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Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy: What happened to her and how did she leave the show?

Alex And Izzie
Justin Chambers as Alex Karev and Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens on Grey’s Anatomy cast. Pic credit: ABC

Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy was one of the most popular characters on television for a while.

Playing Izzie thrust actress Katherine Heigl into the spotlight, and she used that buzz to become a familiar face in romantic comedy films for a while.

Heigl’s popularity also led to the actress eventually leaving the show, but not before she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

She also complained publicly about the writing for her character in the following season, possibly causing fractures between the actress and production.

When did Katherine Heigl leave Grey’s Anatomy?

It was way back during Season 6 that Katherine Heigl filmed her final episodes as Dr. Izzie Stevens. To state that her departure was abrupt wouldn’t really be doing it justice — but it was definitely abrupt.

There are a lot of similarities to how Heigl and Justin Chambers left the show.

How did Dr. Izzie Stevens leave the show?

As Season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy was playing out, Izzie started hallucinating Denny Duquette (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). He was a patient she had helped, and they eventually became engaged before he died.

At the point of her hallucinations, Izzie was also back with Alex, as their on-again-off-again relationship progressed to a point of seriousness they had never enjoyed before.

It was discovered that part of the reason for Izzie’s hallucinations was that she had metastatic melanoma (Stage IV) which had spread to her liver, skin, and brain.

She spent a lot of time in the hospital, including a fun episode where she planned the wedding of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).

When it is discovered that Izzie had a second tumor, though, Meredith and Derek give their ceremony to Alex and Izzie, who got married.

Season 5 ended with huge twists, as Izzie and George O’Malley (T. R. Knight) both died in the hospital. Despite a DNR, Izzie was saved by her friends, but she came back with issues.

In Season 6, Izzie struggled after returning to the job, blaming Alex for her problems. Izzie got fired and left. When she learned the truth, she returned to tell Alex that she no longer had cancer, but Alex was ready to move on.

Izzie left Seattle midway through Season 6 and gets referenced again in the following seasons, but ended up really stealing the show during Season 16, Episode 16.

That’s when it was revealed that Alex left to go live with Izzie again. What?

The departure of Izzie Stevens was very abrupt. And now it mirrors how Alex Karev has left the show as well.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on ABC.


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