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Eric Dane departs ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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(CNN) — “Grey’s Anatomy” star Eric Dane is ready to hang up his scrubs.

After six years aboard the hit ABC medical drama, CNN’s confirmed that the actor will be exiting the series.

Series creator Shonda Rhimes told TVLine in a statement, “[We] did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end.”

Dane, who played Dr. Mark Sloan, thanked Rhimes and the cast of “Grey’s” in a statement of his own. “I am extremely grateful to everyone at ‘Grey’s,’ ABC and Shondaland for the experience,” Dane told TVLine, which hinted that the actor will still be seen in some episodes in the upcoming season. “It has been wonderful to work alongside and learn from a creative force such as Shonda Rhimes.”

Dane’s leaving is just the latest high-profile departure from “Grey’s”: The actor’s fellow cast members Kim Raver and Chyler Leigh also exited the series after its eighth season finale in May.

“Grey’s Anatomy” returns on September 27.

CNN’s KJ Matthews contributed to this report.

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