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The Biggest 'Suits' Characters To Leave The Show Before Its Finale

From entering the royal family to commitments to other shows, "Suits" stars had a lot of good reasons to step away from the show before it ended.

By Tyler McCarthy
Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) sit next to each other

Suits made a huge impact on pop culture during its nine-season run on USA Network. However, whenever a show goes on that long, no matter how successful it is, the cast inevitably goes through some changes.

Although it’s always sad to see a main character leave before fans are ready, their reasons aren’t always bad. Suits wasn’t immune to having some of its core cast members bid farewell to the show before its finale in 2019, forcing other characters to pick up the slack and keep the story going until the show could reach its satisfying conclusion.

To help understand the changes Suits went through, below is a rundown of the main cast members who left the show and why. 

Why did Meghan Markle leave Suits?

It goes without saying that the most high-profile exit from Suits was without a doubt Meghan Markle, who played Rachel Zane for seven seasons. Her character finally married her longtime will-they-won’t-they love interest, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and the duo left New York to open a firm in Seattle that specializes in taking down Fortune 500 companies on behalf of the little guy. 

It was a fitting finish to her character that came not a moment too soon given everything that was going on in the actress’ personal life. Shortly after leaving Suits, Markle retired from acting entirely to focus on her humanitarian work and new duties as a member of the British Royal Family. At the time, she was engaged to none other than Prince Harry. Their high-profile relationship dominated the British and American news cycle and there hasn’t been room for the craft of acting since their lavish wedding in 2018. 

Still, Markle is far from being outside the public eye thanks to deals with Netflix and Spotify and joint ventures with her and Harry’s Archewell organization.

Why did Patrick J. Adams leave Suits?

This one felt like a big blow to the show given that Adams’ Mike Ross was the protagonist of the show. Things kicked off with his very gifted and rogue-ish character essentially conning his way into a job in law alongside Gabriel Macht’s Harvey Specter.

After more than 100 episodes, though, Adams decided it was time to go, alongside his co-star Markle. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the time, Adams revealed the decision to exit after Season 7 was twofold. First of all, he had spent so much time away from his wife, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario, and felt like he needed to slow down and live life with her rather than re-up his contract and commit to more time away from home. 

Second, following a storyline that saw his character go to and leave prison, Adams struggled to see where else he could take this character that wouldn’t make him feel like just “another lawyer on television.” While he certainly had faith in the writers, he felt the place that Ross was in at that moment served as a satisfying conclusion to his character, so he decided the time was right to depart. 

Why did Gina Torres leave Suits?

Despite being one-third of the show’s central law firm Pearson Specter Litt, Jessica Pearson's actress Gina Torres departed the show after Season 6. Although fans were upset, the actress, who has worked steadily in TV since the early 1990s, explained that the shooting schedule was starting to take away from her personal life.

She told the New York Times in 2016 that traveling between Toronto where the show films and New York where she lives with her husband, Laurence Fishburne, and their daughter, was getting to be too much.

However, that was far from the last that viewers saw of Jessica Pearson. In 2018, she returned in a spinoff series to Suits titled Pearson. Although it only lasted one season, it continued her character’s story, following her to Chicago where she worked as a fixer in the city’s high-stakes political underbelly. 

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Why did Wendell Pierce leave Suits?

Although he was not a series regular, Wendell Pierce’s Robert Zane still felt like a member of the Suits family, especially given that his character was related to one of its biggest stars, Rachel.

His character stopped recurring on the show after Season 8 when the actor was forced to step away from the show due in large part to scheduling conflicts that prevented him from getting to Toronto to film as often as he was needed. 

UPROXX reported at the time that Pierce was committed to filming the second season of the Amazon Prime series Jack Ryan, where he plays series regular James Greer. In addition, at the time the Suits schedule to film more episodes beyond his last would have bumped with his additional commitment to appear in a stage production of Death of a Salesman in London. So, with his character’s daughter saying “goodbye” to the franchise, it was time for Pierce’s Robert to step aside as well while the cast reformatted for its new normal.

You can catch up on all of Suits on Peacock right now. 

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