List of Grey's Anatomy Characters - Main Characters

Main Characters

The following is a list of all current and previous main characters who have featured in Grey's Anatomy. The characters are listed in alphabetical order.

Name Actor/actress Starring seasons Recurring seasons Occupation at Seattle Grace Job Title
Theodora 'Teddy' Altman Kim Raver 6, 7, 8 6 Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon M.D., F.A.C.S.
Dr. Altman took over the job as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Seattle Grace in season six. She previously served in Iraq with Owen Hunt. Although a skilled surgeon, her teaching methods might appear somewhat unorthodox. Her arrival at Seattle Grace, followed by her profession of love to Owen has caused some friction between Owen and his girlfriend, Cristina Yang. Teddy marries a patient at the hospital named Henry to get him insurance, but she eventually falls in love with him. Over time, Teddy forms a friendship with Cristina, but her friendship with Owen ends when she feels he puts the hospital before her. Owen and her eventually make up in the season finale. Owen finds out she was offered a job at the Army Medical Command, but turned it down because she wanted to be there for Owen, if he and Cristina were to separate. He ultimately fires her, and tells her that he will be okay.
Jackson Avery Jesse Williams 7, 8, 9 6 Plastic Surgical Fellow M.D.
First introduced as a surgical resident from Mercy West Hospital, he is also called "pretty boy," especially by Cristina Yang. He is a grandson of the famous surgeon, Dr. Harper Avery, and is focusing on plastics. He develops a crush on Cristina, and while inebriated he kisses her at a party, but Cristina breaks the kiss. In the 6th season finale, he is told by Dr. Shepherd that there is a lockdown in the hospital and is later left by Dr. Hunt and Dr. Altman in the OR with 2 nurses and 1 anesthesiologist. He is the one who decides that Yang should operate on Shepherd in order to save him. When Mr. Clark (the shooter) takes the OR hostage, he disconnects Shepherd in order to make everyone believe that he is dead until Mr. Clark leaves the room. It is also revealed later in season 7 that Avery suffers from traumatic nightmares. Avery also has a complicated relationship with Lexie Grey, which is a recurring plot point on the show. Though he was offered a position as surgical fellow at Tulane Medical Center, Avery decided to stay in Seattle. At the end of season 8 he starts having sex with his best friend April Kepner, but their relationship is complicated.
Miranda Bailey Chandra Wilson 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Attending General Surgeon M.D.
An attending general surgeon at Seattle Grace hospital, Miranda Bailey initially gave a cold, domineering impression, earning her the nickname "The Nazi". However, her attitude has since softened, and she has developed a maternal role towards the residents in the hospital. She has undergone a divorce which led her to turn down a fellowship in pediatric surgery. She is dating an anesthesiologist, Ben Warren, with whom she is now engaged to. In season 9, it is revealed that Bailey now has the nickname BCB (Booty Call Bailey), due to her increasing love with Ben Warren.
Preston Burke Isaiah Washington 1, 2, 3 Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon M.D., F.A.C.S.
Preston Burke was the former Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He began a romantic relationship with Cristina Yang, which came under strain when Burke was shot and his right hand's nerve supply was disrupted. With his career threatened he had Yang perform some of his surgeries, a situation which resolved when Derek Shepherd repaired Burke's nerve supply. Burke and Yang continued their relationship which ultimately ended on their wedding day, when he left her at the altar. Burke graduated at the top of his class from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In season four, Burke was metioned to get the Harper Avery Award.
Alexandra 'Lexie' Grey Chyler Leigh 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 3 Surgical Resident M.D.
Resident and half-sister of Meredith Grey, Lexie attended Harvard Medical School. She has had relationships with Mark, Alex, and Jackson. Known for her photographic memory, she has earned the nickname Lexipedia. Initially she had a distant, contentious relationship with Meredith, but they have since grown closer. She is often called "Little Grey" by other doctors on staff. In the season 8 finale, she dies from the consequences of a plane crash that took place at the end of the penultimate episode.
Meredith Grey Ellen Pompeo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Attending General Surgeon M.D.
Resident Meredith Grey is the central protagonist of the show, and narrator of the majority of episodes. She began the series as an intern and has since progressed along her career path. Her character is defined by her romantic relationships as well as the lingering effects her mother's affair with Richard Webber has had on her life. She is best friends with Cristina Yang and following a long romance, she has married neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd, and they adopted a baby named Zola. In season 9, Meredith is an attending general surgeon and has earned the nickname "Medusa" by her interns and residents and as a result of the plane crash cannot find the strength to fly, like Cristina, which makes it so they talk via Skype.
Erica Hahn Brooke Smith 4, 5 2, 3 Attending Cardiothoracic Surgeon M.D., F.A.C.S.
Following Preston Burke's departure, Erica Hahn took his position as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Seattle Grace. Her brusque, somewhat harsh personality was tempered by Callie Torres, with whom she began a relationship. Her time at Seattle Grace ended abruptly, however, when she became discontent with Izzie Stevens, and the lack of disciplinary action following the Denny Duquette incident. Dr. Hahn attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she was in the same class as Dr. Burke.
Owen Hunt Kevin McKidd 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 5 Attending Trauma Surgeon Chief of Surgery, Chief of Trauma Surgery
Owen Hunt, Chief of Trauma Surgery, is the husband of Cristina Yang. Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, he has struggled with the horrors he experienced whilst serving with the army in Iraq. He invited former colleague Teddy Altman to work alongside him at Seattle Grace, a decision which caused some friction between himself and Cristina. In the season 7 premiere he marries Cristina. Later, he is also offered the position by Richard Webber to choose the next chief resident at Seattle Grace. He was later promoted to Chief of Surgery after Webber resigned. He and Cristina are currently experiencing marital problems due to his infidelity in season 8.
Alex Karev Justin Chambers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Pediatric Surgical Fellow M.D.
Hard-headed and often discourteous Resident, Alex Karev has had a series of unfortunate relationships throughout his life beginning with his mother. At an early age he had to become her defender from an abusive father and later her caretaker. While working as a doctor he was involved with a patient, Ava, but her mental instability strained their relationship and Alex once again adopted a caretaker role before Ava's admission to a psychiatric hospital. He subsequently embarked on a relationship with Izzie Stevens, and they wed, but Izzie asked for a divorce following her dismissal from Seattle Grace. In the season 8 finale, he was meant to fly with other surgeons to perform a procedure at Boise Memorial. After disclosing his intention to do his Pediatric Surgical Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital to Dr. Robbins she, in anger, replaces him. In the season 9 premiere he is supposed to be leaving Seattle Grace, having deferred his fellowship in the aftermath of the plane crash. Upon realizing the drastic changes that will happen in both his and Dr. Robbin's absence and due to the hiring of a new Chief of Pediatric Surgery, he changes his mind and stays on at Seattle Grace.
April Kepner Sarah Drew 7, 8, 9 6 Attending General Surgeon M.D.
First introduced as a surgical resident from Mercy West Hospital, she was fired in Episode 6.06 by Chief Webber, but later rehired by Dr. Shepherd in Episode 6.13 due to his believing her dismissal was unfair. Later it is revealed that she has a crush on Dr. Shepherd in Episode 6.19. In the season six finale, she informs him that her best friend Dr. Reed Adamson has been shot and killed. She later runs into Mr. Clark (the shooter) when Shepherd was shot. Clark lets her go when she emotionally tells him everything about her life. In the third episode of season 7, April reveals that she is a virgin. In the season 7 finale, April becomes Chief Resident. She fails to pass her Medical Boards and is later fired from Seattle Grace, but is asked back in season 9.
Addison Montgomery Kate Walsh 2, 3 1, 2 Attending Neonatal Surgeon/Obstetrician-Gynecologist M.D., F.A.C.S.
Former Chief of OB/GYN and Neonatal Surgery, and the ex-wife of Derek Shepherd, Addison transferred to Seattle Grace, seeking reconciliation with Derek. After achieving a degree of understanding with Derek and realizing that he was in love with Meredith Grey, Addison left Seattle Grace. The character is now the protagonist of ABC series Private Practice and continues to make guest appearances on Grey's Anatomy.
George O'Malley T.R. Knight 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Surgical Resident M.D.
George O'Malley had a less aggressive personality compared with his fellow residents. He once had an infatuation with Meredith Grey which ended when they slept together, and halfway through Meredith began to cry, humiliating George. He also had a strong friendship with Izzie Stevens and later Lexie Grey. He was once married to Callie Torres, but their marriage came to an end when George slept with Izzie. George and Izzie tried a relationship but decided to remain as friends when they realized their relationship lacked chemistry. Inspired by Dr. Hunt's experiences, George decided to leave Seattle Grace and enlist in the Army. Tragically, on his way to tell his mother about joining the Army, George died from injuries sustained from rescuing a girl from being hit by a bus, sacrificing himself instead.
Arizona Robbins Jessica Capshaw 6, 7, 8, 9 5 Attending Pediatric Surgeon Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Arizona Robbins, pediatric surgery attending, has a cheery disposition but gets upset when challenging authority. She has embarked on a relationship with Callie Torres. She comes from a military family and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has been revealed to harbor great emotional intelligence; her insight and advice have been used to defuse several situations, such as Callie's dispute with her father. In season 7, she wins a prestigious award, and she and Callie plan to move to Malawi, Africa and work there. However, she breaks up with Callie and leaves her at the airport. They reconcile soon after, and ultimately get married. In the season 9 premiere she has lost one of her legs due to injuries sustained during a plane crash at the end of season 8.
Derek Shepherd Patrick Dempsey 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Attending Neurosurgeon Chief of Neurosurgery
As Chief of Neurosurgery, Derek Shepherd earned the nickname McDreamy by the female staff of Seattle Grace. The lead male character, he is known for his complicated love-life. Initially he moved to Seattle from New York to get away from his adulterous ex-wife Addison Montgomery whom he discovered was having an affair with his best friend, Mark Sloan. He subsequently began a long romance with Meredith Grey which resulted in their marriage. Recently he had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with Richard Webber whom he believed wasn't governing the hospital appropriately. He took over as the Chief of Surgery after going to the hospital board about Chief Webber's drinking problem, but resigned after nearly dying from being shot because he thought being chief wasn't his place. He and Meredith adopted an orphan from Africa in season 7, named Zola. Surviving the plane crash in the Season 8 finale, the season 9 premiere shows that he's recovering from his injured hand but not soon enough. His hand goes numb while trying to grip one of the instruments before surgery.
Mark Sloan Eric Dane 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 2, 3, 9* Attending Plastic Surgeon Chief of Plastic Surgery
Mark Sloan, Chief of Plastic Surgery, attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has a playboy personality that nearly jeopardized his friendship with Derek by having an affair with his wife, Addison Montgomery. He knew both Derek and Addison Shepherd from when all three lived in New York. Derek and Mark managed to resolve their issues and reaffirm their friendship. He has been given the nickname "McSteamy" by Meredith and her friends. Sloan had a relationship with Lexie Grey which ended due to strain when Mark's 18 year old daughter from a one night stand appeared at the hospital and subsequently moved in with them. The girl's mother had named her Sloane and never told Mark about her. She arrived in Seattle unannounced, and Mark found out she was pregnant. Mark wanted to keep the baby but Sloane decided to give it up for adoption. After that, Mark and Lexie retake their relationship, but it ended when Mark got Callie Torres pregnant, and Lexie started dating Jackson Avery. He died in the Season 9 premiere due to injuries sustained in the plane crash.
Isobel 'Izzie' Stevens Katherine Heigl 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Surgical Resident M.D.
Growing up in a trailer park and putting her newborn daughter up for adoption at age 16, Izzie managed to progress along medical school by paying her bills through modeling. She put her career as doctor on the line in a risky bid to get her lover Denny Duquette a new heart by cutting his LVAD wires. Denny subsequently died but Izzie managed to keep her job. Izzie began a relationship with Alex Karev, but their relationship came under strain when she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. She survived the condition following treatment with Interleukin 2 but after restarting work she accidentally induced hyperkalemia in a patient listed for renal transplant. Subsequently she lost her job, and left Seattle. She and Alex are now divorced.
Calliope 'Callie' Torres Sara Ramirez 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 2 Attending Orthopedic Surgeon M.D.
Callie is an orthopedic surgeon. She was introduced as an orthopedic surgical resident, and then promoted to an attending. She was once married to George O'Malley, but divorced after he developed feelings for Izzie Stevens. Later, she had an affair with Erica Hahn which was cut short by Hahn's departure from Seattle Grace. She was in a happy relationship with Arizona Robbins but they broke up because Arizona did not want to have kids. However at the end of the 6th season, after doing a surgery on a small girl while a shooter is loose in the hospital, Callie tells Arizona in a round about way that she loves her and the two end up getting back together and decide that they are going to have children. In season 7, Callie was going to move to Africa with Arizona, but Arizona breaks up with her and then leaves her at the airport in Seattle. Callie ends up sleeping with Mark again and gets pregnant. Arizona later returns for Callie and they get back together. On episode 7.18 Callie gets horribly injured in a car crash with Arizona. Addison, delivers her baby at 23 weeks, which then survives. Later Dr. Bailey marries Arizona and Callie. The season 9 premiere shows a strained relationship between Callie and Arizona with Mark dying and Arizona having one leg amputated, by Alex Karev.
Richard Webber James Pickens, Jr. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Attending General Surgeon M.D., F.A.C.S.
Authority figure and former Chief of Surgery at Seattle Grace, Richard has had a difficult past characterized by affairs and alcoholism. His relationship with Meredith Grey is at times volatile because he had an affair with her mother. Recently Richard has struggled with managing the finances of Seattle Grace and has merged the hospital with Mercy West Hospital. The merger has caused him much stress, strained his relationship with Derek Shepherd and ultimately contributed to the collapse of his sobriety. He stepped down as Chief of Surgery in season 8. In the season 9 premiere, it was Dr. Webber that pulled the plug on Mark Sloan.
Cristina Yang Sandra Oh 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 Cardiothoracic Surgical Fellow M.D., Ph.D.
Cristina Yang attained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine. A skilled resident, Cristina Yang has an indomitable passion for cardiothoracic surgery, and is almost ruthless in pursuit of her desired specialty. She is best friends with Meredith Grey, and has previously been in a relationship with Preston Burke, which ended suddenly when he left Cristina on their wedding day. Since then she has entered into a relationship with Owen Hunt, whom she marries in season 7. As of the season 9 premiere, she is participating in a cardiothoracic surgical fellowship program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and like Meredith, unable to board a plane.
  • * Although only guest-starring in the first two episodes of the ninth season, Eric Dane was still billed as a member of the main cast in them.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Grey's Anatomy Characters

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