EXCLUSIVE: Last season, as Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey was battling Covid, Grey’s Anatomy introduced a dream beach motif that reunited Meredith with beloved dead characters from the show, Derek, George, Mark and Meredith’s sister Lexie. Meredith’s late mom, Ellis Grey, was not part of the recurring theme, but she will be part of the storyline in the ABC medical drama’s upcoming season, which just started production.
Kate Burton is set to reprise her role as Dr. Ellis Grey in multiple episodes, starting with the Season 18 premiere airing on Sept. 30. Since the beach sequence concluded when Meredith woke up toward the end of last season, it is unclear how Ellis Grey will be reintroduced on the show. Ellis was last seen in the 2019 Season 15 episode “Blood and Water,” appearing to Meredith in a dream.
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Ellis, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s, died in Season 3.
Burton has done a total of 23 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy to date as a guest star/recurring, earning two Emmy nominations for her role. Her third Emmy nomination so far came for another Shondaland ABC drama, Scandal.
Burton will be seen in the upcoming Hulu limited series The Dropout. Her recent TV credits also include recurring roles on the CW’s Charmed and Supergirl and CBS All Access’ Strange Angel.
On stage, multi-Tony-nominated Burton most recently appeared in The Tempest at the Old Globe in San Diego and with Kevin Kline on Broadway in Present Laughter. Her feature credits include 2019’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Grey’s Anatomy, ABC’s longest-running and top-rated scripted series, was created and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes. Krista Vernoff serves as showrunner and executive producer. Betsy Beers and Mark Gordon are executive producers. Debbie Allen is the producing director and executive producer. Grey’s Anatomy is produced by ABC Signature, a division of Disney Television Studios.