‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Did Giacomo Gianniotti Leave the Series? It’s Truly Heartbreaking

By now, many Grey’s Anatomy fans have heard the news that Giacomo Gianniotti left the series. However, what viewers want to know is why he left and if it was his choice. 

Greys Anatomy Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca | Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: How did Andrew DeLuca die?

When Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, Episode 7 opened, many fans were confused. What happened to Andrew DeLuca? The opening scene showed Ben Warren (Jason Winston George) and Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato) in an ambulance with a bloody DeLuca. 

“You’re OK. You’re OK,” Andrew’s sister, Carina, tells him.

In the Station 19 episode that preceded Grey’s Anatomy on March 11, a man stabbed DeLuca while tailing a suspected human trafficker. When he arrived at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) rushed him into surgery. 

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When fans thought he might be out of the woods in the recovery room, DeLuca suddenly coded. Hunt and Altman fought to save his life, but ultimately, Andrew died fighting to protect young girls’ lives.

Why did Giacomo Gianniotti leave ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

It was not Giacomo Gianniotti’s idea to leave the long-running medical drama. He began as an intern on Grey’s Anatomy in season 11 and was happy to call his fellow cast members family. However, when the executive producers, showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen, approached Gianniotti with the storyline, he could not turn it down. 

“They said, ‘Hey, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it,'” Gianniotti recalled to Deadline. “‘We feel there’s an opportunity to tell a really, really beautiful story that is going to help a lot of people.'” 

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The producers wanted to continue the human trafficking storyline that DeLuca was a part of in season 16. Many people connected with that story because it is such a massive problem globally and in the United States. His character would help catch the kidnapper. However, in the process, DeLuca would die as a hero, saving all the “children who potentially could’ve been trafficked.”

“And I just thought it was a beautiful storyline,” Gianniotti continued. “I thought it was a beautiful way for the character to exit as a hero.”

What’s next for Giacomo Gianniotti?

Although Giacomo Gianniotti’s character is dead on Grey’s Anatomy, he isn’t altogether leaving the series. The 31-year-old Italian-Canadian actor worked on the series for six years and then had a chance to direct the show. After filming Andrew DeLuca’s ending, the actor returned to direct an episode. He also teased that fans would see more of DeLuca on this season of Grey’s Anatomy.

“Over the course of these 17 seasons, we’ve had a lot of characters leave, whether their character exited for some reason or whether they died on the show,” Gianniotti explained to the outlet. “We continue to see those people. We’ve continued to see those people in flashbacks, in dreams, in all kinds of different scenarios.”

“Just because DeLuca has died, it doesn’t mean that there’s not other ways for us to see clips and other manifestations of DeLuca in the future. So, yeah, I definitely think there’s a possibility to see DeLuca in the rest of the season, but I don’t know exactly how and can’t comment on how.”