Patrick Dempsey: Snapshot

Patrick Dempsey
Date of Birth
January 13, 1966
Birth Place
Lewiston, Maine
After finding fame as an '80s teen heartthrob, Patrick Dempsey quickly found himself out of substantial roles post-Can't Buy Me Love. Two decades later, Seattle Grace paged for TV's sexiest neurosurgeon, Dr. McDreamy, giving Dempsey a comeback at the brink of his 40s.

Through the 90's, the Maine native's career dwindled down to TV movies until he guest-starred on Will & Grace and played the romantic lead in the 2002 Reese Witherspoon romantic comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. His knack for playing Prince Charming proved a stepping stone in his return to stardom on ABC's medical smash Grey's Anatomy. Now, with costar Ellen Pompeo and former colleagues Sandra Oh and Katherine Heigl, the father of three (he has a daughter, Talula, and twin boys with ex-wife, Jillian Fink) has become a household name once again.

Patrick Dempsey: Five Fun Facts

  1. At 11, Patrick Dempsey joined a local troupe that performed vaudeville acts. His mastery of juggling and clowning led to his love of theatrics.
  2. Patrick Dempsey lets his wife, Jillian Fink, test products from her Delux Beauty cosmetics line on him. "I had to explain to my guy friends why I had five different colors on my hand," he told PEOPLE of an experiment with nail polish.
  3. Patrick Dempsey loves racing cars and once lost a race to teen star Frankie Muniz. "I'm severely depressed that [he] beat me," he admitted to PEOPLE. "He's, like, 19. I'm seeking therapy to overcome the loss."
  4. Before joining the staff of Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey auditioned for the role of Dr. Robert Chase on House. Jesse Spencer ultimately won the role.
  5. When his daughter Talula was taken to the hospital after cutting her chin, Patrick Dempsey advised the doctors to use medical glue to close her wound instead of stitches. "I thought, 'I'm a neurosurgeon on TV!'" he tells PEOPLE. "It worked out beautifully – she has no scar now."

Patrick Dempsey: Biography


Patrick Dempsey

Dempsey's Dyslexia

At 12, Dempsey is diagnosed with dyslexia. "I think that's when I get most insecure," he tells Barbara Walters of reading scripts in 2006. "It's very hard for me to read off the page. I need to memorize it in order to go on." At 17, he leaves high school in Lewiston, Maine to pursue acting and wins the role of David in a San Francisco production of Torch Song Trilogy.


Patrick Dempsey

August 14

From Nerd to Heartthrob

Playing the loveable dork in the teen comedy Can't Buy Me Love puts Dempsey on the Hollywood hot list and wins him adoring fans. "I get a lot of people who confess childhood crushes on me," he tells PEOPLE in 2006. "That makes a guy feel good about himself."

Patrick Dempsey

Young Love

At 21, Dempsey marries his manager Rocky Parker, who is 27 years his senior and the mother of his best friend. Seven years later, the couple divorces. "Yeah, I think I needed a mother," Dempsey admits to Barbara Walters in 2006.

Read More on Patrick Dempsey's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Chris Cuffaro/JBGphoto

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): David Libby/Bauer-Griffin; Touchstone Pictures/Everett; DMIPhoto

Edited by Julia Wang

Patrick Dempsey

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