Fans of ABC’s The Good Doctor were first introduced to Antonia Thomas, who portrays surgery resident Dr. Claire Browne, in 2017 when the show debuted. Antonia quickly arose as a female lead opposite Freddie Highmore (who plays Dr. Shaun Murphy) on the hit medical drama. Her compassionate and kind character became a fan favorite pretty quickly, and she was one of the first doctors at St. Bonaventure to embrace Shaun.
Over the past four seasons, audiences have seen Claire continue to be a close friend and confidante of Shaun’s. She’s given him advice on everything from medical quandaries to problems in the romance department. Viewers have also seen Claire go through a lot of heartache throughout the past two seasons. In Season 3, her abusive mother comes back into her life, and just as the two are reconciled, her mother is killed in a drunk driving accident.
In the premiere of Season 4, Claire is devastated when Dr. Melendez (Nicholas Gonzalez) dies not long after he and Claire finally professed their love for one another. Thankfully, as Season 4 comes to a close, things have started to look up for her Claire. She recently connected and made amends with her estranged father. Fans have been wondering if a star was leaving The Good Doctor, and unfortunately, Antonia is. Keep reading to see what fans had to say about the shocking news.
Why is Antonia Thomas leaving 'The Good Doctor'?
When The Good Doctor returns for Season 5, it will be without Antonia. After four seasons, the actress has announced that she will be exiting the series. Antonia recently sat down with Deadline and spoke about leaving the show before the end of her contract. She shared, "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.”
She also added, "I feel so lucky and basically indebted to [creator] 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.”
Fans of The Good Doctor were shocked about the news of Dr. Browne leaving the show and have taken to social media to express their feelings.
One fan tweeted, "Thank you, Antonia. We will never forget the wonderful and brave Claire. You have left an imprint in all of us watching the show. We wish you only the best." Another tweeted, "Opening Twitter, expecting nothing and then reading that … I’m so sad and also of course happy for her. Thank you, Antonia! It has been an amazing four seasons with you. I loved your character and your acting pretty much."
It will be interesting to see how Dr. Browne's story will end on The Good Doctor. Will she stay in Guatemala? She and the rest of the team from St. Bonaventure Hospital are there on a surgical mission. Her beloved character will totally be missed, but hopefully, it won't be goodbye forever since Antonia did say in her Deadline interview that she would like to reprise her role in the future.
You can catch the Season 4 finale of The Good Doctor on June 7 at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.