‘Grey’s Anatomy’: What Is T.R. Knight, Who Played George O’Malley, Doing Today?
In the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, actor T.R. Knight played Dr. George O’Malley. He was a surgical intern at Seattle Grace Hospital, alongside Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers). Eventually, Knight left the medical drama after five seasons. So, what has the actor been up to since leaving Grey’s Anatomy?
George O’Malley dies in Seattle Grace Hospital
In 2007, Isaiah Washington was fired from Grey’s Anatomy. The actor was accused of using a homophobic slur toward his openly gay co-star, T.R. Knight. Ultimately, Washington left the show in Grey’s Anatomy Season 3. After the confrontation, media outlets started to speculate Knight would leave the show. But he stayed on the medical drama for a few more seasons.
After the conclusion of the fifth season, Knight confirmed he wouldn’t return for season 6. As it turns out, Knight wanted to be written off the show. At the time, the actor said the departure was due to a “breakdown in communication” between him and the creator, Shonda Rhimes. With his lack of screen-time, Knight wanted to leave the medical drama. So, the writers killed off his character.
In Grey’s Anatomy Season 5, George O’Malley joined the army to become a trauma surgeon. His close friends and colleagues decided to stage an intervention to talk him out of the decision. Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) gave him the day off to spend with family. On his way home, George O’Malley jumped in front of a bus to save a pedestrian’s life. He later died from his injuries.
Although Knight wanted to leave the show, he was grateful for the opportunity. “My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George],” he told Entertainment Weekly. “And with respect, I’m going to leave it at that.”
What has T.R. Knight done after ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?
Once T.R. Knight left the medical drama, he returned to stage acting. In 2009, he starred in a production of the musical Parade at the Mark Taper Forum in LA. Shortly after, he returned to Broadway in David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre. Aside from theater, Knight played minor roles in television shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Good Wife, Will & Grace, and most recently, The Flight Attendant. He also starred in a few movies like 42 (2013), A Year and Change (2015), and Hello Again (2017).
George O’Malley returns in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17
In Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, fans witnessed the long-awaited return of George O’Malley. While Meredith is battling the coronavirus (COVID-19), people from her past visit her on a dreamlike beach. One of the visitors was none other than George O’Malley, Meredith’s longtime friend.
In an interview with Deadline, Knight referred to his return as a “wave upon wave of happiness.” Also, the actor appreciated how Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff approached his return. “What I loved about what Krista did with George was, because Meredith has this vision, for lack of a better word, of who George would be,” he explained.
Knight continued, “George is a very complicated person, and that’s what made him such an amazing pleasure to play, but Meredith is seeing the best of George: she’s seeing his humor, his kindness, his generosity, and in this brief moment that you get to see him, it’s such a great way to remember him.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.