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Eric Dane leaving 'Grey's Anatomy'

July 27, 2012 at 12:03 PM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, July 27 (UPI) -- Eric Dane says he will leave "Grey's Anatomy" during the Seattle-based medical drama's upcoming ninth season.

Dane's Dr. Mark Sloan was one of several characters who were in a deadly plane crash at the end of last season. Although Sloan survived, his love interest, Lexie Grey, played by Chyler Leigh, died in the season finale.

TVGuide.com said Dane will leave "Grey's" during Season 9 after wrapping up his story line during several episodes. Sloan became a regular character in Season 3.

"I am extremely grateful to everyone at 'Grey's, ABC' and [the production company] Shondland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run," Dane told TVLine.com, which said the actor is leaving to pursue other opportunities. "It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes."

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