Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley is leaving the ITV1 soap.
Hordley joined the award-winning soap in 2000, as bad boy Dingle
Hordley, who has played bad boy Cain Dingle for six years, will make a dramatic exit from the show in the autumn "to pursue other projects".
But his character will not be killed off - leaving the door open for a possible return to the soap.
"I've had a great time on Emmerdale and feel privileged to have been given so many fantastic storylines," he said.
Cain Dingle has been at the centre of some of Emmerdale's biggest storylines since joining the show in 2000, including a stint in prison and finding out he had a teenage daughter, Debbie.
"Jeff is an extremely talented actor and a well-respected member of cast and we are very sorry to see him go," said Emmerdale series producer Kathleen Beedles.
"We wish him best of luck for the future."
Meanwhile, ex-Avengers actress Linda Thorson is to return to the soap as a regular cast member in August, following a brief appearance playing Rosemary Sinclair last month.
Emmerdale beat EastEnders and Coronation Street to win best soap at the Royal Television Society Awards in March.