On Thursday, Ellen Pompeo confirmed on Instagram that last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy was her final appearance as part of the main cast. She has been an integral character on the hit series for 19 seasons, since the series debuted on March 27, 2005.

"I am eternally grateful and humbled by the love and support you have all shown me, Meredith GREY and the show for 19 seasons! Through it all....none of it ...would have been possible without the best fans in the world. You all are RIDERS and you all have made the ride so fun and ICONIC!!," her caption read.

She also added: I love you madly and appreciate you right back. This isn't your first time on the rollercoaster... you know the show must go on and I'll definitely be back to visit. With a lot of love and immense gratitude XoE 🙏🏼❤️"

Pompeo will now have more time to pursue other projects such as being a part of Hulu's adaptation of the horror film "Orphan," which follows a horrifying adoption story of a husband and wife who adopts what they think is a 9-year-old girl but is actually a fully-grown woman.

Writers wrote about Ellen's exit as Meredith Grey's decision to leave Seattle for Boston to accept a position with the Catherine Fox Foundation to research Alzheimer's disease. With Ellen's promise to come back to the series again, Meredith's new job leaves the door open for future guest appearances.

People divulged that the American actress has actually been gunning for the cancellation of the long-running medical series for years. She said, "I've been trying to focus on convincing everybody that it should end. I feel like I'm the super naive one who keeps saying, But what's the story going to be, what story are we going to tell?"

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo speaks onstage during the 11th Annual ADCOLOR Awards at Loews Hollywood Hotel on September 2017 Getty