It's Been Two Years Since Abby Left 'Ray Donovan,' but Why Did She Exit the Show?

Abby from 'Ray Donovan' left the popular show two years ago, but why did actress Paula Malcomson make an exit? Find out all the details here!

Samantha Faragalli Younghans - Author

Apr. 24 2020, Updated 11:19 a.m. ET

Paula Malcomson
Source: Getty Images

The seventh season of Ray Donovan is nearing, so fans are reminiscing about past episodes and storylines of the popular Showtime show. And since it's already been two years since one of the main characters Abby left the series, viewers are curious why she departed from the show in the first place. Scroll down for everything we know about actress Paula Malcomson's exit!

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Why did Abby leave Ray Donovan?

In a previous interview with Forbes, actress Paula Malcomson hinted that her exit was to free up some time in her schedule to perhaps pursue other projects due to the time demand of Ray Donovan. However, the decision to end her life on the show was also influenced by the writers as well.

"The show has been an organizing principle in my life for the past six years, and it has defined me to a degree," she said in 2017. "When l am this deep into a character, I tend not to take many other jobs. My plate is full."

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"All that will change now, and going forward I have to shed the skin of a character that has become a part of me. There are pros and cons to that, but one is left feeling bereft," Paula added. "It's complicated and hard to talk about in a substantive way. Some days it sucks. Some days it's a relief."

At the time, the show's director, showrunner, and writer defended his decision to kill off the character. "We always feel we have to do something that moves the story forward; something unforgettable. The driving force is always what’s good for the story," he said back in 2017. "It’s essential we don’t become carnival barkers. There’s a lot of pressure to be that. The series dynamics cannot become predictable. There’s a fatigue in continuing to tell a certain type of story."

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Abby, who was Ray's wife, sadly died of cancer during Season 5 (after a string of episodes featuring a non-linear storyline where no one knew what happened to her), a situation that Paula admitted was challenging to portray.

"I had a ringside seat to cancer. As have most people," she explained. "I dug deep. I had to. There was no other way for me to do it. I hope that I ended my tenure on the series on a high note. I did my best. I wanted to get this right."

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And that's what she did. "This show has been a tremendous gift in my life," she said. "I've hopefully become a better actor and I have learned so much. It's amazing to look back and think about reading the pilot episode... before it became flesh and blood. We've come a long way baby."

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Some were worried if the show would even go on after the death of Ray's wife, especially due to his rage following her passing, but Paula's stellar performance proved otherwise. "Paula is so dynamic. She really showed us who she is as an actor and as a character. She burned bright this way. She wouldn’t have been given this type of opportunity without this drastic approach," Hollander said.

But presenting his dedicated viewers with that type of storyline wasn't an easy decision. "I know that it's difficult by Season 5 of any show to keep writing engaging and motivated storylines," he pointed out. "I know that things needed to change in order to propel the story into seasons six, seven, and whatever comes after that. Was killing Abby the only way to achieve that? Maybe... maybe not."  

Perhaps it was. Season 7 of Ray Donovan airs on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. on Showtime, and we're not expecting a return from Abby...

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