It was yet another tear-jerker of a night on Grey’s Anatomy! And now, fans are wondering what surprises Shonda Rhimes has in store as we count down the days to the Grey’s Anatomy season 14 finale! Speaking of shockers, season 11 featured the biggest one of them all with the death of Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey. We’re revisiting McDreamy’s shocking exit and exactly why he left, so keep reading!
Grey’s Anatomy always has us reaching for a box of tissues. But nothing was more shocking than Patrick Dempsey’s character, Derek Shepherd, leaving the show.
Even after all these years, some fans still can’t believe the way Dempsey made his exit! And fans who are new to the show want to know what happened.
So, why did Patrick Dempsey leave Grey’s Anatomy? Was Patrick Dempsey fired from the show?
Prepare to have your memories revived with details of McDreamy’s tragic end on Grey’s Anatomy.
The Charming Dr. Derek Shepherd
Dempsey joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 and instantly became a huge star. Fans loved his chemistry with Ellen Pompeo, who plays the role of Meredith Grey.
As one of TV’s hottest couples, Dempsey and Pompeo’s relationship was one of the biggest running themes on Grey’s Anatomy.
Derek was married to Meredith, so fans nicknamed them “MerDer.” But with his handsome looks and charming personality, Derek won over fans and earned himself the nickname, “McDreamy.”
After 10 years of being on the show, Patrick Dempsey’s stint on Grey’s Anatomy ended when his character was killed off in 2015.
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What Happened to McDreamy?
All good things must come to an end, and so it was with Dempsey’s character.
In one of the last episodes of season 11, McDreamy meets his tragic end. After becoming the hero for one last time when an erratic driver causes an accident while speeding, it seems he’s saved the day once again. That is, until he’s pulling away from the scene and his cell phone rings. Just as he’s trying to answer in (his car stopped in the middle of the road), a semi hits his car head on.
McDreamy is rushed to a hospital, but unfortunately, he can’t be saved. Meredith then has the heart-wrenching task of pulling the plug. (We can’t stop crying, even now!)
It is definitely one of the most (if not, the most) emotional episodes in the entire history of the show. And fans still can’t believe that their beloved McDreamy is gone! Even flashbacks in today’s episodes still bring on the tears!
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Why Did Patrick Dempsey Leave Grey’s Anatomy?
After Dempsey’s exit from the show, ABC released a statement saying that the actor left the show and was “moving on to pursue other interests.”
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes also released a statement, which read, “Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character—for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy.’ Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example—happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true—of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all.”
In a 2016 interview with People, Dempsey shared how it was the right time for him to leave the show.
“It had been long enough. It was time for me to move on with other things and other interests. I probably should have moved on a couple of years earlier. I stayed a bit longer than I should have,” Dempsey said.
Since his Grey’s Anatomy departure, the actor has been pursuing auto racing, furthering his film career, and has been spending more time with his family.
Dempsey spoke about life post-Grey’s Anatomy, enjoying ski trips and time with his family. He said, “I was really grateful to have the time to just sit down and enjoy stuff like that. I’m definitely more relaxed now. And happier too.”
Thank you for all the memories, Patrick Dempsey. You are still missed on every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy!