Rob Lowe Almost Starred as McDreamy in ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ Patrick Dempsey Took the Role

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Grey’s Anatomy fans are still licking their wounds after the recent news that Ellen Pompeo is leaving the show after 19 seasons.

Think that’s a big deal? Then you might be floored to learn another twist that almost occurred among the show’s slate of stars.

Lie Down. Close Your Eyes. Picture Your McDreamy.

If you awoke thinking of Patrick Dempsey, hell, that’s all the more power to ya (and the crews that made Grey’s Anatomy actually come to fruition.

But if your mind wandered elsewhere, you might have envisaged another actor who almost snagged the coveted role of a handsome surgeon.

That man was Rob Lowe. Apparently, Lowe never felt that he was the correct actor for the role. “If it’d been me (the fans) wouldn’t have called me ‘McDreamy,'” he stated, “they would have called me Rob Lowe. Luckily, he has no regrets about turning it down!

A Tragic Turn for Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy captivated us with tales of the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (formerly Seattle Grace Hospital) and its cast. Over the years, we’ve said hello and goodbye to a stream of cast members since the show started in 2005.

But the cast member change that occurred in 2015 might still be the most devastating.

Dr. Derek Shepherd (the character’s real name) was killed in a car crash after 11 seasons in 2015. Apparently, both Patrick Dempsey and series creator Shonda Rhimes felt it was time for him to leave the show. After McDreamy was killed off the show, Patrick Dempsey continued acting in movies like Bridget Jones’s Baby and shows like Devils.

More Turnover on Grey’s Anatomy

When Justin Chambers left Grey’s Anatomy in January 2021, Dr. Meredith Grey (played by Pompeo), the show’s star character and namesake, officially became the only one of the original interns to remain on the TV series.

A few years back, Pompeo’s contract was extended through 2021. She was one of the highest-paid female actors in the world, with a salary of $22 million a year.

Earlier this year, Pompeo gave Entertainment Tonight a pretty stoic answer when asked if she had plans to leave Grey’s Anatomy. She said, “Trying to reinvent the show and continually trying to reinvent the show is the challenge at this point.

“Listen,” Pompeo concluded. “The show speaks to a lot of people, and the young people love the show.”

The show’s latest season ended last week.

Read More: “Ellen Pompeo Is Officially Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 19 Seasons

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