The Real Reason Colin Donnell Left Chicago Med

The "One Chicago" franchise has lost numerous fan favorite characters over the years, but certain exits stung worse than others. In April 2019, Deadline confirmed several actors would be departing "Chicago Med" over "creative reasons related to the characters' story evolution." Among them was Colin Donnell, who confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, "Sorry to say that this is true. I love my #ChicagoMed #OneChicago family dearly. And a special thank you to all the fans that have made these last four seasons so amazing." 

The actor added it was "an honor" to be part of the franchise. Donnell played Dr. Connor Rhodes since the show's inception and also made guest appearances on "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire." People subsequently confirmed Donnell would be briefly returning in Season 5 to wrap up his character's storyline, but that would be it. According to One Chicago Center, it was the wrong move, since the loss of Dr. Rhodes negatively affected the whole season from that point onward. But, why did Donnell walk away in the first place?

Colin Donnell's time on Chicago Med was up

As Cheat Sheet notes, fans said goodbye to Conor Donnell's Dr. Rhodes in the Season 5 premiere of "Chicago Med." Rhodes ultimately left the hospital on a dramatic note after discovering his ex-girlfriend had murdered his father. One Chicago Center confirmed the initial reports that Donnell exited the show due to a "creative decision" on the part of producers. This essentially means it wasn't his choice to leave, rather they were simply finished with the character. Donnell's departure was especially sad because it led to the actor leaving the Windy City, too. He posted on Instagram, in July 2019, "We came here just after getting married to a new job and quickly fell in love with everything Chicago has to offer. Thanks for all the memories, we'll visit often."

Thankfully, the actor has remained booked and busy. Per Us Weekly, Donnell was subsequently featured on the high-profile Marvel show "Arrow" as well as in "Almost Love." He also found time to form a band called The Nineteen Twenty. Elsewhere, the actor worked alongside real-life wife Patti Murin in the Hallmark Channel movie "Love on Iceland." The couple also welcomed daughter Cecily in July 2020. TVLine confirmed Donnell had joined the cast of Peacock drama "Irreverent" in September 2021, too. As for whether Dr. Rhodes could potentially return to "Chicago Med" someday, it's hard to say, since the character departed on such a vague note. We'll just have to wait and see.