Belfast Telegraph

Eric Dane leaving Grey's

Eric Dane has announced he is leaving TV show Grey's Anatomy.

The star, who plays Dr. Mark Sloan, is quitting the US medical drama after six seasons. However, he is likely to make a brief appearance in the upcoming ninth season.

"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," he said in a statement to TVLine.

In the last episode of last season, Eric's character was left heartbroken and seriously injured after a plane crash which claimed the life of his love Lexie.

Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes insists it was a difficult decision for Eric to leave the show.

"After much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end," she said. "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."

Chyler Leigh, who played Lexie, and Kim Raver have also departed the show.

However, there will be new additions to the cast - including Friday Night Lights actor Gaius Charles.

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