The Real Reason Eric Dane Left Grey’s Anatomy

Eric Dane made his “Grey’s Anatomy” debut in Season 2 and remained a series regular until the beginning of Season 9 (adding a guest appearance in an episode of Season 17). Of course, he portrayed Dr. Mark Sloan, Seattle Grace Hospital’s attending in plastic surgery, also known as “McSteamy” by certain interns. Along with managing his patients, Mark also manages his difficult friendship with Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and his relationship with Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh).

Unfortunately for Mark’s admirers, the character died in a terrible plane crash in Season 9’s first episode. Due to his injuries, Mark was maintained on life support, but when the machines were switched off, he passed away since his will stated that he wanted to be removed off it if he showed no signs of improvement after 30 days.

In fact, Dane’s choice to quit “Grey’s Anatomy” is what ultimately caused his character to be killed off. The actor has spoken about his decision to quit the programme, and the explanation for his choice is rather straightforward: he wanted to work on other projects.

In 2012, the same year that Eric Dane’s final “Grey’s Anatomy” episodes aired, it was revealed that he had been selected to star in the thriller series “The Last Ship,” created by executive producer Michael Bay. The TNT television show, which follows a U.S. Navy personnel navigating a post-apocalyptic civilization after a terrible outbreak, ran for five seasons till its conclusion in 2018. Many would agree that Dane made the correct decision in switching from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “The Last Ship” because five seasons is a more than respectable run. And the actor unquestionably felt that it was the best decision for his career at the moment. Additionally, Dane was able to play the part of Cal Jacobs on the hugely successful HBO series “Euphoria” when “The Last Ship” concluded, which is another role that would not have been available if he remained on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Grey’s Anatomy is a universe; it’s not about any one particular actor, and the stories were sort of, you know, travelling in various areas, Dane said in a 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly. I had the chance to travel since I was looking forward to a fresh experience. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ was a show I adored working on. If I could have, I would have continued doing it until the very last episode.

The fact that “The Last Ship” required greater physical activity is one of the variations between the parts to which he was drawn. It’s a physical struggle, said Dane. I didn’t have to travel around much on “Grey’s Anatomy.” I believe I ran three times through the medical center. However, this position requires more physical exertion.

Despite having made the choice to quit “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2012, Eric Dane was delighted to return for a surprise cameo in Season 17. In the episode “Breathe,” Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) dreams that she, her sister Lexie Grey, and Mark Sloan are having a beachside vacation. Dane said to Deadline in 2021 that deciding to accept the offer to return was simple. He enjoyed returning to the “Grey’s” set once he got there.

“It was like I’d never left,” Dane remarked. The beach day was terrific. We didn’t miss a beat and it was fantastic to see some of the regular faces and crew members. They are folks I adore. I spent a good deal of my life with those folks, and I would sacrifice anything for them.

He also had little issue resuming his usual persona. When asked if it was challenging to reenter Mark, Dane replied, “I mean, look, I made Mark Sloan. I didn’t have any trouble getting back into character.