Kelly McCreary on leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after 9 seasons: ‘It has been a tremendous honor’

Meredith Grey is losing another family member.

As reported by our sister site Deadline, Kelly McCreary is leaving “Grey’s Anatomy” during the upcoming April 13 episode. For those keeping track at home, that will be the show’s 414th episode (!) overall. McCreary played Maggie Pierce, the sister of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), for nine seasons on ABC’s medical drama after initially debuting in the two-part Season 10 finale in 2014. Read the actress’ full statement below, in which she declares, “It has been a tremendous honor.”

McCreary’s exit will likely be connected to Maggie’s recent marriage troubles with Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill), a storyline that has dominated this 19th season. Prior to this year, Maggie and Winston were one of the show’s power couples who memorably got married in a beautiful beach setting at the end of Season 17, aka the dreaded “Covid season.”

It’s important to note that after the actress’ goodbye episode airs next month, McCreary is still expected to pop up again later in the season. That’s the same scenario as Pompeo, who recently left during the February 23 episode, though she’ll reportedly return in the finale.

“Kelly McCreary is a writer’s dream come true; brilliant, nuanced, thoughtful, and kind,” announced showrunner Krista Vernoff. “We will deeply miss her and her beautifully crafted Dr. Maggie Pierce.”

Throughout the show’s two decades on the air, Meredith has lost so many family members that we’re having trouble remembering them all. Her parents, Ellis Grey and Thatcher Grey, are both dead, as is her step-mother Susan Grey. Her half-sister Lexie Grey perished in a plane crash, and her husband Derek Shepherd was killed in a car crash. Maggie (whose parents are Ellis Grey and Richard Webber) is one of Meredith’s few surviving biological family members.

Here is Kelly McCreary’s full statement on why she’s leaving “Grey’s Anatomy”:

After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution as Grey’s Anatomy. I will always be grateful to Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff, and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support. To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift. It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from, and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera. Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds.

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