Home Entertainment Eric Dane “Understood” Why He Was “Let Go” From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Eric Dane “Understood” Why He Was “Let Go” From ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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More than a decade later, Eric Dane is reflecting on the behind-the-scenes downfall of Dr. McSteamy.

The Grey’s Anatomy alum said he “didn’t leave so much as I was let go” from the long-running Shondaland series, on which he played Dr. Mark Sloan while “struggling” with addiction.

Although he was sober for around four years before joining the cast in 2006, Dane admitted on the Armchair Expert podcast that he was “fucked up longer than I was sober” during his time on the ABC medical drama, partially due to the pressures of mounting fame.

“They didn’t let me go because of that, although it definitely didn’t help,” he explained. “I was starting to become, as most of these actors who have spent significant time on a show, you start to become very expensive for the network. And the network knows that the show is going to do what it’s going to do irrespective of who they keep on it. As long as they have their Grey, they’re fine.

Dane continued, “I wasn’t the same guy they had hired. So I had understood when I was let go. And Shonda [Rhimes] was really great. She protected us fiercely. She protected us publicly. She protected us privately. … But I was probably fired. It wasn’t ceremoniously like, ‘You’re fired,’ it was just like, ‘You’re not coming back.’”

Eric Dane’s Grey’s Anatomy character Dr. Mark Sloan was killed off at beginning of Season 9 after succumbing to injuries from a plane crash in the previous season finale. (Karen Neal/ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Introduced in Season 2, Sloan was killed off at beginning of Season 9 after succumbing to injuries from a plane crash in the previous season finale. Dane reprised the role along with several deceased characters in a season 17 episode in 2021 that saw Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) hallucinates her dead loved ones on a beach while suffering from COVID-19.

Before exiting the show in 2012, Dane entered a treatment center for an addiction to prescription drugs, which he developed following a sports injury.

As fans await his imminent return to HBO‘s Euphoria for the delayed Season 3, Dane has been cast alongside Jensen Ackles and Jessica Camacho in the upcoming Amazon series Countdown.



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