Patrick Dempsey’s time as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy has come to an end, and it’s time to discuss the departure before heading off into the sunset. After 11 seasons in the role, which included over 230 episodes, he was written out of the script with his character dying due to complication from a brain injury, ironically enough, suffered in an automobile accident. What is it like leaving a show somewhat unceremoniously in the middle of a season after that amount of time invested in Grey’s Anatomy?
“It just sort of evolved. It just kind of happened. [Being written off] was something that was kind of surprising and uh, just naturally came to be. I like the way it has all played out,” said Dempsey. “It was very quiet, very quiet. I very quietly left,” he continued about the final scenes being filmed. “It was beautiful. It was raining, which was really touching. I got in my (Porsche) Panamera, got in rush hour traffic, and two hours later I was home. I’m emotional now talking about it because you start to look at the reality of it.”
Working for over a decade on Grey’s Anatomy with his on-screen wife Ellen Pompeo also was impactful on the career and the life of Dempsey. His reaction to leaving her was one of great sentimentality and emotion, very reminiscent of leaving a wife in real life.
“It’s magic. It’s beautiful,” he said after hesitating and tearing up. “We’re like a married couple. It’s been 10 years, and it was magic from the beginning. [Great] chemistry right away.”
Patrick Dempsey’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy has affected him in other ways. He will no longer being his Malibu estate overlooking the ocean. He has put the house on the market, currently valued at over $14 million. Set upon three acres of some of California’s most prime real estate, it includes three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, a rock-climbing wall, and an outdoor pizza oven. Leaving the show also happened to coincide with the end of his marriage of 15 years to Jillian Dempsey three months ago, so this will be quite a dramatic year of change for Dempsey, who will turn 50 next January.
The circumstances regarding his departure, with over a year still remaining on his two-year contract, have been sketchy. He was rumored to be making in the range of $400,000 per episode, but has had issues with creator Shonda Rhimes, leading to his suspension from the show earlier this season. ABC looks to save in the range of $10 million a season, as he was not released, but left of his own volition. Rumors are circulating that he is working on a new drama show featured around one of his personal passions, the sport of racing, at Sundance TV.
In any event, Patrick Dempsey’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy has gained him many lifelong fans. He has built an illustrious television legacy many would never have envisioned for him 30 years ago, as a young, awkward teen movie star.
By Evander Smart