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

When we say things like "people don't change" it drives scientist crazy because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy. Matter. It's always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It's the way people try not to change that's unnatural. The way we cling to what things were instead of letting things be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing despite every scientific indication that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change that's up to us. It can feel like death or it can feel like a second chance at life. If we open our fingers, loosen our grips, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment we can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, we can be born all over again.


Callie: Did anyone ever think you two were a couple?
Meredith: No, because we screw boys like whores on tequila.
Cristina: Then we either try to marry them or drown ourselves.
Callie: Huh.