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Eric Dane leaving Grey's Anatomy

Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane

Story by Jack Foley

ERIC Dane is to leave Grey’s Anatomy after six seasons of playing McSteamy, aka Dr. Mark Slone.

According to The Holllywood Reporter, the actor has opted to leave the ABC medical drama to continue to pursue a movie career.

He told TV Line: ““I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run. It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes.”

Rhimes told the site: “We’re a big family here at Grey’s with a long history together, and Eric will always remain an important part of our family. I wish him the best, and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small screen.”

Dane’s character was was last seen clinging to life as he and fellow doctors Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) were left stranded following a plane crash in the wilderness.

Chyler Leigh’s Lexie also perished in the plane crash. But Dane will return for a number of episodes to close out Mark’s story.

He is the third high profile cast member to exit the series as it approaches its ninth season, joining Leigh and Kim Raver. The latter saw her character fired by Kevin McKidd’s Owen in a bid to get her to move on with her life following the death of her husband.

Two new cast members have since joined in the form of Friday Night Lights‘ Gaius Charles and Camilla Luddington.

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