The role of McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy almost went to this '80s heartthrob
Doctor Rob Lowe? On WTF with Marc Maron, the actor discussed almost playing an iconic Grey’s Anatomy role. In the podcast episode posted Monday, March 25th, Lowe told host Marc Maron that he had once turned down the part of McDreamy. The now-famous character of Dr. Derek Shepherd eventually went to Patrick Dempsey. When Maron asked if Lowe had ever turned down an acting project, Lowe responded, “Dude, I turned down Grey’s Anatomy. To play McDreamy.”
Dempsey played Derek from the the pilot episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2005 until 2015, when the character was killed off in a tragic car accident. In the show, Shepherd was married to Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Lowe had no trouble finding success on television, anyway—after turning down the role, he starred on Brothers & Sisters, Parks and Recreation and The Grinder.
On February 28th, Grey’s Anatomy made history as the longest-running medical drama on American television (with 332 episodes!)—surpassing ER, the groundbreaking NBC series that premiered in 1994 and signed off after 15 seasons.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.