Actress Antonia Thomas, known for her role on ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” will not be returning for the series’ fifth season, reported Deadline, which broke the news.
Thomas had been with the medical drama show as the character Dr. Claire Browne since its launch in September 2017. Leaving the Golden Globe series before her contract was up was a “difficult” decision to make, the fan-favorite said in an interview with the media outlet. “I have to say, it is a bittersweet thing for me because the last four years have been absolutely incredible,” she explained.
“I feel so lucky and basically indebted to David Shore and the writers for having the experience to play Claire, who has just been a wonderful, wonderful character to explore, so layered and complicated and flawed, the kind of character that I think an actress dreams to be able to play.”
She continued, “I think, ultimately, for me, it’s about coming to the point where I think we’ve really run the gamut of different things that Claire can have gone through, and I’m now really excited to explore different creative opportunities.”
In a statement on Twitter, the British actress wrote, “Hugely thankful to my amazing colleagues on the @GoodDoctorABC” and @SPTV team for this wonderful experience.” She added, “And deeply grateful to my fans for all of the incredible support over the years. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏.”
Fans on social media were devastated by the news of Thomas’ departure. Many thanked her for her work and wished the actress the best in her future endeavors. One Twitter user wrote, “Antonia, it’s sad news, you leave the series, for me the best character in the series, but you are a very special, talented actress who made Claire an example of how to change the world, treating people as they should be treated equally. equal!!!!”
Another fan commented, “We’ll miss you. You’re an amazing actress. These four seasons without you wouldn’t have been the same. Best wishes for this new chapter in your life, eager to know what is coming for you. #TheGoodDoctor.”
“So sad to see you (and therefore Claire) leave the show. You played her wonderfully, in every (and mainly dramatic) turn of her life. Hopefully Claire will finally get some luck, and for you I wish you’ll get a lot of new and interesting characters to play 🙏🏻,” expressed a third.
A fourth wrote, “Sad to see you go but I feel like this was great closure & a happy end for Claire’s character. She’s where her care too much attitude will make a huge difference. I will miss you on the show though so I do hope you come back to guest star.❤️🙂 @AntoniaLThomas best of luck.”
Thomas said to be “looking to explore different creative opportunities,” a plan she reportedly had since season 3 of the show. Along with “The Good Doctor,” Thomas has also been on U.K. shows such as “Lovesick,” “Homefront,” and “Misfits.”