Who Almost Played Preston Burke?

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We love Dr. Preston Burke. Sometimes, we even wonder if the surgeon/cook/musician/caring lover is human.

But how much of that is the tremendous writing of Shonda Rhimes and company? And how much is the heartfelt performance of Isaiah Washington every week?

Dapper Isaiah

It's hard to say, but we ask such a question because of an admission by Washington during the release party of the Grey's Anatomy Season Two DVD.

The actor said he originally auditioned for the role of Dr. Sheperd. He also disclosed the alternative choice for Dr. Burke, one that came very close to a reality: Paul Adelstein, who currently portrays creepy Secret Service Special Agent Paul Kellerman on FOX's Prison Break.

Fortunately for fans, producers chose Patrick Dempsey for the role of McDreamy, while inserting Washington into a role he's truly made his own.

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


You are so right. I saw Isaiah Washington in a little clip on tv.com talking about the role of Burke and how he was allowed to add the little nuances that make Burke so real to all of us and how much he loves the characters on Grey's because they are never boring and predictable. Somewhere else I read, maybe on this website, that one of the writers said that the Burke/Cristina story line grew out of their natural chemistry with each other. I love that when the story kind of follows what each person brings to the character rather than being predetermined. Sandra Oh and Isaiah Washington have made Preston and Cristina real to us, and I love them. I can't imagine anyone else in either role.


I agree, no one else could play Burke or have the same chemistry as IW and SO.


Isaiah has truly made this character so believable, and no one else could possible play this characters as well, and would have the chemistry that he and Sandra have together.


He's perfect in his role like Dempsey is a perfect McDreamy.


I've never seen anyone else play Dr. Burke but Isaiah has made this character what it is and I think he's great. I would hate to see anyone leave GA and them try to replace them.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)