‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Where Is George O’ Malley Now, and Why Did He Leave the Show?

It has been ten years since we have seen the lovable George O’ Malley (T. R. Knight) on Grey’s Anatomy. George was one of our favorite original cast members along with Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, and Chandra Wilson.

While many of the other original cast have moved on as well, O’ Malley’s on-screen death was one of the most tragic on the show. We’re still not over it. Why did he have to leave the show anyway? What is he doing now? Let’s take a look.

T. R. Knight who played George O'Malley
T. R. Knight/George O’Malley | Bob D’Amico/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

How did George O’ Malley die on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Let’s take a walk down Grey’s memory lane and try to remember how they killed off George anyway. In the season 5 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, George joins the army to become a Trauma Surgeon. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), the current chief of the hospital, gives him his last day off so that he can spend time with his family before leaving. 

On his way home, George jumps in front of a bus to save someone’s life. He is hit by the bus in the process and is rushed to Seattle Grace as a John Doe because he is so unrecognizable. 

As the episode continued, John Doe seemed to show a particular interest in Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). He tries several times to trace the numbers, “007” on her hand, but she does not know what he is doing. 

When she finally realizes that John Doe is George O’Malley, the surgeons all rush to save him, but it is too late. Many fans still believe George’s death was one of the saddest on the show.

Why did T. R. Knight decide to leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Knight’s decision to leave Grey’s Anatomy did not happen overnight. There was a traumatic issue with one of the other stars that seemed to ignite the flame that led to Knight leaving the show. 

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In 2007, you may remember that costar Isaiah Washington, who played Preston Burke, reportedly used a homophobic slur to refer to Knight while on set. After the incident, Washington was fired from the show. 

Knight’s decision to leave came two years after the incident. He left in 2009, citing a “breakdown in communication” with showrunner Shonda Rhimes, George’s decrease in screen time, as well as the conflict that forced him to publicly come out as gay. 

In a recent interview with the Daily Beast, Knight revealed that he ended up meeting his husband shortly after leaving the show, so he said: “Beautiful things come from ugly times.” 

Since the incident is ten years in the past now, we can see that Knight has moved forward and holds no hard feelings. 

What is Knight doing now?

Knight’s most recent work includes being the voice of Sir Cedric on a new Hulu original, The Bravest Knight. The show is an LGBTQ-Positive Children’s series, starring RuPaul. 

Knight stars as one of the two dads who have adopted a daughter, Nia, together. The story is about how Nia is training to become a Knight like her father, Cedric.

On October 5, 2013, Knight married Patrick B. Leahy, a ballet dancer, and writer, in Hudson, New York. 

Knight has also been in several plays, both on and off-Broadway. He has starred in several on-screen films, including Genius: Picasso