After starring in 16 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, Justin Chambers announced he has left the beloved ABC medical drama — and according to a costar, it was time.
On Friday, Omar Leyva, who played Luis Rivera (the father at the center of Meredith Grey’s insurance fraud scandal), posted a touching tribute to the 49-year-old actor, calling him a “honest and humble man.”
“#JustinChambers is an honest & humble man who made me feel so appreciated from my first episode on #GreysAnatomy. ,” Leyva wrote in the caption. “To have shared in his last episode, #greys350, after his incredible run, is unbelievable. From our conversations, I know how much he loves his beautiful family and how ready and deserving he is to venture beyond #alexkarev. Buena Suerte! (I also need to console my niece now!).”
View this post on Instagram
#JustinChambers is an honest & humble man who made me feel so appreciated from my first episode on #GreysAnatomy. To have shared in his last episode, #greys350, after his incredible run, is unbelievable. From our conversations, I know how much he loves his beautiful family and how ready and deserving he is to venture beyond #alexkarev. Buena Suerte! (I also need to console my niece now!)
A post shared by Omar Leyva (@mromarleyva) on Jan 10, 2020 at 10:16pm PST
On Friday, ABC confirmed to PEOPLE that the original cast member had left Grey’s after starring as Dr. Alex Karev for 16 seasons. His final episode aired on Nov. 14, 2019.
“There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years,” Chambers said in a statement to PEOPLE. “For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time.”
He added, “As I move on from Grey’s Anatomy, I want to thank the ABC family, Shonda Rimes, original cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew, both past and present, and, of course, the fans for an extraordinary ride.”
RELATED: Jesse Williams Says Grey’s Anatomy & Station 19‘s 2-Hour Crossover Event Will Be ‘Scary As Hell’
In Chambers’ last episode, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) fought to have her medical license reinstated after she was caught committing insurance fraud in order to save a young patient. (Leyva played the young child’s father.)
In order to persuade the board in Meredith’s favor, Alex brought in a group of Meredith’s former patients. Alex also read letters from other doctors on Meredith’s behalf, including ones from Cristina Yang, Callie Torres, Addison Montgomery, April Kepner and Arizona Robbins.
In his final frames, Alex was among his friends and colleagues as Meredith’s lawyer revealed that his efforts worked — and Meredith’s license was reinstated.
Chambers was noticeably absent from the midseason finale, and it was explained that his …read more