*This* Beloved Character Is Returning for 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 18

kate burton greys anatomy

In season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) battled a severe case of COVID-19 and, as a result, fell in and out of consciousness. Although the show brought back several familiar faces—like Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh)—to visit the character in her beach dream land, Meredith’s mom, Ellis (Kate Burton), was noticeably missing from the returnees. However, that’s all about to change.  

According to Deadline, Burton will reprise her role of Ellis Grey in multiple upcoming episodes. Although we don’t know specific details, the outlet revealed that her first cameo will take place in the season 18 premiere.

Fans are likely thrilled by the news, but it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. While Ellis died in season three after a heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s disease, she has made regular appearances via flashbacks and voiceovers. (Her last cameo was in 2019 during the “Blood and Water” episode in season 15.)

Grey’s Anatomy aside, Burton is no stranger to the entertainment industry. The actress has also starred in Scandal, This Is Us, Full Circle, Madam Secretary, The Gifted and Mr. Mercedes. Her film credits include First Wives Club, Remember Me, Obsessed, Barefoot and Stay. Burton most recently appeared in Charmed, Supergirl and Strange Angel, along with Hulu’s upcoming series The Dropout.

Unfortunately, ABC didn’t reveal why Ellis is returning or how she’ll fit into the Grey’s Anatomy storyline. But hey, we’ll take what we can get.

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Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...