Katherine Heigl reveals the real reason she left Grey's Anatomy

Katherine Heigl, who played Izzie Stevens in Grey's Anatomy, has revealed why she left the medical drama show

Actress Katherine Heigl attends the Unequaled NBCUniversal Upfront campaign at Radio City Music Hall on May 14, 2018 in New York. (Photo by KENA BETANCUR / AFP) (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Katherine Heigl has revealed the real reason she left the ABC drama series, Grey's Anatomy, over 10 years ago in 2010. 

Katherine Heigl was one of the original cast members of the incredibly successful show Grey's Anatomy. Starring as Izzie Stevens, Katherine's character was one of the main interns that kicked of the first season of the medical drama. 

The show has since gone on to have 17 successful seasons and Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 has just been commissioned. However, Katherine left the show in 2010 after just six seasons of the show. 

Although it has been over ten years since her departure, the star has just revealed the real reason she left the show and has cleared up the rumors that surrounded her after she moved on from the role of Izzie Stevens.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Katherine Heigl revealed that she primarily left the show in order to focus on her family life.

"I started a family, and it changed everything. It changed my desire to work full-time. I went on family leave and just got to be a [mum], and it changed my whole perspective… that was really the turning point," revealed Katherine. 

Katherine Heigl is the mother of three children, two daughters, Naleigh (12) and  Adalaide (8), and a son, Joshua (4). Katherine Heigl speaks to her daughters about their biological parents as she adopted her eldest two children from South Korea and the US respectively.

Katherine revealed that before leaving the show, she spoke to Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy, about her juggling parenting and acting in the show. 

Katherine explained, "so before I was due back, I spoke again to Shonda about wanting to leave. Then I waited at home until I was given the formal OK that I was off the show. The rumors that I refused to return were totally untrue." 

Katherine continued to say, "[Shonda] wanted to try to figure out how I could do both [parenting and Grey’s], and I kind of wanted to do both." 

Despite these discussions about juggling her personal and professional life, Katherine revealed that her needs were too challenging to schedule. 

"There wasn’t a great way to compromise the work schedule that didn’t negatively affect the crew or the cast. It wasn’t feeling fair to them or the show to ask them to bend around my needs," said Katherine.

Grey's Anatomy

(Image credit: Frank Ockenfels / Grey's Anatomy)

At the end of the interview, Katherine also added that she was bothered about the perception that she was difficult to work with and was dismissive about her role on the ABC medical drama.

Katherine added, "The 'ungrateful' thing bothers me the most. And that is my fault. I allowed myself to be perceived that way."

She concluded, "So much about living life, to me, is about humility and gratitude. And I’ve tried very hard to have those qualities and be that person, and I’m just so disappointed in myself that I allowed it to slip. Of course, I’m grateful. How can I not be?"

GREY'S ANATOMY - "17 Seconds" --

(Image credit: Byron Cohen/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

In recent years Katherine has starred again in a hugely successful Netflix show titled Firefly Lane. The show starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke was a massive hit, and thankfully there is a sequel to Firefly Lane, so there is plenty more content for the show creators to explore.

Additionally, Firefly Lane Season 2 has officially been confirmed so it won't be too long until Katherine is back on our screens!

Laura Harman
Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found baking, hiking with her dog, shopping, and practicing yoga.