Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy." / ABC
(CBS NEWS) Sandra Oh is saying goodbye to "Grey's Anatomy."
The actress, who has played the brilliant but demanding Dr. Cristina Yang since the ABC medical drama began in 2005, will exit the series at the end of this season.
"Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go," Oh told The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story. "It's such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Cristina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the 'Grey's' writers to think of why she's going to go."
"One of the best days of my life as a writer happened the day Sandra Oh walked in my door to audition and forever changed the course of 'Grey's Anatomy' with her brilliant, nuanced portrayal of Cristina Yang," series creator Shonda Rhimes said. "Over the past 10 seasons, I have been made better by Sandra's trust, faith and friendship, and I can't quantify how grateful I am for her collaboration on a character we both love so deeply. This year is going to be bittersweet for us -- we're both going to savor every moment of Cristina Yang, and then we're going to give her the exit she deserves. And when Sandra walks out of my door, 'Grey's Anatomy' will once again be forever changed."
THR's report didn't detail how Oh's departure will be handled on-screen. But she might not be the show's only exiting star -- contracts for Patrick Dempsey (Derek), Ellen Pompeo (Meredith), Justin Chambers (Alex), James Pickens Jr.(Webber) and Chandra Wilson (Bailey) are up at the end of this season.
"Grey's Anatomy" returns for its 10th season on Sept. 26.
Jessica Derschowitz, CBS News