Grey’s Anatomy is a titan of the TV landscape. For over a decade it’s been the most popular medical drama on TV, and some would argue that it gives ER a run for its money as the all-time top of the fan-favorite genre.
With negotiations finalized and an 18th season officially in the works, fans are bunkering down for much more in this long-running legendary saga.
The show has been through its share of cast members over the years, but fans still latch onto some long gone fan favorites. Viewers routinely clamor for actor Sandra Oh to reprise her role as Cristina Yang after leaving the role in 2013.
Oh has previously said that she’s grateful for her 10 seasons on the show, but would not be returning, leading some of her fans to wish that Grey’s Anatomy viewers would leave her alone about coming back.
Who is Sandra Oh?
Sandra Oh is an incredibly prolific character actress. Though Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 had been the first many fans may have noticed Oh, it definitely wasn’t her first time on screen.
Oh was raised in Ontario and studied dance and drama avidly while young. As a young actress, she was incredibly successful in Canadian TV and theater and would receive award recognition and critical praise throughout the early 90s for her role in films.
In 1996, she would translate her early success to widespread exposure with a supporting role on the HBO show Arliss. Throughout the 6 seasons the show ran, it seemed like Oh was everywhere as she made guest appearances in major series like Six Feet Under, Judging Amy, and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
After her 6 years on Arliss, she stayed busy. With roles in hit films like Under the Tuscan Sun and Sideways, her career was bigger than ever. In 2005 when Grey’s Anatomy first hit TV screens, she also starred in 2 other movies.
Oh was a regular cast member of Grey’s Anatomy for 10 seasons. During her time on the show, she received 5 Primetime Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” according to IMDb,
Dr. Cristina Yang on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Oh’s character of Dr. Yang was beloved by many fans. As the cast grew and changed the original 6 core characters of the show, including Oh, all became incredibly developed characters that fans connected with.
While Oh had experienced Hollywood success before, frantic shooting schedules and paparazzi attention and the general exposure from being in one of the most popular shows on TV traumatized the star and led to mental health problems. After the other actors renewed their contracts for after season 10, Oh knew it was time to move on.
The star told The Hollywood Reporter at the time “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go.” Her character leaves the hospital forever in the season 10 finale to take a job in Zurich, Switzerland.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fan’t get over it
Eight years after Oh left the show, fans are still regularly shouting to have her back on the show. Oh has experienced tremendous success since leaving the show and is currently the star of BBC’s Killing Eve. As she gets more popular though, fans just don’t seem to be able to let Grey’s Anatomy go for the actress.
The constant badgering from fans even eight years after the end of her character’s arc even has some fans wishing that people would lay off Oh. “Imagine how annoying it’s must be for people to keep on begging her to come back when she’s clearly she stated she won’t. I honestly don’t blame her.” One fan wrote on Reddit recently in response to the continued demand for her return.
Other fans were quick to agree, but one commenter mentioned that the blame didn’t rest solely on fans, “the press is adding to the drama by constantly asking her about her role in interviews even though it isn’t even as significant as the roles she’s playing now.” Even as Oh gets more famous and successful, Dr. Yang may be the one role the press just won’t let her move past.
For better or for worse, Oh has been perfectly clear that she has no intention to ever return to Grey’s Anatomy. When asked by Variety in 2018 if she’d ever return to the show, the actress (a little frustrated), made that perfectly clear. “I’m just going to say no. I’m just going to put that down there,” she told the interviewer. “I’ve really got to try and create much more of that separation.”
That seems about as clear an answer as possible, and while fans won’t see Oh back in Grey’s Anatomy for season 18, there are plenty of other great roles to catch this actress in.
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