Patrick Dempsey was a heartthrob long before he became Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy. The Maine-born actor, who is an expert juggler, made girls and moms swoon in a number of late 1980s films, including Can't Buy Me Love, Some Girls, In the Mood and Loverboy. The latter two movies featured Dempsey as a youth involved with older women and, in a case of life imitating art, the rising star married actress Rocky Parker when he was 21 and she was 48. (The union ended in divorce seven years later.) Dempsey was trained on the stage, appearing in acclaimed productions of Torch Song Trilogy and Brighton Beach Memoirs. He returned to the footlights in 1991 in an Off-Broadway revival of The Subject was Roses. Throughout the remainder of the '90s Dempsey worked steadily in film and on TV, and garnered good notices for the biopics Mobsters, as crime boss Meyer Lansky, and JFK: Reckless Youth, as the future president. But he never achieved the leading man status hinted at during his early career. That all began to change with strong supporting roles on Will & Grace, Now and Again, and the 2002 theatrical release Sweet Home Alabama. And then the stars perfectly aligned for Dempsey in 2005 when a dream role came his way on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. As neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd, the on-again, off-again love interest of series star Ellen Pompeo, the veteran actor regained his heartthrob status and was suddenly appearing in other high-profile projects, like Enchanted and Made of Honor. An auto-racing enthusiast, Dempsey also spends much of his free time pursuing his passion for the sport.
- Aspired to attend Clown College as a juggler when he was a teenager.
- Likes to collect antiques, remodel homes and ski.
- Modeled clothing for the J. Crew catalog.
- Is a racing enthusiast who has participated in the Panoz Series and the Pro Miata series.
- Founded the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing in his home state of Maine in 2008.
- 2006, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2007, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Nominee
- 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2007, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Star: Winner
- 2008, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Male TV Star: Winner
- 2015, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Dramatic TV Actor: Winner
- 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2001, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
- Jillian Fink Dempsey — Wife
- Sullivan Patrick Dempsey — Son
- William Dempsey — Father
- Rocky Parker — Ex-wife
- Darby Galen Dempsey — Son
- Tallulah Fyfe — Daughter
- Amanda Dempsey — Mother