Jesse Williams to Return to 'Grey's Anatomy' as Director and Guest Star in Season 19

Jesse Williams reprises his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the Nov. 3 episode of Grey's Anatomy, which he will also direct

75th Annual Tony Awards – Arrivals
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Dr. Jackson Avery is coming back to Grey's Anatomy!

ABC confirmed to PEOPLE that former star Jesse Williams will return to the medical drama as a guest star and director for the Nov. 3 episode, "When I Get to the Border."

Last week, Williams, 41, told PEOPLE he was "always open to the possibility" of returning to Grey's Anatomy.

"I love the family that I have on that show. So that's always going to be a form of home base for me," he shared. "And I'll always answer their call."

Meredith grey jackson avery
Jesse Williams on Grey's Anatomy. Kelsey McNeal/Walt Disney Television

In the upcoming episode, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) will catch up with Jackson while visiting Boston. Debbie Allen is set to return as Jackson's mother, Catherine Fox, according to Entertainment Weekly.

The episode will mark the fourth time that Williams has served as director on the series, including season 14's "Fight for Your Mind," season 15's "What I Did for Love" and season 16's "Save the Last Dance for Me."

Deadline was first to report the news of Williams' return.

Williams and his costar Sarah Drew, who played Dr. April Kepner — Jackson's ex-wife and mother of his child — previously returned to the show for its season 18 finale in May.

Williams left the long-running medical drama in May 2021. The actor portrayed the head of Plastic Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for 12 seasons and more than 250 episodes before his departure.

Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew. Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

"I will forever be grateful for the boundless opportunities provided me by Shonda, the network, studio, fellow cast mates, our incredible crew, Krista, Ellen and Debbie," Williams said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time, referring to creator Shonda Rhimes, showrunner Krista Vernoff and his costars Pompeo and Allen.

"As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds," continued Williams, who has played the plastic surgeon since season 6.

"The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I'll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends."

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Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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