'Grey's Anatomy': Why Some Fans Think Katherine Heigl Was the Best Part of the First Few Seasons

Grey’s Anatomy said goodbye to Katherine Heigl as Dr. Isobel “Izzie” Stevens in 2010. For six seasons, the actor played a kind, baking-loving surgical intern and resident. Eventually, though, Heigl left the show amid issues over her character’s storylines. 

Since leaving Grey’s, many fans haven’t missed the Knocked Up star. However, others feel she was exactly what the show needed. 

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans still debate over Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)

In 2005, Grey’s Anatomy fans met Izzie and her friends Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), and George O’Malley (T.R. Knight). The first seasons of Grey’s followed the gang as they navigated their surgical careers. Along the way, Meredith and Cristina started dating two attending surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital. Meredith continued seeing Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) after their one-night stand in the pilot episode. Additionally, Cristina and Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) secretly dated during season one before getting engaged. 

While Meredith and Cristina dated at the workplace, Izzie seemed to focus on the internship. Although she didn’t have any romantic relationships at first, many fans believe that the character’s background story made her the most relatable and watchable on the show.

“The show would never have been the same without [her],” said one fan. 

However, some pointed out that Izzie broke several rules during her relationship with her patient, Denny Duquette (Jeffery Dean Morgan). She began dating the patient during season 2.

“Izzie got Denny killed, and potentially the man that the heart actually went to. She tortured a patent for a contest. She ruined three marriages including her own,” argued another Grey’s viewer.

How many seasons was Katherine Heigl on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?  

Heigl was a cast member on Grey’s Anatomy from seasons 1-6. During her run as Izzie, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. However, Heigl made headlines in 2008 after she opted out of the Emmy race that year. In 2010, the 27 Dresses star left the series. Following Heigl’s final episode on Grey’s, “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly that her exit was best for her and the show. 

“I am done,” Heigl said in 2010. “We just finalized our agreement. Everyone had been working really hard to find an amicable and gracious way of letting go and moving on. It’s sad, but it’s what I wanted.” 

Is Izzie coming back to ‘Grey’s’? 

In 2014, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes opened up about the controversy surrounding Heigl’s exit. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the writer stated that her experience with the Killers actor changed how she ran the set of her other hit show, Scandal

“There are no Heigls in this situation,” Rhimes declared. “I don’t put up with b——- or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”

Although there are no plans to bring Heigl back, Izzie played a significant role in Grey’s Anatomy Season 16. Amid Chambers’ decision to leave the medical drama, Alex Karev moved away from Seattle. In season 16, episode 16, “Leave A Light On,” fans discovered that Alex leaves his wife, Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington), and his job behind. After saving Meredith’s medical trial, Alex and Izzie reconnected. Additionally, the character secretly gave birth to their twins, and Alex moved to Kansas with his family. 

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday nights on ABC. 

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