Jesse Williams Departs 'Grey's Anatomy' After 12 Seasons

For more than a decade, Grey's Anatomy has helped power ABC's original programming slate. Through the show's success, Shonda Rhimes, Sandra Oh and several others have elevated to new heights in the world of entertainment. However, all good things must come to an end at some point. After a 12-season run with the hit drama series, Jesse Williams has announced that he will be leaving Grey's Anatomy at the end of the month.

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on-screen and off has been a true gift,” Grey's Anatomy Executive Producer Krista Vernoff told Deadline.

“Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.”

Much like Oh and Rhimes, Williams has parlayed his role on Grey's Anatomy into a new set of opportunities. Since making his debut on Grey's Anatomy in 2009, he has appeared in music videos with Jay-Z and starred alongside Oprah Winfrey in The Butler. More recently, he worked as a producer on the Academy Award-winning short film, Two Distant Strangers.

“I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow castmates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen, and Debbie,” Williams told Deadline.

“As an actor, director, and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds. The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact, and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies, and dear friends.”

Williams is set to make his last appearance as Jackson Avery on Grey's Anatomy during the season's penultimate episode on May 20.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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