"I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices ... now is that time."
Dr. Alex Karev is saying goodbye to the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
"Grey's Anatomy" star Justin Chambers announced his exit from the show on Friday, after starring on the ABC series for 15 years and 16 seasons. Along with Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, Chambers was one of four actors who have been on the series since it began in 2005. ABC confirmed his exit.
"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," Chambers told Deadline. "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."
"As I move on from Grey's Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, 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," he added.
The long-running show is currently in its 16th season and has already been renewed for a 17th, with Pompeo's contract extended through 2021.
According to TV Line, the actor's final episode already aired on November 14, a week before the fall finale.