Throughout Grey’s Anatomy’s record-breaking run, several actors have appeared, but not everyone has left on good terms… particularly Katherine Heigl.
Throughout the series’ seventeen-season run on ABC, star Ellen Pompeo — who plays the lead character, Dr. Meredith Grey — and writer Shonda Rhimes have said goodbye to a slew of talented stars, including Patrick Dempsey, Jessica Capshaw, Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, and others. However, several stars, such when Katherine Heigl, made headlines when they exited the show.
When Grey’s Anatomy debuted as a mid-season replacement on ABC in 2005, Heigl landed the role of Dr. Isobel “Izzie” Stevens and remained on the show until its sixth season, departing amid controversy in 2010.
Heigl’s career has taken its own twists and turns in the years after her breakout role on Grey’s Anatomy, with some major highs and lows. Katherine Heigl’s film and television career is never the same since Grey’s Anatomy, and here’s why.
- Katherine Heigl’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy was a shambles.
Following her Emmy Award-winning appearance in Grey’s Anatomy’s second season, it seemed as if Heigl would stay with the show that made her a celebrity for the foreseeable future. Things quickly went downhill when she became dissatisfied with the scripts and content she was offered during the show’s fourth season, causing the series’ artistic staff to become enraged.
According to the New York Times, Heigl issued a short but direct statement, adding, “I did not believe I was offered enough material this season to merit an Emmy nomination, so I withheld my name from consideration to protect the academy’s reputation.
Furthermore, I didn’t want to take away a chance from an actress who had been given similar materials.”
Despite Rhimes’ denial that she was enraged by Heigl’s Emmys stunt, trouble exploded on set when the actress was constantly late to set during a shooting on the sixth season.
Heigl was ultimately written out of the show midway into its sixth season, but the bad blood continued.
Later, during the run of her next program, Controversy, Rhimes told an interviewer that “no Heigl’s” were allowed on set, and that she had a strict “no a**hole” policy… which, all
things considered, is a fairly straightforward assertion.
- Katherine Heigl has a few setbacks since Grey’s Anatomy, but she has since bounced around.
After the Grey’s Anatomy drama and an especially sour interview about her starring role in 2007’s Knocked Up, Heigl, who was once a hot commodity in Hollywood, became a falling star.
Heigl also revealed that she had regrets over leaving Grey’s Anatomy and the way she played with Rhimes, sharing a willingness to return to the series if necessary, after dwindling returns in controversial films including 2010’s Killers, Life As We Know It, and 2011’s New Year’s Eve.
(She “returned” offscreen in a weird manner during the show’s sixteenth season when Justin Chambers’ Dr. Alex Karev abandoned his wife for Izzie when Chambers left the series.)
Heigl’s career, on the other hand, has seen a revival in recent years.
Heigl joined the cast of USA’s iconic series Suits in 2018 after several fake television stars like State of Affairs and Doubt (after former Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle left the show).
Her most recent Netflix series, Firefly Lane, premiered in 2021 to favorable reviews.
Heigl may have had her share of on-screen and off-screen drama during her tenure on Grey’s Anatomy, but she seems to be back on track following many years of turmoil. The first season of Firefly Lane is currently available to watch on Netflix.