Sara Ramirez Confirms She Is Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 10 Years

So long, Dr. Torres.

Following the highly-anticipated Season 12 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, Sara Ramirez, who has played the character of Dr. Callie Torres for the last 10 years, confirmed that she was indeed leaving the show, and would not return for Season 13. Ramirez shared the news with her fans on Twitter with a heartwarming tweet explaining that she was taking some much needed time off. However, Ramirez did say she would stay in contact with Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, and left the door open for a possible return some time in the future.

“I’m deeply grateful to have spent the last 10 years with my family at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC, but for now I’m taking some welcome time off,” Sara Ramirez wrote on Thursday. “Shonda’s been so incredible to work for, and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my love to Ellen, the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

Following Ramirez’s announcement, Rhimes shared a statement of her own. Again, Rhimes assured Grey’s Anatomy fans that the door is always open if Sara decides to return to the show.

“Dr. Callie Torres came into our lives dancing it out in her underwear almost a decade ago and I could not be happier or more proud of her journey,” Rhimes said. “Sara Ramirez’s performance inspired me as well as millions of fans each week. We wish her the best on her well-deserved time off. I will miss Callie tremendously, but am excited for what the future holds for Sara. She will always have a home at Shondaland.”

Sara Ramirez first joined Grey’s Anatomy during Season 2, and was later upped to a regular character in Season 3. Ramirez joins a long list of series’ regulars to be leave the long-running show. Most recently, Patrick Dempsey, who played Meredith Grey’s husband, Dr. Derek Shepherd, left after being killed off in Season 11. Prior to his departure, several others made their exits including Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Eric Dane, Isaiah Washington, and T.R. Knight.

While Ramirez’s fans are heartbroken to see her go, Callie’s departure actually fits quite well into the script.

Warning: possible spoilers ahead

For those of you who have been keeping up with the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy, you already know about the drama that had been surrounding Dr. Torres’ character. Her love interest, Penny (Samantha Sloyan), received a grant and moved to New York, and Callie had been eyeing a move with her. In fact, a custody battle between Callie and her ex-wife, Arizona Robins, ensued during an episode leading up to the finale. Shockingly, Arizona won custody of their daughter, Sophia, leaving Callie with no other choice but to stay at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Callie ended her relationship with Penny, and had been falling into a deep depression until Arizona realized that she wanted two happy mothers for her daughter. During the Season 12 finale, Arizona brings Sophia to Callie and tells her she bought them plane tickets to New York. She continues the conversation by telling Callie they would figure out the custody arrangement, but she wanted them both to be happy, and she should go.

[Photo by Angela Weiss/ Getty Images]