Actress Sara Ramirez, who played fan-favourite bisexual Dr Callie Torres on long-running medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” since season two, is leaving the show.
The actress, a Tony-winning Broadway star, will not return to the Shonda Rhimes-produced medical drama for its previously announced 13th season, said the Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy and ABC but for now I’m taking some welcome time off,” Ramirez said in a statement.
“Shonda’s been so incredible to work for and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my love to Ellen (Pompeo), the rest of the cast and crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!,” she added.
Rhimes said she will miss Callie “tremendously” but was excited for the futher of Ramirez.
“Dr Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey.
Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland,” Rhimes said.
Ramirez’s departure comes after a cryptic tweet on April 27, which read “That’s a wrap for Doctor #CallieTorres #Season13 #GreysAnatomy #ThankYou for an enriching & unforgettable #Rollercoaster ride!”
— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) April 27, 2016
Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, Chandra Wilson (Bailey), James Pickens Jr (Richard), Justin Chambers (Alex) and Kevin McKidd (Owen) are expected to return for the next season.
Ramirez is the latest big star to exit the long-running medical drama. Last season, leading man Patrick Dempsey (Derek) was killed off with a year remaining on his contract while Sandra Oh (Cristina) departed at the end of season 10.
In the finale of the new season, Callie is set to move to New York to be with her new girlfriend after losing custody battle of daughter Sofia to ex-wife Arizona.