Patrick Dempsey Leaving “Grey’s Anatomy”

Take a good look at baby-faced actor Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy Fans. It could be the last time you see the ’80s heartthrob in the role of brilliant surgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd — known as “McDreamy” in some circles.

In the new June 2011 issue of Italian Vanity Fair Magazine, Dempsey reveals that the possible eighth and final season of ABC’s Emmy-winning medical drama will almost certainly be his last as Dr. Shepherd.

Somewhere a Grey’s Fanatic just had a coronary. Quick — someone page Bailey!

“I do not know what’s going to happen to the other characters, but for me it’s done,” the Can’t Buy Me Love star told the magazine. “(‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has) been great and a great part of my life, but I can’t see me doing it anymore.”

The news has TV gawkers buzzing. After all, if Grey’s marches on to Season 9, it’s be doing so with just a few original castmembers still scrubbing in at Seattle Grace. What would be the perfect exit for Derek? This month’s season ender saw Der in the throes of a bust-up with wife Meredith. Could a split send Dr. Shepherd headed for the door?

Don’t count on it, says series creator Shonda Rhimes.

One half of the hospital soap’s most iconic couple, finally married his long-time love Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) at the end of season five. The show’s seventh season chronicled their failed attempts to start a family. But if Derek exits, it doesn’t mean he’ll break it off with Meredith — Pompeo’s contract also expires at the end of Season 8, sparking speculation she’ll also quit the show that bears her character’s name.

“I feel like Meredith and Derek are meant to be together forever, and we’re going to make sure that in the end, they wind up together,” Rhimes told last week.

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