After 16 seasons and 15 years of portraying Dr. Alex Karev on the long-running ABC series, Chambers and the network announced his departure in a statement on Friday (January 10). "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 49-year-old told E! News. "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.”
Chambers concluded, “As I move on from Grey's Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda [Rhimes], 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.”
Chambers has been on the main cast since the show launched in 2005. It has yet been revealed when Chambers’ final episode will be, but the outlet reports he last appeared in an episode aired in November.
As expected, Grey’s fans and castmates alike were distraught over the news of Chambers’ exit. Early this morning (January 11), Pompeo reacted to a Vanity Fair tweet that postulated the show “is about to feel one of its biggest losses yet,” responding, “Truer words have never been spoken.”
Other impassioned tweets included, “Damnit. NOT KAREV! take anyone but Karev,” “omg someone please tell me that this is a joke, please. I’m ready to fight.” Another begged showrunner Rhimes, “Nooooo!!! … dont kill off Karev!!!!! No plane crash, no car accident, please... just a nice smooth happy exit.”
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