Grey’s Anatomy has featured a number of notable guest stars over the course of its 19 seasons (some that we’re sure you’ve forgotten about), and that includes Mandy Moore in a four-episode arc. Years before portraying matriarch Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, Moore appeared in the final episodes of Season 6 — in which an active shooter injured and killed a number of the Seattle doctors. Moore talked about her experience on Grey’s Anatomy, recalling how everybody was “walking on eggshells” amidst the serious subject matter.
The two-part Season 6 finale, “Sanctuary” and “Death and All His Friends,” are two of Grey’s Anatomy’s best episodes, and Mandy Moore didn’t just witness that moment in TV history — she was a part of it. Moore played Mary Portman, who was a patient under Miranda Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) care at the time of the shooting, and Moore told AV Club what it was like to be offered a role for that iconic storyline:
Mandy Moore’s character was part of a particularly intense story, where she plays dead when the shooter — Michael O’Neill’s Gary Clark — enters her hospital room. Gary finds Charles Percy hiding in the bathroom and shoots him in the stomach. Mary tries to help Bailey save Percy, but they are unable to, leading to one of Grey’s Anatomy’s most shocking deaths.
Despite the somber tone on set for that finale — and the fact that she would be killed off early in Season 7 — the A Walk to Remember star has good memories of her time on Grey’s and can’t believe how memorable that episode remains all these years later. She said:
It has been over a decade since Mandy Moore’s guest-starring role, but Grey’s Anatomy is indeed still going strong as it heads into its 20th season. The upcoming 10-episode order will include at least a couple of appearances from Ellen Pompeo, who stepped away as a series regular during Season 19. Meredith Grey is even featured in the Season 20 trailer.
While we wait for the March 14 season premiere, the first 19 seasons can be streamed with a Netflix subscription, and if you don’t have time to rewatch all 420 episodes, we’ve got some good starting off points to relive your favorite Grey’s Anatomy eras. Also be sure to check out our 2024 TV schedule to see when your other favorite shows are returning.