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Martin Henderson Takes Patrick Dempsey’s Spot in Grey’s Anatomy Cast

Martin Henderson and Patrick Dempsey
Martin Henderson is filling Patrick Dempsey's spot in the Grey's Anatomy cast.  Munawar Hosain/; Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

McHunky? Martin Henderson is joining the cast of Grey's Anatomy following Patrick Dempsey's departure from his role of Derek "Dr. McDreamy" Shepherd on the long-running ABC drama earlier this year.

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes shocked fans in April when she killed off Dempsey's character after 10 years on Grey's Anatomy. There were widespread rumors as to the reason for the untimely exit of the star, but a new male lead was not cast until this week.

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New Zealand native Anderson, 40, comes to the medical series after stints on Australia's Secrets & Lies and SundanceTV's The Red Road. His onboarding at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital follows not only the death of McDreamy, but also that of Mark "Dr. McSteamy" Sloan (Eric Dane), who was killed off in 2012's ninth season of Grey's.

The Ellen Pompeo-starring show is going through a bit of a cast shake-up as longtime star Sandra Oh, who plays Cristina Yang, exited last season, and the new crop of attendings have become more of a focus. 

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According to Deadline, Henderson is hyped to play a new surgeon on Grey's Anatomy, potentially taking over Dr. Shepherd's schedule of brain surgeries. The Ring star previously worked with ABC gem Rhimes on the network's short-lived drama Off the Map, which ShondaLand produced. 

Dempsey, 49, is learning what life is like after Rhimes, busying himself as of late with car races and eyeing his next move. The Sweet Home Alabama actor was mourned by fans after his unexpected departure, which costar James Pickens Jr. (Dr. Richard Webber) said even came as a shock to the cast.

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"We didn't know a whole lot," he told ABC News in May. "It was kind of on the fly. So whatever information we got, we pretty much got it kind of right before it happened… Obviously, Grey's wouldn't have been Grey's without him. He was such an integral part of that. He's a very talented guy. His character has become iconic. I mean, it's part of the lexicon of TV." 

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