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Grey's Anatomy boss shares regret over major character exit

This character's fate could have been very different...

greys anatomy exit
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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Grey's Anatomy has been on screens for 18 years and counting and, as any fan of the medical drama will tell you, the show has been responsible for some of the most heartbreaking character deaths on screens in recent years.

MORE: Grey's Anatomy boss opens up about how she plans to end show

But now, in a new book, a former writer on the ABC show has revealed that he has regrets over how Katherine Heigl's character Izzie exited the show. Namely, that he now wishes that they had killed her off.

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In How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy, Mark Wilding, who has also served as an executive producer on Scandal and Good Girls, has been quoted as saying: "I don't know why we didn't kill Izzie, I really don't."

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He speculated that the decision not to kill the character off was made because the other writers had "hope" that she would one day reprise her role - something that the actress herself had also suggested. "[She] subsequently talked about wanting to maybe come back to the show to wrap things up a couple years later, but that never happened," he explained.

katherine heigl© Photo: Getty Images

Katherine starred as Dr Izzie Stevens for six seasons

Katherine exited the show in 2010 after playing Dr Izzie Stevens for six seasons. Long-time Grey's fans will remember that while Izzie was diagnosed with cancer, she hung up her scrubs after she was fired for a mistake she believes her husband Alex Karev, played by Justin Chambers, was responsible for. She even won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2007.

Elsewhere in the book, another former Grey's writer, Jenna Bans, said that the decision not to kill Izzie was actually made by creator Shonda Rhimes, who "felt like that was more of an unexpected way to go."

katherine heigl emmy© Photo: Getty Images

The actress even won an Emmy for her performance on the show

The unauthorized oral history of the veteran medical drama has been compiled by Lynette Rice, Entertainment Weekly's editor at large and was published last month.

MORE: Ellen Pompeo makes candid confession about future on Grey's Anatomy

Meanwhile, the Firefly Lane actress recently admitted she could have handled her exit with "more grace". She told People earlier this year: "I know there's a better way to deal with those things than I did, I could have handled it with more grace.

"I don't actually regret leaving Grey's Anatomy — I did the right thing for me and for my family — but I do regret the heightened drama I was feeling at that time."

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