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Dr. Meredith Grey says farewell to Seattle and 'Grey's Anatomy' as a series regular

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Last night Dr. Meredith Grey said goodbye to Seattle and Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GREY'S ANATOMY")

ELLEN POMPEO: (As Meredith Grey) So the end of my story is not any kind of ever after because I'm still alive. I'm still here. And the sun still rises on my life.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dr. Grey, played by actress Ellen Pompeo, will be stepping back from ABC's hit medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" after 19 seasons and more than 400 episodes. Pompeo's character is leaving for Boston. Pompeo herself will stay on as an executive producer.

KELLY: Back in December, Pompeo had told Drew Barrymore she was ready to do something new.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DREW BARRYMORE SHOW")

POMPEO: I feel super-happy.

DREW BARRYMORE: Really?

POMPEO: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

POMPEO: But listen. The show has been incredible to me. And I love - I've loved a lot of the experience. Listen. It's just - I got to - you know, I got to mix it up a little bit.

SHAPIRO: Grey will be remembered for her many close calls with death, her deep friendships and her enduring romance with Dr. Derek Shepherd.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GREY'S ANATOMY")

POMPEO: (As Meredith Grey) Derek, I love you in a really, really big, pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.

KELLY: Ah, McDreamy. Well, her last episode as the show's lead came to an understated conclusion. There were no epic montages, no flashbacks, no guest appearances from former cast members, not even a refrain from "Chasing Cars."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHASING CARS")

FLEURIE: (Singing) We'll do it all.

SHAPIRO: There was, however, a celebration at the hospital where the show's last two original characters paid tribute to Dr. Grey. Here's Dr. Miranda Bailey and Dr. Richard Webber.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GREY'S ANATOMY")

CHANDRA WILSON: (As Miranda Bailey) Once upon a time, you were the bane of my existence. But, no, you grew up to become one of my greatest points of pride. OK. Go. Go.

JAMES PICKENS: (As Richard Webber) Dr. Grey, what Dr. Bailey's trying to say is this place won't be the same without you.

KELLY: We will still hear her character narrate episodes, as she's done for many of them, and she could visit every now and then. But for many "Grey's Anatomy" fans, the show just won't be the same without Meredith.

(SOUNDBITE OF PSAPP SONG, "COSY IN THE ROCKET") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.