He has won a burgeoning female fanbase for his portrayal of Grey's Anatomy heartthrob McSteamy. But sadly for fans, Eric Dane has quit the show after an eight season stint as Dr Mark Sloan.

Unlike Katherine Heigl's acrimonious departure from the programme, there was plenty of affection displayed when the 39-year-old's move was announced. Eric said: 'I am extremely grateful to everyone at Grey’s, ABC and Shondaland for the experience and memories I have had over the course of this run. 'It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as (executive producer) Shonda Rhimes.' And the love-in continued when the show's creator also paid tribute to one of her favourite stars, which leaves the door ajar for a return if his future plans do not work out. Shonda said: '(McSteamy is) one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy. 'He did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end. 'We’re a big family here at Grey’s with a long history together and Eric will always remain an important part of our family. 'I wish him the best and I look forward to watching him as he continues to steam up the big and small.'

Eric first appeared as a guest star in season two, but strong audience reaction saw him become a regular from the following series onward. His parting of the ways is a far cry from Heigl's departure from the show that made her name in 2010.

The actress left her contract early after reports of absence and tardiness, while she refused to be put forward for an Emmy in 2008, complaining about the standard of the material she was given. When she left Katherine claimed she left the show to concentrate on her family, although she went on to appear in a string of movies. The actress recently mooted the idea of returning to the hit programme following a series of humiliating big screen flops. She said: 'I would be thrilled if they asked. I think it would be just so wonderful to have the opportunity to just sort of round out the character.' However Shonda soon shot down the idea, saying: 'We are on a track we have been planning, and the idea of changing that track is not something we are interested in right now.'

沪江娱乐快讯:在《实习医生格蕾》中扮演Mark Sloan医生的男星Eric Dane将退出该剧。他的故事线将在第九季结束。Eric对此表示说:“我很感谢《格蕾》剧组的每一个人,以及ABC台和制作公司。在出演这部剧的过程中我获得了很多经验,并留下了许多美好的回忆。”

该剧创作者Shonda Rhimes说Mark是她最爱的角色之一:“Eric这个决定不是那么轻易就做出的,经过了很多的考虑和交流,我们最终决定是时候结束Mark这条线了。”为了填补退出演员们的空缺,女星Gaius Charles和Camilla Luddington已经作为轮换角色加入了剧组。