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Jesse Williams to leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ after season 17

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ABC/Mike Rosenthal

(NOTE SPOILERS) Another fan favorite character is leaving Grey’s Anatomy.  It was revealed Thursday that Jesse Williams, who played Dr. Jackson Avery for the past 12 seasons, will be hanging up the scrubs at the end of the month.

In fact, spoiler alert, Thursday’s episode was one of Williams’ second to last appearance on the long-running medical drama, Deadline confirms. The actor will take his final bow in two weeks, on the May 20th episode.

teaser for the emotional episode, titled “Tradition,” showed Jackson saying goodbye to his colleagues at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital to pursue his new calling on the East Coast.

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift,” showrunner Krista Vernofsaid in a statement. “Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.”

So, what is happening with Jackson? 

Well, to the delight of Grey’s fans, he is moving to Boston with his old flame, Dr. April Kepner — played by Sarah Drew. Drew starred in Grey’s Anatomy from season six to season 14, exiting as a series regular in 2015.

In Thursday’s episode, Jackson visits April and their daughter Harriet, where he learns that April divorced Matthew (Justin Bruening), who is now living in Philadelphia.

Jackson reveals he wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps, which means heading east to Massachusetts.  April decides to take Harriet and join him.

Williams is the latest Grey’s star to exit the series.  Earlier, Giancomo Gianniotti departed the medical drama when his character, Andrew DeLuca, was killed off.

Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday with a throwback episode at 9 p.m. on ABC. 

 

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