beginning in the fifth season and left at the same time as April.
She was the other half of the pivotal CalZona ‘ship.
They had broken up before Arizona left, though, and Arizona moved to New York to be with daughter Sofia (who moved across the country earlier).
That was a good move, though, as Arizona and Callie eventually reconciled.
Capshaw hasn’t done a lot in the business since she starred on Grey’s Anatomy.
She starred with Emma Roberts in Holidate on Netflix as a character named Abby.
Later this year, she’ll be seen in the upcoming drama series Dear Zoe.
Justin Chambers — Dr. Alex Karev
This is one of the more surprising Grey’s Anatomy exits.
Justin Chambers portrayed OG intern and former “evil spawn” Dr. Alex Karev, a pediatric surgeon.
Alex left Grey Sloan to be with Izzie and help raise her kids in an episode that rocked fans of the character to the core as how he left was so out of character for Alex.
He left behind notes for Meredith, Bailey, and now-ex-wife Jo on Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 Episode 16.
Since Chambers’ exit is still fairly recent, he hasn’t had the opportunity to do too much.
He did, however, star in the Paramount+ miniseries The Offer as iconic actor, Marlon Brando.
While that series just had its finale on June 16, the full series is available on Paramount+.
Giacomo Gianniotti — Dr. Andrew DeLuca
Portraying the lovable and sometimes questionable Dr. Andrew DeLuca and brother of Carina, Giacomo Gianniotti joined in the penultimate episode of Grey’s Anatomy Season 11 as part of a new crop of interns.
Andrew’s life was cut short during Season 17 when he was chasing a sex trafficker and wound up stabbed, later dying.
Giacomo Gianniotti returned to the series to direct Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 11, not long after DeLuca’s death.
It wouldn’t be surprising if he went that route again in the future.
He has been leaning into voice roles, including Giacamo in LUCA. He has three upcoming projects, including From Scratch and a voice role as the lead in Diabolik 2 later this year.
And he’s already got Diabolik 3 in production.
His voice can also be heard as Drakka in the video game Horizon: Forbidden West, which was released earlier this year.
Jesse Williams — Dr. Jackson Avery
One of the latest exits from Grey’s Anatomy, Jesse Williams portrayed legacy plastics surgeon Dr. Jackson Avery.
As part of the Mercy West merger, Jackson tried to make a name for himself and avoid his grandfather’s name.
Williams left Seattle Grace during Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 after Jackson realized that he wanted to do more with his career and decided to run the Fox Foundation.
He, along with Sarah Drew, returned for the big 400th episode of the series, but the actor has been plenty busy since saying his initial goodbyes.
Since saying goodbye to Grey Sloan, Williams has made a name for himself on stage.
He can currently be seen in the Broadway revival of the play Take Me Out at the Hayes Theater, which recently won the Tony for Best Revival of a Play.
Jesse Williams also has two movies in the works: Secret Headquarters is due out this August while Your Place or Mine is filming, and he’s been involved with commercial work, as well.
Greg Germann — Dr. Thomas Koracick
Grey’s Anatomy was just the tip of the iceberg for Greg Germann, who already had a prolific career before landing Dr. Tom Koracick beginning in Grey’s Anatomy Season 14.
He left the series during Season 17 after Tom got COVID and realized he wanted to do more with his life, begging Jackson for a job.
Germann returned in the most recent season, lending a hand to Grey Sloan in their time of need.
The actor just has one upcoming project titled 57 Seconds, starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Josh Hutcherson.
But there’s no doubt he’ll land more roles, adding to his growing resumé.
Fanatics, which Grey’s Anatomy star do you miss the most?
Who do you think might leave in the upcoming season, if any?
Leave a comment below and let us know if you’ve ever seen any other projects from the stars!
Make sure to watch Grey’s Anatomy online any time via TV Fanatic!
Megan Behnke is a staff writer for TV Fanatic, who you can follow on Twitter.