List of Grey's Anatomy cast members

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A photo of the Grey's Anatomy characters in surgical scrubs
Grey's Anatomy utilized a racially diverse casting process.

Grey's Anatomy is an American television medical drama that debuted on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), as a mid-season replacement for Boston Legal on March 27, 2005. While creating the show, producers put an emphasis on the casting process.[1] The series has aired for ten seasons, and focuses on the fictional lives of surgical interns and residents, as they gradually evolve into seasoned doctors, while trying to maintain personal lives. The show's premise originated with Shonda Rhimes, who serves as an executive producer, along with Betsy Beers, Mark Gordon, Krista Vernoff, Rob Corn, Mark Wilding, and Allan Heinberg.[2] It is primarily filmed in Los Angeles, California.[3]

The series was created to be racially diverse, utilizing a color-blind casting technique.[4] All roles for the series are cast without the characters' races being pre-specified, in keeping with Rhimes' vision of diversity.[4] The series' protagonist, Meredith Grey, is portrayed by Ellen Pompeo. Meredith is assigned to work under Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), along with Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), George O'Malley (T.R. Knight), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Following O'Malley's death and Stevens' departure, they are replaced by Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and April Kepner (Sarah Drew), in the sixth season. The surgical wing is originally supervised by Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), who is eventually replaced by Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and later Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd).

Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) departs at the conclusion of the third season, and is replaced by Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), who leaves the show during the fifth, and later Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), who departs at the end of the eighth. Introduced in the second season is Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who leaves the show at the end of the third, in order to launch her own spin-off medical drama Private Practice.[5] Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) also enter the show in the second season, while half-sister of Meredith, Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh), first appears in the third and dies at the end of the eighth. Sloan later passes away at the beginning of the ninth season. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) is given series regular status at the beginning of the sixth season. The cast has received numerous awards and nominations, including a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series,[6] a Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama,[7] and numerous Primetime Emmy Award nominations for individual cast members.[8]


Main cast[edit]

Main cast of Grey's Anatomy
Actor Character Season
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
Ellen Pompeo Meredith Grey Main
Sandra Oh Cristina Yang Main
Katherine Heigl Izzie Stevens Main
Justin Chambers Alex Karev Main
T.R. Knight George O'Malley Main
Chandra Wilson Miranda Bailey Main
James Pickens, Jr. Richard Webber Main
Isaiah Washington Preston Burke Main Guest
Patrick Dempsey Derek Shepherd Main
Kate Walsh Addison Montgomery Guest Main Guest
Sara Ramirez Callie Torres Recurring Main
Eric Dane* Mark Sloan Guest Main
Brooke Smith Erica Hahn Recurring Main
Chyler Leigh Lexie Grey Recurring Main
Kevin McKidd Owen Hunt Main
Jessica Capshaw Arizona Robbins Recurring Main
Kim Raver Teddy Altman Main
Sarah Drew April Kepner Recurring Main
Jesse Williams Jackson Avery Recurring Main
Caterina Scorsone Amelia Shepherd Guest Recurring Main
Camilla Luddington Jo Wilson Recurring Main
Gaius Charles Shane Ross Recurring Main
Jerrika Hinton Stephanie Edwards Recurring Main
Tessa Ferrer Leah Murphy Recurring Main
Kelly McCreary Maggie Pierce Guest Main
  • * Although he only appeared in the first two episodes of the ninth season, Eric Dane was still billed as a member of the main cast in them.

Recurring cast[edit]

Actor Character Season
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11
Unnamed actress Bokhee Recurring
Kate Burton Ellis Grey Recurring Guest Recurring
Sarah Utterback Olivia Harper Recurring Recurring
Robin Rose Patricia Recurring Recurring
Steven W. Bailey Joe Recurring Recurring
Moe Irvin Tyler Christian Recurring Guest
Loretta Devine Adele Webber Recurring
George Dzundza Harold O'Malley Recurring
Greg Pitts Jerry O'Malley Recurring
Tim Griffin Ronny O'Malley Recurring
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Denny Duquette Recurring Recurring
Kali Rocha Sydney Heron Recurring
Cress Williams Tucker Jones Recurring Recurring
Kyle Chandler Dylan Young Recurring
Jeff Perry Thatcher Grey Recurring
Mare Winningham Susan Grey Recurring
Chris O'Donnell Finn Dandridge Recurring
Diahann Carroll Jane Burke Recurring
Mitch Pileggi Lawrence Jennings Recurring Recurring Recurring
Debra Monk Louise O'Malley Recurring Recurring Guest
Elizabeth Reaser Rebecca Pope Recurring
Hector Elizondo Carlos Torres Guest Guest Guest
Mark Saul Steve Mostow Recurring
Amy Madigan Katharine Wyatt Recurring
Lauren Stamile Rose Recurring
Mary McDonnell Virginia Dixon Recurring
Melissa George Sadie Harris Recurring
Nora Zehetner Reed Adamson Recurring
Robert Baker Charles Percy Recurring Guest
Leven Rambin Sloan Riley Recurring
Jason George Ben Warren Recurring
Mandy Moore Mary Portman Recurring
Daniel Sunjata Eli Recurring
Peter MacNicol Robert Stark Recurring
Rachael Taylor Lucy Fields Recurring
Scott Foley Henry Burton Recurring
Amanda Fuller Morgan Recurring
Debbie Allen Catherine Avery Recurring
Hilarie Burton Lauren Boswell Recurring
Charles Michael Davis Jason Myers (ob) Recurring
Tina Majorino Heather Brooks Recurring Guest
Justin Bruening Matthew Taylor Recurring
Marguerite Moreau Emma Marling Recurring
Patrick Fabian Oliver Lebackes Recurring
Rebecca Field Sabine McNeil Recurring
Geena Davis Nicole Herman Recurring
Nick D'Agosto Graham Madden Recurring


  1. ^ Rhodes, Joe (April 14, 2005). "Thriving Ratings for a New Patient on ABC". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 1, 2009. 
  2. ^ "About the Show". Grey's Anatomy. American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ Grey's Anatomy Season One DVD: Commentary Feature. Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 2005. 
  4. ^ a b Fogel, Matthew (May 8, 2005). "'Grey's Anatomy' Goes Colorblind". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ Ryan, Maureen (February 21, 2007). "Paging Dr. Montgomery: She's starring in the new 'Grey's Anatomy' spinoff". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  6. ^ "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild Awards. Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ "List of Golden Globe Nominees and Winners". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Grey's Anatomy". Emmy Awards. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]