The CW Star Exits Fan-Favorite Series After 6 Seasons

In news fans didn't see coming, actor Nick Zano has left the cast of DC's Legends of Tomorrow on The CW. Following the March 2 episode, representatives for the network confirmed Heywood is leaving for good. Fair warning, there are spoilers for the latest episode of the series ahead.

Zano has been playing Nate Heywood, a.k.a. Steel on Legends of Tomorrow since Season 2 back in 2016. He has been a series regular that entire time, though fans have been anticipating his departure for a while now. According to a report by our sister site, ComicBook.com, Zano made some comments on social media hinting that he would be leaving Legends of Tomorrow soon. He later deleted these posts, but they primed fans for his departure which has now come to pass.

In the show itself, Dr. Heywood's departure from the team has been teased since the beginning of Season 6. It was explained through his relationship with Zari Tomaz, a.k.a. Zari Tazari (Tala Ashe). The Zari of the show's original timeline now resides within the Wind Totem with her ancestors, and on Wednesday's episode, Heywood decided to "move-in" with her there.

In real life, Zano's contract on the show simply ran out, and he decided not to renew it. He told ComicBook.com: "It was something I decided, and when I decided it, I had a really good, beautiful, constructive conversation with Phil Klemmer, and we kind of mapped it out and talked about it. When we went into last season, he and I and the writers knew. My castmates didn't know for several episodes, and then the story started changing in the script. Things started being said in the script that everybody was kind of like, 'Wait a minute,' and then we all had the big talk."

Given Nate's tragic romantic history on the show, Zano and writer Phil Klemmer thought it would be fitting to give him a happy ending in this way. In a show like this, it's even more final since it sends Nate outside the confines of time and space as the audience understands them.

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"Phil did it," Zano said. "Phil and I would touch base periodically throughout the season, and he gave Nate the ending like Nate deserved, which is finally having a love that's not going to run away, or crumble before his eyes. We give him the happiness and safety that he has always longed for, and in television, that's pretty much the greatest gift your showrunner could give you as an actor: an exit that's honorable, loving, and caring."

Zano is the latest of several main cast departures from Legends of Tomorrow, but thanks to the show's ensemble format it is still going strong. Wednesday night was the Season 7 finale, and the whole season will reportedly hit Netflix by the end of this month. The first six seasons are streaming on the streaming platform now.