A handful of famous actors have skyrocketed to stardom with their roles on popular TV shows. For some of those stars, they left way before the fans were ready to say goodbye.
From shows like Grey's Anatomy to The Office, some of the most beloved cast members have called it quits for a variety of reasons. For some actors, the timing felt right. For others, it was all about the money.
Just this week, Pauley Perrette announced that she was officially leaving NCIS. The 48-year-old actress, who portrays the eccentric Abby Sciuto on the CBS drama, revealed that she was going to be moving on after the show's 15th season.
Perrette took to Twitter to confirm the news and to also shoot down some of the "false stories" surrounding her departure.
"So, it is true that I am leaving NCIS after this season," she wrote. "There have been all kinds of false stories as to why (NO I DON'T HAVE A SKIN CARE LINE AND NO MY NETWORK AND SHOW ARE NOT MAD AT ME!)"
So it is true that I am leaving NCIS...— Pauley Perrette (@PauleyP) October 4, 2017
There have been all kinds of false rumors as to why (NO I DON'T HAVE A SKIN CARE LINE... pic.twitter.com/gugM2a2ckT
Keep scrolling to see more of our favorite actors that have left our favorite TV shows too early.
In 2010, Katherine Heigl walked away from ABC drama Grey's Anatomy. While some actors amicably leave their popular TV shows, this was not the situation with Heigl.
The 38-year-old actress' departure was filled with drama. She withdrew her name from consideration for an Emmy award because she didn't feel that the writing was deserving of a nomination. However, the year before, Heigl won the prize for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama.
"I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination and in an effort to maintain the integrity of the academy organization, I withdrew my name from contention. In addition, I did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials," Heigl said in a statement, according to TV Guide.
Heigl's character, Izzie, was written off of the show by having her start a new life elsewhere away from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
For 11 years, Shemar Moore portrayed crime-fighting team member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit on Criminal Minds.
At the time when Moore chose to say goodbye to his character Derek Morgan, he said the decision was his and that he wanted to pursue other aspirations.
"I've treated my acting career like school. The Young and the Restless: eight years. [That was] high school. Criminal Minds: college. Now I'm ready for grad school, a Ph.D., whatever you want to call it," he said during an interview with TV Guide in 2016.
"I'm just ready to grow. I just want to leap. And I don't know where I'm going to land, but I believe that I'm going to land. ... I'm not leaving to go be a big star. I'm not leaving to go make a bunch of money. ... I'm leaving because I just creatively want to be fueled and [am] excited to try new things and see what else I'm capable of. But I'm always going to look back and salute."
Even though Moore walked away from Criminal Minds, he did return to the CBS drama for a temporary comeback this past season.
Steve Carell portrayed Michael Scott for seven seasons on The Office. While the show won awards for Best Comedy Series, Carell's departure had all the tearjerker moments that one would see in a drama.
After his final episode on the NBC show aired, Carell was featured in a special send-off video. The 55-year-old actor explained how "emotional" it was to step away from the show.
"I've been pretty emotional the past couple of weeks," he said. "One of the things [my wife] said which really hit the nail on the head was that it's a part that has kind of defined me professionally, but on top of that, 'these are your friends.' That to me is why the show has been so important to me and the fact that people have watched it and enjoyed it and will continue to enjoy it because it remains a fantastic show."
Carell's role was temporarily filled by Will Ferrell.
In May of 2011, Christopher Meloni said goodbye to Detective Elliot Stabler.
The 56-year-old actor left the cast between seasons 12 and 13 after contract negotiations broke down with NBC. His finale appearance was in the Season 12 finale and the writers were left to figure out how to write off Meloni's character before Season 13.
Even though he walked away from the show, Meloni has expressed that he is "open" to returning to SVU. However, the situation has to be right. Earlier this year, during an interview with Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Meloni spoke out about the show.
"I have always said I would be open to it," he told Entertainment Tonight. "[The] circumstances have to be right, that is all.
Meloni portrayed Detective Stabler from 1999 to 2011.
Back in May of this year, Jennifer Morrison chose to leave behind the world of Storybrook after her contract ended on ABC's Once Upon a Time.
The 38-year-old actress starred on the show for six years portraying Emma Swann/Princess Emma. She spoke out about the decision to step away from the series saying that the constant filming schedule that she has worked in her career has been quite "grueling."
“I spent six years year on House, a year on How I Met Your Mother and spent 6 years on Once Upon a Time, and collectively that’s 13 years of network schedule, which is an amazing and incredible gift but it’s a grueling schedule,” Morrison said.
“I’ve been transitioning into doing more directing, I’ve had some opportunities that I’ve passed up along the years in order to fulfill these network schedules, and I really had to weigh where I was in my life. I’m just at an age and a time in my life where I want to be home, I want to be with my family and my friends, to have a chance to have a personal life for a while, and also wanted to be available to do other creative things.”
After starring on the wildly popular show Friday Night Lights, Connie Britton went on to portray country singer Rayna James in the hit series Nashville. In early 2017, Britton decided to leave the drama shortly after the show switched networks.
The 50-year-old actress explained at the time that it was her decision to leave the series.
"It was something that had been percolating over time, and there were lots of different reasons behind it. But my priority was really making sure that the timing was right. My priority has always been Nashville," she said during an interview with TV Line.
Part of Britton's decision to leave Nashville was to give herself a break from rigorous filming schedules.
"I’ve been doing network TV for 10 years straight without a break. And I adopted my son five years into it… But I also love to work," she said. "There are a couple of film things coming up that I’m excited about. In terms of TV, I’m very open to whatever comes around. But moving forward, I like the idea of maybe starting something from the beginning and being really at the ground level in terms of development and creation. To me, that would be very exciting."
Britton starred on the show from 2012 to 2017.