Michael, who plays hunky werewolf Tyler Lockwood, will bow at the end of the current season.
Michael's departure was confirmed by Vampire Diaries producer Julie Plec, who said in a statement: "Michael has been a beloved member of The Vampire Diaries family since day one.
"Even though he's also going to be out in the world exploring new opportunities, we look forward to finding creative ways to make sure he and his character Tyler Lockwood always remain a part of the show."
Michael has played Tyler since 2009. His exit follows on from the news that Nina Dobrev will be leaving the show as Elena Gilbert at the end of the current series.
She explained in a lengthy Instagram post: "I always knew I wanted Elena's story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime.
"I myself made some of the best friends I'll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever."
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