How 14 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Alums Returned to TV

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Netflix, USA Network, NatGeo

Given the enduring power of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s no surprise that alums of the ABC show would find more work after scrubbing out. But many of these actors’ careers have taken surprising twists and turns.

Jesse Williams, for example, headed to Broadway to star in the play Take Me Out — you may have seen the unfortunately-leaked photos of him in the buff on stage — and he’ll soon appear in Season 3 of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building.

Ahead of Williams’ next star turn — and his next appearance on Grey’s — scroll down to see how other stars of the medical drama returned to TV.

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 8/7c, ABC

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Diyah Pera/The CW

Isaiah Washington

In the first major departure from Grey’s, Washington lost his job playing Preston Burke after reportedly using a homophobic slur in reference to T.R. Knight. After a recurring role on Bionic Woman and a few guest-starring spots, the actor was cast as Chancellor Thelonious Jaha on The CW’s The 100, as seen here.

13 Reasons Why - Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Addison Montgomery headed for the sunnier climes of Los Angeles after Grey’s Season 3, with Walsh headlining the spinoff drama Private Practice for its six-season run. The actress then took a recurring role on FX’s Fargo and a lead role on NBC’s short-lived Bad Judge, before playing grieving mother Olivia Baker (pictured here) in the Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why.

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National Geographic/Dusan Martincek

T.R. Knight

Knight spent five seasons playing George O’Malley on Grey’s before giving the role the old heave-ho. After recurring roles in The Good Wife, 11.22.63, The Catch, and When We Rise, the actor joined the cast of National Geographic’s Genius: Einstein, as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and Genius: Picasso, as French artist Max Jacob (as seen here).

Suits - Season 8 - Managing Partner - Katherine Heigl as Samantha Wheeler
Ian Watson/USA Network

Katherine Heigl

After Heigl’s infamously messy Grey’s exit, the actress behind Izzie Stevens starred in the NBC spy drama State of Affairs and the CBS legal drama Doubt, neither of which lasted beyond a solitary, 13-episode season. Then she got a role on USA’s Suits, playing talented lawyer Samantha Wheeler (seen here) for the legal drama’s last two seasons.

Chyler Leigh
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Chyler Leigh

The actress formerly known as Lexie Grey opted out of Grey’s to spend more time with her family, and a few years later, she joined the cast of Supergirl. Once the CBS-turned-CW show joined the Arrowverse, Leigh also popped up on Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

Season 5

Eric Dane

Dane went from saving lives as Mark Sloan on Grey’s to saving the world as Admiral Tom Chandler, shown here, on TNT’s military drama The Last Ship. These days, he’s playing abusive father Cal Jacobs on the HBO drama Euphoria.

Killing Eve - Eve Polastri - Sandra Oh
Olly Courtney/BBCA

Sandra Oh

Oh, who said goodbye to Cristinia Yang in Season 10, starred as intelligence agent Eve Polastri, pictured here, in the BBC America thriller Killing Eve (and added a second Golden Globe Award to the one she earned for Grey’s). She also led the cast of the Netflix comedy The Chair, playing college professor Ji-Yoon Kim.

Devils - Patrick Dempsey as Dominic Morgan
Antonello & Montesi/Sky Italia

Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey left Grey’s in Season 11, leaving fans of Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd simply McDevastated. The actor joined the cast of the Epix mystery drama The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, playing the titular author. Then he starred in the Sky Italia series Devils, playing businessman Dominic Morgan.

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Sarah Shatz /CBS

Sara Ramirez

Meanwhile, Callie Torres chased a pretty Penny to New York City at the end of Grey’s Season 12. But Ramirez didn’t stay off television for long: They starred on the CBS political drama Madam Secretary, as policy advisor Kat Sandoval (seen here), and the HBO Max comedy And Just Like That…, as podcast host Che Diaz.

Hunters - Millie Morris, Jerrika Hinton
Christopher Saunders/Amazon Prime Video

Jerrika Hinton

Hinton left Grey’s in a blaze of glory at the end of Season 13, and since then, she starred as business owner Ashley Collins in the one-season HBO drama Here and Now and joined the Prime Video thriller Hunters as the FBI agent Millie Morris, shown here.

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Courtesy of Netflix

Martin Henderson

Nathan Riggs left Seattle midway through Grey’s Season 14 — apparently because the Powers That Be didn’t care for his relationship with Meredith Grey, to hear Ellen Pompeo tell it. But now he’s a star of Netflix’s romantic drama Virgin River, playing ex-Marine Jack Sheridan.

Tell Me Lies - CJ Albright - Jessica Capshaw
Josh Stringer/Hulu

Jessica Capshaw

Capshaw returned to TV in 2022 — more than four years after Arizona Robbins exited the Grey’sstoryline in the show’s Season 14 finale — as CJ Albright, mother of Lucy (Grace Van Patten), in the Hulu drama Tell Me Lies.

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Apple TV+

Sarah Drew

Drew left Grey’s when Capshaw did, and she too resurfaced on another show in 2022: That next project was the Apple TV+ family comedy Amber Brown, on which Drew played mom Sarah Brown.

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Nicole Wilder/Paramount+

Justin Chambers

Following his abrupt and somewhat mysterious disappearance from Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Chambers played real-life actor Marlon Brando in the Paramount+ biopic series The Offer.