‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Who Is David Hamilton to Meredith Grey? Peter Gallagher Plays the Key to Ellis Grey’s Return

On Sept. 30, the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere will introduce fans to David Hamilton, who is played by Peter Gallagher. Ahead of the new season, ABC confirmed the guest character is tied to Ellis Grey (Kate Burton), Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) mother. But what does David want with Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18? Here’s everything you need to know about David, what Gallagher really thinks of his new character, and how the premiere will impact Meredith moving forward.

Peter Gallagher plays David Hamilton in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18

Peter Gallagher attends the 74th Annual Tony Awards at Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 2021 in New York City.
Peter Gallagher | Bruce Glikas/WireImage

It’s likely you’ve seen Gallagher in one of his previous roles. Before the 66-year-old actor played David in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, he was in a number of popular TV shows. 

Gallagher is best known for his role on The O.C. as Sandy Cohen. According to his IMDb, Gallagher also played Mitch in Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Nick in Grace and Frankie, and William Dodds in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Meanwhile, Gallagher has appeared in a number of hit movies, including American Beauty, While You Were Sleeping, Mr. Deeds, and Burlesque.

Who is David Hamilton to Meredith Grey in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Behind the scenes photos of Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 | Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

ABC confirmed Gallagher will make his first appearance as David in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere. According to the network’s press release, Meredith will meet David, a “dynamic doctor from her mother’s past,” and he will offer her a “surprising opportunity.” Then in an interview with TV Insider, Gallagher revealed what David will bring to the table.

The Grey’s Anatomy guest star shared David is a neurosurgeon from Minnesota, and he invites Meredith to the opening of a research library dedicated to Ellis. Gallagher also hinted David knew Meredith when she was younger. But the new character is a colleague now.

“In addition to that coincidence, he regards Meredith as a premier surgeon in her field,” Gallagher said. “And so that interests him.”

What happens when David Hamilton and Meredith Grey meet in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18?


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When speaking with TV Insider, Gallagher confirmed some doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial will be suspicious of David in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18. But the actor suggested Meredith has nothing to worry about.

“Some of Meredith’s colleagues think he’s up to something,” Gallagher said. “I was fully expecting Hamilton to be brash and insensitive. That’s not my impression. He’s really good at his job, and so far, he seems to be a pretty good human being.”

Meanwhile, Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo Wilson, hinted whatever happens to Meredith in the Grey’s Anatomy premiere will send her on a new path.

“A lot happens in the premiere that’s going to send [Meredith] in an interesting direction,” Luddington told Access in September. 

Now, it seems David and Meredith’s reunion in Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 will change everything. So stay tuned.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC.