This statuesque actress, who began her career as a model, donned a fat suit for her small-screen break in the recurring role of Drew Carey's weight-gaining girlfriend on The Drew Carey Show. Long before she landed the chuckle-inducing sitcom gig, she trained as a serious stage actress in Chicago, appearing in critically acclaimed productions with the Shakespeare Repertory. A move to New York created opportunities for short-lived appearances on television series like The Mike O'Malley Show and Mind of a Married Man. A more permanent television home opened its doors to her when she donned scrubs and entered Seattle Grace for a stint on ABC's medical drama Grey's Anatomy. As enigmatic surgeon Dr. Addison Montgomery, she staged a recoup of on-screen hubby Dr. Derek Shepherd, played by Patrick Dempsey, and unexpectedly won over a multitude of fans. The sudden surge in popularity propelled her to a spot as a series regular, and she eventually scored her own soapy spin-off, Private Practice. At the age of 40, with a career taking off in leaps and bounds, she took a daring jump in her personal life, swiftly wooing and wedding movie studio exec Alex Young in 2007. While her fast-tracked marriage prematurely stalled and ended in divorce, the momentum in her career never died out. She's maintained her loyal Private Practice fan base while courting new devotees in movie projects like 2010's Legion.
- Was a runway model in Japan in the early 1980s.
- Worked with the Piven Theatre Workshop and the Chicago Shakespeare Repertory.
- Moved to New York and performed with a comedy group.
- In 1996, broke into films with roles in the independent features Normal Life and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2.
- Made her television breakthrough on The Drew Carey Show in 1997.
- Before joining the cast of ABC's Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Addison Montgomery, she played the girlfriend of Grey's Anatomy co-star Sandra Oh in the 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun.
- 2007, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Winner
- 2005, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- Alex Young — Ex-husband
- Neil Andrea — Significant Other
- Attended University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States