9 Living Grey’s Anatomy Characters From Season 1


ABC Grey’s Anatomy will debut its 19th season later in 2022, also completing 400 episodes this year. Protagonist Meredith Gray has seen many people come and go in her life, ranging from her husband Derek Shepherd to her mother Ellis, her sister Lexie, and many more.

Many of the original characters like George and Derek have passed away since the first season, which leaves it a bit unclear how many characters have been left since the start of the series. While others also left, they were not killed and still exist in the Grey’s Anatomy universe. These mainly include major main and recurring characters who appeared in Season 1.


Olivia Harper

Olivia’ was a nurse whose role in the first season was to show how much George wanted Meredith, as he wasn’t really interested in Olivia. In the following season, she factored in Izzie and Alex’s breakup when she again had an affair with the latter.

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Subsequent seasons showed Olivia in a minor light, with the notable exception of her involvement with the group of nurses who slept with Mark Sloan and resented him. Olivia was fired during the hospital’s merger with Mercy West and returned for an episode years later, where it was revealed she had moved to Sacramento, got married, and now had a son.

Alex Karev

Alex Karev smiling in Grey's Anatomy

Alex started out as a competent doctor but a huge jerk, who eventually became Izzie’s love interest in a love affair. Grey’s Anatomy fans saw it coming. His role in the first season was to serve as George’s rival, coming up with the name “007” to mock him.

Alex became a valued friend to Meredith over the next decade, briefly becoming her “person” and marrying former intern Jo. His exit came controversially when he divorced Jo off-screen to return to Izzie, after which Alex never returned to the hospital and now lives on a farm with Izzie and their two children.

Izzie Stevens

Izzie Steven in Grey's Anatomy

From the start, Izzie was considered by many to be the best Grey’s Anatomy character in the first season, although that perception has changed since then. In Season 1, Izzie was shown as a nervous doctor who wanted to put her sketchy past behind her and had to deal with goons like Alex who put her down.

She eventually started standing up for herself and became good friends with the group, with later seasons focusing on her relationship with Alex. After her cancer was removed, Izzie had a huge argument with Alex and divorced her off-screen. She was confirmed to be alive a decade later when Alex quietly reconciled with her.

Addison Montgomery

Addison became an instant fan favorite, becoming the star of Private practice a few years after his arrival. She only made one appearance in the first season, but it remains one of the most shocking moments of Grey’s Anatomy the story. It turned out that she was Derek Shepherd’s wife whom he had never told Meredith about.

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Addison seemed to be mean at first, but she was just confused as to whether she really liked Derek, Mark Sloan, or neither. Her eventual move across the country paid off as she eventually married once and had a son. Addison recently returned to Grey’s Anatomy to become one of his oldest characters.

Miranda Bailey

Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) smiling in

Bailey is a character that gets better every day. Grey’s Anatomy over the seasons. She was a new resident at the start of the series, taking on the role of mentor for the interns, and teaching herself to be a leader. Bailey has since gone through a divorce and a rocky career to reach a more stable point in her life.

In recent times, she has become a high-ranking member of the hospital and is married to former doctor turned firefighter Ben Warren. Bailey’s role remains that of a spiritual mentor, but she is now considered a peer to Meredith and the remaining Doctors due to the time they spent in each other’s company.

Cristina Yang

Cristina Yang sitting in a bar in Grey's Anatomy

Many fans believe Cristina’s quotes on Grey’s Anatomy are words to live by because of the confidence she had in herself and her abilities. Her role in Season 1 was to foster a great friendship with Meredith and was the top trainee in her group, being extremely competitive and unapologetic about it.

Cristina and Meredith were the two main protagonists of Grey’s Anatomy for a decade until she left to run her own hospital in Europe. She’s since been credited off-screen for staying in touch with Meredith, and her career continues to thrive the way she wanted it to.

Preston Burke

Preston Burke Greys' Anatomy

Burke was known as an ambitious, well-spoken doctor who became involved with Cristina soon after the latter joined the hospital. His inability to fully invest in their relationship and the couple’s similar but unhealthy personalities made their dynamic interesting to follow.

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Over the next two seasons, Burke and Cristina got to the point of getting married until he called it off because he realized she didn’t love him. Burke returned almost a decade later, revealed to be in Zurich and married with children. He handed over his hospital to Cristina so he could move to Milan with his family, thus ending their relationship with Cristina.

Richard Weber

Richard Webber in Grey's Anatomy

Richard was introduced as the head of the hospital whom Meredith resented for having an affair with her mother, Ellis, during her younger years. Richard’s role in the first season was to try to mend his failed marriage, Meredith’s presence in his life, and his lingering feelings for Ellis.

He has since lost his wife and Ellis, eventually marrying Catherine Avery, only to continue to stay in hospital despite his aging. Richard’s other issues like alcoholism and falling out with Meredith and Bailey made him a flawed but ever-changing character.

Meredith Gray

Meredith smiling season 1

As the series’ protagonist, Meredith has been at the center of storylines for nearly two decades. Season 1 showed her starting a relationship with Derek, dealing with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease, and navigating the hospital as an intern.

Meredith has since married and lost Derek, become a mother, won the most prestigious award for a doctor, and made peace with once estranged people like her father, Richard, Lexie, and even Addison. She’s still a work in progress as new challenges constantly crop up in her life, but Meredith is certainly a survivor in more ways than one.

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