With sixteen seasons and over 300 episodes under its belt, it's no wonder fans have seen many changes over the years in ABC drama "Grey's Anatomy". Those who have watched since season one have seen the cast change almost yearly. In season sixteen only four actors from season one still remain to walk the hospital halls. Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), and James Pickens Jr.(Richard Webber)are still standing. That's quite the accomplishment. The most change over has been felt in the last two seasons, but that doesn't mean that the cast hasn't been shedding characters since it was premiering seasons in the single digits.
One major loss was of Dr. Mark Sloan (or McSteamy) way back in season nine. Introduced in season two, Sloan entered the show as former best friend to Dr. Derek Shepherd, and the reason Shepherd's marriage fell apart before the start of season one. A plastic surgeon Sloan eventually makes up with his best friend and begins a long romance with Meredith Grey's younger half-sister, Lexie. In a major storyline, Lexie dies in a plane crash and, after watching her pass, Sloan (in the same crash) is diagnosed with a rare heart condition before slipping into a coma and passing away himself. That was a lot for fans to take at the time. Lexie and Mark were two long-standing and much-beloved characters.
Why oh why did we lose so many back in season nine? Mark Sloan actor, Eric Dane has admitted the behind the season's story was never as dramatic as the one portrayed for audiences. The actor was offered another leading role, this time on Michael Bay television series, "The Last Ship". Who could possibly turn down the chance to play a Marine tasked with saving the world? Who could pass up the chance to star in an almost weekly action movie? Actors are always looking for new challenges and this one was Dane's.
The actor continues to stretch his talents even now as he co-stars on the new HBO drama "Euphoria" with Zendaya. His newest character is certainly much less attractive than he was on "Grey's Anatomy", and much less heroic than he was on, "The Last Ship". Dayne now plays the pedophile pop of a teen football star. The actor is obviously still looking for different roles and new challenges. He keeps looking, and he continues to find them.