Birthplace: Lewiston, ME
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Model
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Dr. McDreamy on Grey's Anatomy
Patrick Dempsey grew up in rural Maine, where he competed on the high school skiing team, and won the state championship in slalom. A flamboyant boy, he was known around town for his juggling act, and he was easy to spot in a crowd at school, since he virtually always wore a self-styled black-and-white scarf. He joined the school's drama club and acted in school plays, and performed vaudeville with a local troupe of jugglers and acrobats. In 1981, when Dempsey was 15, he competed at the International Jugglers Association's convention, finishing in second place in the Juniors category behind an 8-year-old. (But that little kid was Anthony Gatto, who grew up to perform for Cirque du Soleil, now holds numerous world records, and is widely considered one of the most skilled jugglers of all time.)
At 17, Dempsey ditched school to fly to New York, where he lied about his age to audition for the touring company of Harvey Fierstein's Broadway hit Torch Song Trilogy. He landed the role of David for the play's San Francisco production, then had to ask his parents to let him drop out of high school and move to San Francisco to take the role. They said yes.
For several years Dempsey toured in numerous stage productions, and still baby-faced at 23 he played his first film role as a troublemaker at a Catholic high school in Heaven Help Us with Andrew McCarthy and Kevin Dillon. His first TV series was the quickly-canceled sitcomization of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, titled just plain Fast Times.
Dempsey then starred in several raunchy teen comedies in the late-1980s, including Can't Buy Me Love, where he played the nerd who hired a cheerleader to pretend to be his girlfriend. The film was popular enough to make Dempsey cover boy material for Teen Beat and all its imitators. Dempsey's other films in that genre, though, generally failed at the box office -- Meatballs III with Sally Kellerman as a dead porn star helping him lose his virginity; In the Mood with Dempsey as a 1940s teenaged lothario who seduced older women; Some Girls with Jennifer Connelly as Dempsey's girlfriend with two implausibly sexier sisters; and Loverboy with Dempsey providing sexual services to older women under the ruse of delivering pizza "with anchovies."
With flop after flop, Hollywood producers became less and less interested in hiring Dempsey for prominent roles. In the 1990s, he seemed to disappear, but he was still working on television and in numerous films that either bombed at the box office or went straight to video. His highest-profile roles of the decade were opposite Michael Caine in a TV movie of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and playing the pre-presidential John F. Kennedy in an ABC miniseries, J.F.K.: Reckless Youth. Bitten by a monkey, he had the dubious distinction of being first to die in Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo. Toward the end of the decade, Dempsey turned to modeling to augment his income.
He began reconstructing his career playing the detective in Wes Craven's Scream 3, then landed recurring roles on Will & Grace and Once & Again. He played Reese Witherspoon's big-city fiancÚ in Sweet Home Alabama, but even after that film's success, Dempsey says he was offered no work for a year. In 2004, he played a wisecracking cartoonist in the suffragette drama Iron Jawed Angels with Hilary Swank as Alice Paul.
Despite his long career, the producers of Grey's Anatomy asked Dempsey to audition only after Rob Lowe said he wasn't interested in the role. With great ratings and good reviews playing Dr. Derek Shepherd -- aka "Dr McDreamy" -- on ABC's medical melodrama, Dempsey found himself back on the cover of celebrity magazines, again making young girls swoon and older women misty-eyed.
In 1987, he married acting coach Rochelle "Rocky" Parker, a woman 26 years older than him who had a bit part in his older-woman themed film In the Mood. The marriage made then-21-year-old Dempsey stepfather to Parker's 22-year-old son. That marriage ended in divorce after seven years, and Dempsey latr re-married and fathered three children with make-up artist Jillian Fink, who filed for divorce in 2015.
He loves The Foo Fighters, still skies, collects antiques, and he is part-owner of the Vision Racing team in the open-wheel Indy Racing League. He is currently remodeling a home in Maine, and looks forward to retiring there. In 2013, through his company Global Baristas, Dempsey purchased the Seattle-based coffeeshop chain Tully's.
Mother: Amanda Dempsey Lowell (school secretary, b. circa 1935, d. 2014 cancer)
Father: Howard Lowell (stepfather, organic farmer)
Sister: Mary Dempsey (hospital worker)
Wife: Rochelle Parker ("Rocky", acting coach, b. 1940, m. 1987, div. 1994)
Son: Corey Parker (stepson, actor, b. 1965)
Daughter: Noelle Parker (stepdaughter, actress, b. 1969)
Wife: Jillian Fink (make-up artist, m. 31-Jul-1999, sep. 2015, one daughter, two sons)
Daughter: Tallulah Fyfe Dempsey (b. Jan-2002)
Son: Darby Galen Dempsey (twin b. 1-Feb-2007)
Son: Sullivan Patrick Dempsey (twin b. 1-Feb-2007)
High School: Buckfield High School, Buckfield, ME
High School: St. Dominic's Regional High School, Lewiston, ME (dropped out)
Endorsement of Avon 2008
Risk Factors: Dyslexia
Fast Times Mike Damone (1986)
Grey's Anatomy Dr. Derek Shepherd (2005-)
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Ava's Magical Adventure (1998)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (23-Jun-2011)
Flypaper (28-Jan-2011) · Tripp
Valentine's Day (10-Feb-2010) · Dr. Harrison Copeland
Made of Honor (30-Apr-2008)
Freedom Writers (5-Jan-2007)
Brother Bear 2 (17-Aug-2006) [VOICE]
Iron Jawed Angels (16-Jan-2004)
Lucky 7 (20-Jul-2003)
Sweet Home Alabama (20-Sep-2002)
The Emperor's Club (9-Sep-2002) · Older Louis Masoudi
Scream 3 (4-Feb-2000) · Mark Kincaid
Me and Will (19-Oct-1999)
The Treat (11-Oct-1998)
Crime and Punishment (11-Oct-1998)
Ava's Magical Adventure (1998) · Jeffrey
Hugo Pool (12-Dec-1997)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (11-May-1997)
The Escape (1997) · Clayton
A Season In Purgatory (5-May-1996)
Outbreak (10-Mar-1995) · Jimbo Scott
With Honors (29-Apr-1994) · Everett
Bank Robber (Sep-1993)
For Better and For Worse (1993)
Face the Music (1993)
Mobsters (26-Jul-1991) · Meyer Lansky
Coupe de Ville (9-Mar-1990) · Bobby
Happy Together (4-May-1989)
Loverboy (28-Apr-1989) · Randy Bodek
Some Girls (9-Sep-1988)
In a Shallow Grave (Apr-1988)
The Woo Woo Kid (Sep-1987) · Ellsworth "Sonny" Wisecarver
Can't Buy Me Love (14-Aug-1987)
Meatballs III (9-Jan-1987)
Heaven Help Us (8-Feb-1985) · Corbet
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