Ellen Pompeo said Thursday she is “eternally grateful and humbled” by the “love and support” of “Grey’s Anatomy” fans in an emotional farewell note as she prepares to leave the show after 19 seasons.
Pompeo is one of only three original cast members left in the drama series about the work and life of doctors in a Seattle hospital that premiered in 2005. Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. are the other two.
“I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GRAY and the show through 19 seasons!” Pompeo posted on Instagram along with a photo of her dressed casually in front of a neon sign that reads, “All you need you have is love.”
She continued, “Through it all…none of it…would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You’re all RIDERS and you’ve all made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!”
ELLEN POMPEO’S ‘GREY’S ANATOMY’ ROLE WILL BE DRAMATICALLY REDUCED AS SHE JOINS THE HULU PROJECT
She also assured fans that she would be no stranger to Gray Sloan Memorial.
“I love you dearly and appreciate you right back,” she added. “This isn’t the first time you’ve been on the roller coaster… you know the show has got to go on and I’ll be sure to drop by again. With much love and huge gratitude XoE.”
The final episode of Pompeo will air in February. Her note came a week after the show’s fall finale.
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Throughout her nearly two decades on the show, Pompeo’s character has had her share of ups and downs, including moving from an intern to chief of general surgery at the hospital and marrying fellow doctor Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) just to get him to die in a car accident in the 11th season.
The actress also thanked “Queen” Shonda Rhimes after the show’s creator posted her own note announcing Pompeo’s departure.
“What a wild ride the past 19 seasons have been,” Rhimes, who left the show in 2017, wrote on her Instagram. “None of this would have been possible without the incomparable @ellenpompeo, the one and only Meredith Grey. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ellen, Meredith and Gray Sloan Memorial. # greysanatomy.”
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The last official episode of Pompeo will air on February 23.