Chicago Fire: Why did Monica Raymund leave Chicago Fire?

"Best Friend Magic" Episode 809 -- Pictured: Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC)
"Best Friend Magic" Episode 809 -- Pictured: Monica Raymund as Gabriela Dawson -- (Photo by: Adrian Burrows/NBC) /

When looking back at the many Chicago Fire characters we’ve bid farewell to over the years, there is no denying that one of the biggest departures in the history of the show came with the exit of actress Monica Raymund.

Across the first six seasons of the show, Raymund was a mainstay on Chicago Fire as paramedic turned firefighter Gabriela “Gabby” Dawson. Appearing in more than 130 episodes of the show, Dawson was one of the show’s biggest characters and one half of one of the show’s most beloved couples, Dawsey.

When the actress announced her exit from the show at the end of season 6, fans were left in a state of shock. Several seasons removed from her exit, fans still haven’t yet gotten over Raymund’s exit from the show and understandably so.

Why did Monica Raymund exit Chicago Fire?

Raymund’s exit from the series was one that rocked the fandom to the core, and many fans still to this day question the decision behind her exit. So what exactly was the driving force that led Raymund to make the decision to walk away from the series after her initial contract with the show came to an end?

As Raymund revealed in a Chicago Tribune interview, the decision to walk away from the show was not one she made lightly but was ultimately stemmed from a desire to explore new roles and leave the city of Chicago in order to put down roots in Los Angeles.

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"“I knew that my six-year contract was coming to an end and I felt like I was hungry to explore a different role, a different story. I wanted to explore a different world,” Raymund explained. “I had been in Chicago for five years and just personally where I was in my life, I was ready to create my home and kind of plant some roots in Los Angeles.”"

While Raymund described the decision as risky in recognizing how big of a decision to walk away from a successful show can be, she ultimately felt that moving on from the show was the best possible move in admitting that “sometimes you have to take a risk to diversify your opportunities.”

Is Monica Raymund coming back to Chicago Fire?

Since her exit at the end of season 6, Monica Raymund has returned to Chicago Fire on two occasions. The first of these two appearances came in the season 7 premiere with Raymund returning for Dawson’s sendoff episode.

She would later return in season 8, episode 9, “Best Friend Magic,” in an episode that saw Dawson return to Chicago to help with a fundraiser event before departing to head back to the Bahamas to continue her charity work.

In the time since her last appearance, Dawson has been name-dropped on a number of occasions including in season 9 when Casey (Jesse Spencer) connected with her via phone in a call that helped him to realize he had finally moved on from their relationship and was ready to give in to his feelings for Brett (Kara Killmer).

Although Raymund has not ruled out the possibility of returning to Chicago Fire in the future, at this time there do not appear to be any plans to bring her back into the fold. Given season 10 will feature the show’s 200th episode, it’s possible the writers could try to pull off a cameo, but at this time there have been no indications that Raymund will be returning as Gabby anytime soon.

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