In Season 4, Grey’s Anatomy really hit its stride. And with that came more guest stars. Seasons 2 and 3 offered up plenty of big names, but the fourth brought even more as the show continued to grow in popularity. Here are some of those guest stars, in order of appearance.
At the beginning of Season 4, Gilmore Girls actor Edward Herrmann was on the show for three episodes, beginning with Episode 3 “Let the Truth Sting.” Unlike most guest stars, who portray patients or those related to patients at the hospital, Herrmann played a doctor. More specifically, he was Dr. Norman Shales, an intern who decided to pursue a late-in-life career change, having been a pharmacist for 30 years. After having a stroke in “Haunt You Every Day,” he switches to the psychiatry program.
Herrmann had a long and prolific career in theater, film, and television. He portrayed Franklin D. Roosevelt in made-for-TV movies and in Annie (1982). Herrmann was nominated for several awards and won an Emmy for appearing on The Practice. However, he was best known for his starring role on the long-running TV series Gilmore Girls. Herrmann passed away in 2014.
Actor Seth Green plays Nick Hanscom in a two-episode arc during Season 4 of Grey’s Anatomy titled “Crash Into Me.” Nick had a tumor removed near one of his carotid arteries, and due to the sensitivity of the area, it ends up bursting. He has a stroke, and though they try to save him, he dies during surgery.
Green began as a child actor, making it big in the ‘90s and early ‘00s with his roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in the Austin Powers films. He has voiced Chris Griffin on Family Guy since 1999. Green is also the co-creator, director, writer, and much more for the long-running animated series Robot Chicken.
Comedian and actor Cheech Marin guest-starred in Grey’s Anatomy Season 4 Episode 12 “Where the Wild Things Are.” Marin played Otis, an angry patient who fell, injuring his ankle, but Izzie puts him through an excessive series of tests because she thinks there’s more wrong with him. As it turns out, there’s not.
Marin is best known for the movies he did with his ‘80s writing partner Tommy Chong. He has provided the voice for films such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Cars, and Coco. Marin has had guest starring roles on series such as Jane the Virgin and Psych.
Actress Clea DuVall has an intriguing two-episode arc, also beginning with “Where the Wild Things Are.” She portrays Jennifer, who comes in with her new husband and his brother after they were attacked by a bear. After her injuries are taken care of, Jennifer learns that her husband has a malignant brain tumor, which has caused his erratic behavior. He dies during surgery in Episode 13 “Piece of My Heart.”
DuVall began acting in the 1. 990s, appearing in films such as Girl Interrupted and She’s All That. Over the years, she became something of an icon in LGBTQ+ cinema, starring in movies like But I’m a Cheerleader. DuVall is also known for recurring TV roles on Heroes, American Horror Story: Asylum, and Veep.
At the end of Season 4, Derek and Meredith finally get together for good. This happens over the two-part series finale Freedom, in which they work on clinical trial patients Beth and Jeremy, a teenage couple who met through their cancer support group. While Jeremy dies, Beth, played by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, survives, and it’s through her strength that Meredith gets the courage to ask Derek to get back together.
Smollett-Bell (Smollett at the time of the episode) has been acting since she was a child, getting her start alongside her real-life siblings (including Empire’s Jussie Smollett) in On Our Own and in a recurring role on Full House. After Grey’s, Smollett-Bell began to gain recognition for her main roles on series like Friday Night Lights and True Blood. The actress will portray Black Canary in the upcoming DC film Birds of Prey.