Did Patrick Dempsey Leave 'Grey's Anatomy' For A Racing Career? Not So Fast

US Actor Patrick Dempsey who drives the Porsche 911 RSR N° 77 smiles in the pit before the start of the 82nd Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 14, 2014 in Le Mans, western France. Fifty-six cars with 168 drivers are participating on June 14 and 15 in the Le Mans 24-hours endurance race. AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANT (Photo credit should read GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images

McDreamy is now a distant memory of Grey's Anatomy's past, but Patrick Dempsey's acting career certainly isn't over. Fans were devastated after Dempsey's character Derek Shepard, aka McDreamy, was shockingly killed off Grey's Anatomy after eleven seasons, following Dempsey's decision to leave the show. Following his final episode "How To Save A Life," rumor had it that Dempsey might retire from acting to pursue his longtime passion for racing after an alleged falling out with Grey's Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes. "I'm focusing now on developing and racing and being a father to my children. Those are my priorities," Dempsey told Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired. "I want to try something different," he added, "But will I be allowed to do something different? Is Derek so identifiable that I can't go on and be someone else? That will be the challenge. To see if people embrace me as someone else." 

Back in 2013, Dempsey seemed to be hinting at a future career change when he told the New York Daily News, "Racing is my passion[...]When you've been on a show for 10 years, you don't have the same sense of discovery, because you're telling the same story over and over." Luckily for his fans, Dempsey addressed the rumors last Saturday at the Indianapolis 500, where he was an honorary starter, and according to Dempsey, he's not ready to quit acting yet

"I'm not retiring from acting," Dempsey told People, adding that racing is a childhood passion he plans to pursue. "I definitely love racing[...]"I love the camaraderie and the fellowship. I think the challenge is with oneself and not so much your fellow competitors, necessarily[...]"I just love it. It's really stimulating both physically and mentally," Dempsey said. McDreamy lovers will mourn his absence until Dempsey takes on his next role.

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