Ellen Pompeo sent an emotional message to “Grey’s Anatomy” fans on Thursday as she prepares for her final episodes on the hit ABC series.
“I am eternally grateful & humbled by the love & support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY & the show for 19 seasons!,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a selfie. “Through it all….none of it …would have been possible without the best fans in the world.”
Pompeo, who announced her departure from the show over the summer, went on to say the ride-or-die fanbase made her experience “so fun & ICONIC.”
“I love you madly & appreciate you right back. This isn’t your first time on the rollercoaster… you know the show must go on & I’ll definitely be back to visit,” the 53-year-old teased.
Pompeo, who has been with the series since its premiere in 2005, was met with praise & gratitude in her comments section from fans of the long-lasting show.
“19 incredible seasons of trailblazing. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for you as you transition. ❤️,” one person commented.
“’Thank you’ doesn’t even Approach close to being enough, Ellen, but it’s all we have. 🙏🏻😘,” another fan chimed in.
While a third fan told the actress her role on the show “saved” her life, adding, “Mer became the character I so very needed to look up to as she went through so much, while growing as a person myself.”
Although Pompeo will no longer be a cast member of the award-winning series, she vowed to continue being a “part of the show” in other ways.
“I’m an executive producer. I spent two decades of my career on [Grey’s Anatomy] — it’s my heart & soul. I’ll never truly be gone as long as [it’s] on the air,” she told Deadline in September.
Although the actress has “immense gratitude” for her time on the show, she recently defended former co-star Katherine Heigl for speaking out against the show’s somewhat problematic culture.
“I remember Heigl said something on a talk show about the insane hours we were working — & she was 100% right,” Pompeo said on an episode of her podcast, “Tell Me With Ellen Pompeo,” adding, “she was telling the truth. She wasn’t lying.”
The “Old School” star continued, “Had she said that today, she’d be a complete hero. But she’s ahead of her time. [She] made a statement about our crazy hours &, of course, let’s slam a woman & call her ungrateful.”
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