Original 'The Good Doctor' Cast Member Exits Series After 4 Seasons

The Good Doctor is losing one of its original cast members, as Antonia Thomas is exiting the series after four seasons. Deadline reports that the Season 4 finale, which airs Monday night, will be Thomas' final episode of The Good Doctor. Her character, Dr. Claire Brown, has been a staple of the series since Season 1.

In an interview with the outlet, Thomas spoke out about leaving the series and explained that it was a "really difficult decision," and that walking away from the show is a very "bittersweet thing" for her. "I feel so lucky and basically indebted to (creator) David Shore and the writers for having the experience to play Claire, who has just been a wonderful, wonderful character to explore, so layered and complicated and flawed, the kind of character that I think an actress dreams to be able to play," Thomas said. "I think, ultimately, for me, it's about coming to the point where I think we've really run the gamut of different things that Claire can have gone through, and I'm now really excited to explore different creative opportunities."

Thomas went on to say, "For me, as an actress, having versatility and creativity has been something that's been really, really important. I've come from the British system where you play a role, you film it for a couple of months because seasons are only six episodes long, and then you can do something else, and I think after dedicating four years to Claire and her journey and really, really exploring the character, I am just now ready to try something new, ultimately." Thomas then went on to share how she approached Shore to discuss her character exiting.

"David Shore has been so incredibly wonderful, understanding, and kind through the process," she said. "We had a call after the end of the third season, and I started airing my feelings that I have loved exploring Claire and would love to explore Claire for another season, but after that, how would he feel about bringing the character to a close. He was very wonderful and gracious and helpful. We talked through how we might be able to do that, and came to the decision that it was the right thing."

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Finally, Thomas also shared how her conversation with series lead Freddie Highmore went, saying that he's been very "supportive" and understanding. "He's been nothing but supportive and understands the need to go off and to try different things. And all of the actors in the show, we're all great friends, and everyone has shown me nothing but support. It's deeply sad to say goodbye, especially having all been together for four years, but I think, ultimately, they all understand that you have to follow your creative needs and wanting to try some different things. They just get it, and they've been nothing but wonderful and supportive and lovely."