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Mar. 27, 2005
Returning Series
60 min.
ABC TV Network

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Grey's Anatomy

Grey's Anatomy is a highly acclaimed medical drama that focuses on Meredith Grey as she struggles to maintain relationships while staying sharp at her new job. At Seattle Grace Hospital, she and her fellow doctors make new friends, new enemies and new lovers. The series follows through the hospital, finding personal and professional decisions are not black and white, only shades of grey.

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Characters: #9 of 25 (Full List)
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Dr. Richard Webber Grey's Anatomy
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Dr. Richard Webber

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  Played by:
James Pickens Jr.James Pickens Jr.
James Pickens Jr. (born October 26, 1954) is an American actor. He is best known for his starring role ...

Character Bio

Dr. Richard Webber photo
The enigmatic Chief of Surgery at Seattle Grace is a leading figure in the show. Always vigilant, seeking and trying new things, his ambition is to see Seattle Grace as the top surgical program in the country. This sometimes leads him to take daring decisions, at the beginning of Season 1 the Surgical Program is presented as one of the best in the United States, believed by many viewers to be because of his efforts.

Later in the series Adele asks him to retire, forcing him to choose between his career or their marriage. He tries to skirt around it, but Adele, tired of waiting, makes her choice and leaves him. He moves out and sleeps in his office for a short time, but now has a room at the same hotel as Callie. Since learning of Ellis's illness, Richard had been visiting her regularly, but upon deciding to attempt a reconciliation with Adele realized that he could no longer continue his emotional affair with Ellis. He attempts to patch things up with his wife, but is stunned to find out that she has apparently moved on to someone else.

Richard had planned to retire and recommend Preston Burke as his successor, but after the secret of Burke's tremor and cover-up came out, that plan was put to a stand-still. Nevertheless, he has told the hospital board of his retirement and has yet to name his successor; Derek, Preston, Addison and Mark all eagerly clamoring for the post. Richard eventually chose Derek, but Derek tells him that Richard should remain chief.

Near the end of the third season, Adele is admitted to the hospital and is discovered, first by Addison and later by Richard, to be pregnant (at 52 years old). Though he believes the father to be the man Adele insinuated to be seeing months earlier, Richard stays by Adele's side as she is treated, though complications later arise and she loses the baby. Adele later admits to Richard that the baby, which was a boy, was actually his. At the conclusion of the third season, Richard and Adele decide to give their marriage another try.

Since the beginning of season 4, he and Adele have declared that his work is the reason that their marriage has failed. He moved in with his friend Derek Shepherd in his trailer home. He tried to repair his life as a divorcé for the remainder of the season until, by the end, he reasserted his good reputation to his wife and won her back.

At the start of the fifth season, he starts to deal with the fact that Seattle Grace's surgical program ranking has been suffering. Determined to repair his hospital's reputation, he has become determined to enforce a new tougher series of hospital rules. Adding to his new behavior, he seems to becoming more and more agitated by Meredith Grey's presence in his life as she is a reminder to him of every mistake he has made over the years. Over the course of the season, he becomes resentful of his mentee in General Surgery, Dr. Bailey's decision to leave the General Surgery program to embark upon a fellowship in Pediatric Surgery and attempts to prevent it in any way possible; he gives her an uninspiring letter of recommendation and buys a surgical robot for General Surgery to "lure" Dr. Bailey back to the program. However, as he finally comes to terms with Dr. Bailey's choice, she confides to the Chief that her husband has left her with an ultimatum - if she takes the fellowship in Pediatrics, he will divorce her. Dr. Bailey tells the Chief that she has decided that she will leave her husband herself, but that she still cannot take the Pediatrics fellowship, because she will now be a single mother, and breaks down in front of the Chief.

In the sixth season he has been under a lot of stress. In the episode "New History" most of the people believe he is having an affair due to his odd decisions and mistakes lately, but it is revealed at the end of the episode that the chief has gone back to drinking again. At first, he tells Meredith, who he has taken under his wing to help out learning new skills, that he wasn't an alcoholic, but rather in a state of depression, and he promised that his eggnog at Christmas would be his last drink. However Meredith discovers him at the bar very drunk, showing that he has indeed relapsed.

Episode Screenshots

10x12 - Get Up, Stand Up
Season 10, Episode 12
13x06 - Roar
Season 13, Episode 06
10x03 - Everybody's Crying Mercy
Season 10, Episode 03
09x22 - Do You Believe in Magic
Season 9, Episode 22
[More Episodes]

Dr. Richard Webber Photos

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