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Patrick Dempsey (1966)

Patrick Galen Dempsey

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  Summary  

Patrick Galen Dempsey is an American actor, known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to Grey's Anatomy he made several television appearances and was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has also appeared in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, Made of Honor, Valentine's Day, Flypaper, Freedom Writers and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

  Biography  

 early life
Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, and grew up in Buckfield, Maine, the youngest of three children born to Amanda and William Dempsey. He has Irish ancestry. He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School. He was an adept juggler, tying for second in a national juggling competition. He was also an accomplished skier and while in high school won the Maine state slalom championship.

As a child, Dempsey attended Camp Wekeela located in Hartford, Maine.

Dempsey was diagnosed with dyslexia at age twelve. He told Barbara Walters on her 2008 Oscar special that he thinks dyslexia "made him what he is today." “It’s given me a perspective of — you have to keep working,” Dempsey told Walters. “I have never given up.”

 career
 Early career
Dempsey was discovered by an invitation to audition for a role in the stage production of Torch Song Trilogy. His audition was successful, and he spent the following four months touring with the company in Philadelphia. Dempsey also appeared on ABC family on a show Overnight Success by Teri DeSario, where he sings and juggles. He followed this with another tour, Brighton Beach Memoirs, in the lead role, which was directed by Gene Saks. Dempsey has also made notable appearances in the stage productions of On Golden Pond, with the Maine Acting Company, and as Timmy in a 1990 Off-Broadway revival of The Subject Was Roses co-starring with John Mahoney and Dana Ivey at the Roundabout Theatre in New York.

Dempsey's first major feature film role was at age 21 with Beverly D'Angelo in the movie In The Mood, the true World War II story about Ellsworth Wisecarver who had relationships with older married women which created a national uproar. This was followed by the teen comedy Can't Buy Me Love in 1987 with actress Amanda Peterson and Some Girls with Jennifer Connelly in 1988. This film was a flop. In 1989, he had the lead role in the film Loverboy with actress Kirstie Alley and Happy Together with actress Helen Slater. Although the teen comedy and romance roles led to Dempsey being somewhat typecast for a time, he was able to avoid playing the same character as his career progressed.

 1990s and 2000s
Dempsey made a number of featured appearances in television in the 1990s; he was cast several times in pilots that were not picked up for a full season, including lead roles in the TV versions of the films The Player and About A Boy. However he received good reviews as he portrayed real-life mob boss, Meyer Lansky in 1991, when Mobsters was put on the screen. His first major television role was a recurring role as Will's closeted sportscaster boyfriend on Will & Grace. He went on to play the role of Aaron Brooks, Lily & Judy's psychologically unbalanced brother, on Once & Again. Dempsey received an Emmy nomination in 2001 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Aaron. In 1993, he played a young John F. Kennedy in the 2-part TV mini-series JFK: Reckless Youth. In 2004, he co-starred in the highly acclaimed HBO production, Iron Jawed Angels, opposite Hilary Swank and Anjelica Huston. He also appeared as special guest star in The Practice for 3 episodes finale season (8x13-8x15), as a married man who murdered his lover.

Dempsey had a high-profile role as the fiance of Reese Witherspoon's character in Sweet Home Alabama. He also had a role as Detective Kincaid on Scream 3. When Scream 4 was officially announced, it was speculated Dempsey would return. But in late April, writer Kevin Williamson confirmed the 3 main cast members who had survived the other 3 movies were the only returning characters. Dempsey's most recent roles include the 2007 Disney film Enchanted, and the Paramount Pictures film Freedom Writers where he reunites with his Iron Jawed Angels co-star Hilary Swank. He also voiced the character Kenai in Brother Bear 2.

Dempsey starred in the 2008 film Made of Honor as Tom, and appeared in 2010's romantic comedy Valentine's Day; the latter film, directed by Garry Marshall, follows five interconnecting stories about Los Angelinos anticipating the holiday of love.

Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the prize-winning novel The Art of Racing in the Rain in July 2009, for Dempsey to star in. The project has not been able to find a director. Dempsey starred as antagonist Dylan Gould in the 2011 movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

 Grey's Anatomy

Dempsey has received significant public attention for his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd in the drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to landing the role of Derek Shepherd, Dempsey auditioned for the role of Dr. Gregory House on another medical show, House. Initially a midseason replacement, the show was very well received and has become a highly rated program. Dempsey's character Derek is often referred to as "McDreamy" and has received press attention for his sex appeal and the character's romance with resident and now-wife Meredith Grey . Dempsey also appeared in one episode of Private Practice, playing the same character as in Grey's Anatomy.

Dempsey was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama at the 2006 Golden Globes for the role. His success on the show has led to his becoming a spokesman for Mazda and State Farm Insurance. Regarding the eighth season, Dempsey stated that, "It will be my last. I do not know about the other characters. But for me it's over." But, after this comment stirred up some fans, his publicist released a statement saying that Dempsey's comments were somewhat taken out of context. His rep claims that he was referring to his contract ending next season and that it's uncertain what he will do next. On June 30, 2011 Dempsey announced on Lopez Tonight that he will be returning to the show for season 8.

 Other work
He has been the face of L'Oreal and Versace and was featured in ads for Serengeti sun glasses. In November 2008 he launched an Avon fragrance named Unscripted, and due to its success a second fragrance named Patrick Dempsey 2 was launched in October 2009.

 personal life
Dempsey was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 12. As a result, it is necessary for him to memorize all his lines in order to perform, even for auditions where he was unlikely to get the part.

Entertainment Weekly put Dempsey's hair on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "What made Grey's Anatomy a mega-medi-hit? It could have something to do with creator Shonda Rhimes' scalpel-sharp writing…or McDreamy's impossibly luxurious man hair. Just saying."

 Marriages and family
He has been married twice. In 1987, he married actress and acting coach Rocky Parker. The couple divorced in 1994.

On July 31, 1999, Dempsey married Jillian Fink. The couple have three children, daughter Tallulah Fyfe and twins Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen . The family resides in Malibu and also has a home in Texas. They own a farmhouse in Maine as well, but that property is currently for sale.

 Race car driver

Dempsey enjoys auto racing in his spare time, having driven the pace car in the Indianapolis 500, and raced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race and Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race. He was a co-owner of the Vision Racing IndyCar Series team and current owner of Dempsey Racing, which is presently racing two Mazda RX-8 cars in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT class. He participates in this series as often as his schedule allows, as he is unable to race while filming a movie due to insurance issues. In 2009, he raced a Team Seattle Advanced Engineering Ferrari F430 GT in the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans's GT2 class, and finished ninth in class.

Dempsey announced he would be in the 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona along with other races throughout the season in a Mazda RX-8. Dempsey finished in third place in the GT Class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Dempsey is also known to have a collection of sports and collector cars.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Patrick Dempsey", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.