Peter Gallagher of 'The O.C.' fame will join 'Grey's Anatomy' in Season 18.

Grey's Anatomy Just Cast An Iconic The O.C. Star In A Major New Role

He knows a thing or two about West Coast drama.


A former The O.C. star is taking a trip up the West Coast to scrub in at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. After Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy delved into tragic losses and the coronavirus pandemic, some sunny California energy was just what the doctor ordered for the upcoming season. And it sounds like Peter Gallagher’s Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 role will bring some major revelations, because his character has some sort of connection to Meredith’s mother.

Gallagher will play a new character named Dr. Alan Hamilton in Season 18, Entertainment Weekly has confirmed. Not much is known about Alan just yet, but fans can look forward to some dramatic twists when he enters Grey Sloan, because he apparently knew Meredith’s mother Ellis Grey back in the day and probably knows a few secrets about her. Speaking of Ellis, Kate Burton is confirmed to be reprising her role as Meredith’s troubled mother for several episodes in Season 18. As fans know, Ellis died all the way back in Season 3, but she has popped up in episodes since in Meredith’s dreams. It’s unclear exactly how Ellis will return from the dead this time, but it may have something to do with the coronavirus-induced beach hallucination Meredith was in throughout Season 17, which constantly featured long-gone characters.

Of course, this isn’t Gallagher’s first time taking on a network drama. He’s best known for playing the idealistic and supportive father Sandy Cohen in all four seasons of The O.C.


Since then, he’s had notable parts in tons of other hit TV shows, including Grace and Frankie, New Girl, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and Togetherness.

Grey’s Anatomy fans won’t have to wait long to meet Gallagher’s new character — Dr. Alan Hamilton is confirmed to meet Meredith in the Season 18 premiere. Ellis is also going to appear in the premiere episode, and from what we know about Alan, it sounds like Ellis will be a big part of this season. Find out what happens when Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premieres on Sept. 30 on ABC.