Grey’s Anatomy: Kate Burton Will Return As Ellis Grey In Season 18

Published on August 12, 2021.

photo: Michael Desmond / © ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Great news, Grey’s Anatomy fans! Kate Burton will be returning as Ellis Grey in season 18 of the hit medical drama.

Grey’s Anatomy surprised fans during season 17 by bringing back several departed characters from the show. It’s now been confirmed that Kate Burton, who plays Ellen Pompeo’s character Meredith Grey’s mother, Ellis Grey, will return in new upcoming episodes.

According to Deadline, Burton will reprise her role in multiple instalments and fans can expect to see her as early as the season 18 premiere. Fans will recall that Ellis Grey passed during season 3 after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her upcoming return isn’t the first time that the actress has reappeared on the show since her character’s passing. She has guest-starred in a total of eight episodes since her characters passing, and most recently appeared in Meredith’s dream in season 15’s episode “Blood and Water” which aired in March 2019.

Aside from Ellis Grey, fans have been thrilled with the return of several actors whose characters passed during Grey’s Anatomy’s lengthy run. Many of these reappearances occurred through Meredith’s dreams while she suffered with sickness. A few notable characters that made recent returns include Meredith’s husband, Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), her sister Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) and her former beloved colleagues Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and George O’Malley (T.R. Knight).

Dempsey reflected on his reunion with Pompeo back in April. “We all cried at the beginning and we hugged each other,” he told Variety about the emotional reunion.

Season 18 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres on ABC Thursday, September 30, at 9 p.m. ET.

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