Kate Walsh: Snapshot

Kate Walsh
Date of Birth
October 13, 1967
Birth Place
San Jose, Calif.
Kate Walsh planned to stay on Grey's Anatomy for only five episodes. But her beauty, charm and vulnerability turned McDreamy's cheating wife into a flawed fan-favorite. After three seasons on the hit medical drama, Walsh got her own spinoff, Private Practice, which debuted in Fall 2007.

The red-headed late bloomer, who once donned a fat suit to play Drew Carey's overweight girlfriend, married Alex Young, a 20th Century Fox executive after a whirlwind romance in 2007. After nearly 15 months of marriage, Young filed for divorce citing " irreconcilable differences."

Walsh returned to TV in 2014 on the NBC comedy Bad Judge, however, the show was canceled after 13 episodes.

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Kate Walsh: Five Fun Facts

  1. As a kid, Kate Walsh's stepfather, a prison psychologist, paid her $5 a page to type psychological profiles of inmates he treated.
  2. The romantic comedy, The Sweetest Thing, starring Cameron Diaz, was written by Kate Walsh's best friend, Nancy M. Pimental, who based the film's female characters on the two of them.
  3. Kate Walsh, an opera fanatic, overlooked some bizarre antics of a date in the 1990s because he had tickets to the Metropolitan Opera. "I get into the car, and the first thing this guy does is spray me with perfume," she tells Best Life in 2007. "I don't even know where it came from. Maybe it belonged to the last woman he killed."
  4. Pre-Grey's Anatomy, Kate Walsh played costar Sandra Oh's lesbian lover in Under the Tuscan Sun and a transsexual Las Vegas showgirl named Mimosa on CSI.
  5. At 14, Kate Walsh was fired from Burger King. "I had a runny nose and the assistant manager didn't like me!" she told PEOPLE in 2007.

Kate Walsh: Biography


Kate Walsh

A Studious Actress

Walsh graduates from Tucson's Catalina Magnet High School and studies acting at the University of Arizona and Chicago's renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. The following year, she moves to New York City and joins the comedy troupe Burn Manhattan. "In New York, I'd be, like, 'This is it, man, I've got it now,'" she tells the Lost Angeles Times in 2007. "And then I would collect unemployment. And waitress."


Kate Walsh

October 01

Drew Carey's Heavy Girl

Walsh makes her first memorable TV appearance on the third season of The Drew Carey Show. She dons a fat suit to play Carey's girlfriend Nicki Fifer. "They basically flew me out from New York [to L.A.] for about a five-minute meeting with Drew Carey," she tells the Arizona Republic in 1999. "I took the chance and packed my bag for 30 days and ended up doing 11 episodes."


Kate Walsh

May 22

Introducing McDreamy's Wife

Walsh interrupts the romance between Patrick Dempsey and Ellen Pompeo in the first-season cliffhanger on Grey's Anatomy. She plays the romantically tormented Dr. Addison Montgomery Shepherd on the hit ABC medical drama. "I've been very fortunate to be a working actress who hovered along," Walsh, whose initial appearance on Grey's was only intended for five episodes, tells the Los Angeles Times. "And then it was like, boom, Grey's."

Read More on Kate Walsh's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Roberto D'Este/Corbis

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy of Catalina Magnet High School; ABC

Edited by Julia Wang

Kate Walsh

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