“Please don’t kill me”: Jeffrey Dean Morgan Begged the Producer of Grey’s Anatomy After the End of His 23-Episode Contract

Jeffrey Dean Morgan approached ‘Grey's Anatomy’ producer with a heartfelt request.

Katherine Heigl, Jeffrey Dean Morgan in grey's anatomy


  • Following his appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise and Supernatural, Jeffrey Dean Morgan almost wanted to quit acting.
  • Thankfully, giving his career another chance, Morgan landed his role as Denny Duquette in Grey's Anatomy season 2.
  • Grey's Anatomy offered him such a life-changing role that Morgan admitted begging the producer to extend his contract.
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Being one of Hollywood’s finest and most recognizable actors, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has played a few of the most iconic roles, including Negan on The Walking Dead and his long-running role as John Winchester on Supernatural. However, the actor acquired his biggest fanbase and global popularity following his breakout role in Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny Duquette
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Denny Duquette

Bringing the iconic Denny Duquette to life on Grey’s Anatomy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan turned eyes with his performance. So much so that even after decades, he remains one of the most talked-about characters on the show. Even Morgan claimed to be so enamored with the show and his character that he even begged the producer to extend his contract.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Iconic Denny Duquette in Grey’s Anatomy

Beginning his acting career in 1991, through a feature debut in a low-budget crime thriller, Jeffrey Dean Morgan later commenced with a series of walk-on roles and cameos in a handful of television shows and feature films. However, later on, the actor starred in one episode of Star Trek: Enterprise as Xindi-Reptilian and even had a long-standing role in CW’s Supernatural.


However, despite having a stable career, Jeffrey Dean Morgan failed to gain popularity in the industry. Frustrated with his never-ending struggles in the profession, the actor nearly quit acting when he bagged the role of Denny Duquette on Grey’s Anatomy season 2. With the second season of the show mainly focused on Katherine Heigl’s Isobel “Izzie” Stevens and Morgan’s Denny, the actor witnessed stunning growth in his popularity, following his role.

Katherine Heigl’s Isobel “Izzie” Stevens and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Denny Duquette
Katherine Heigl’s Izzie and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Denny in Grey’s Anatomy season 2

Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Denny appeared as a patient with a severe heart condition in Grey’s Anatomy, which made him go constantly in and out of the hospital and almost bedridden throughout the show. However, despite his ailment, the character was portrayed as a gentlemanly flirt, who didn’t leave out any opportunity to woo Izzie. Eventually, apart from winning over Izzie, Morgan’s character captivated audiences with his charm and vulnerability.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Begged Producer for Contract Extension

Fans fell head over heels with the Izzie/Denny storyline and showered the actors with praise and popularity. This particular surge in fanbase had a life-changing effect on Jeffrey Dean Morgan. However, his time on the show was approaching its end when Morgan realized that he wanted a bit more of it. That’s when the actor explained on the YouTube show Hot Ones how he approached producer Shonda Rhimes and begged for a contract extension.


Grey’s Anatomy I knew was something special, that’s the one time I saw my death coming and was trying everything I could do to get out of that death. That character Danny and that love story with Izzie kind of took the world by storm, I knew how f*cking lucky I was to be there and I was like please don’t kill me… I begged [Shonda]… and [being Denny] is what changed my life.

Enamored with the show and his character, Jeffrey Dean Morgan admitted begging the producer to extend his stay. Although he knew his 23-episode contract was coming to its end, w hich meant his character’s looming death, Morgan admitted trying his best to avoid the ending. Unwilling to let go of the character and realizing how the cast of Grey’s Anatomy had become like family to him, Morgan noted figuring out a way to stay back.

Denny’s death scene at the end of Grey's Anatomy season 2
Denny’s death scene at the end of Grey’s Anatomy season 2

Unfortunately, despite Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s passion and dedication, there was no way for his character, Denny Duquette, to live and continue his romance with Izzie. Although he wanted to explore complex themes and relationships in the show, Morgan was denied a contract extension. At the end of season 2, although Denny received a heart transplant, he unfortunately passed away, leaving his fan-favorite romance with Izzie incomplete.

Grey’s Anatomy is available on Disney+


Written by Krittika Mukherjee

Articles Published: 1706

Krittika is a News Writer at FandomWire with 2 years of prior experience in lifestyle and web content writing. With her previous works available on HubPages and Medium, she has woven over 1600 stories with us, about fan-favorite actors, movies, and shows. Post-graduate in Journalism and Honors-graduate in English Literature, when this art enthusiast isn't crafting your next favorite article, she finds her escapism in coffee, fiction, and the Wizarding World.