Jan. 13th, 1966
Lewiston, Maine, USA
Patrick Dempsey's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Patrick Galen Dempsey (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor and race car driver.
Born in Lewiston, Maine. The youngest of three, his father, William, an insurance agent, and mother Amanda, a school secretary, raised the children in Buckfield (Maine). Dempsey, who was diagnosed as dyslexic (he has to fully memorize his scripts), attended St. Dominic Regional High School but dropped out before graduating.
Dempsey studied juggling and entered several competitions. Acting was also a natural for him and at age 15 he earned the role of the rebellious son in a Maine production of On Golden Pond. Two years later he won a prime role as David, the gay teen, in the 'Harvey Fierstein' play Torch Song Trilogy, spending several months touring the San Francisco area with the show. In between he found supplementary gigs dancing and juggling. More opportunities came his way after winning the protagonist role of 'Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs that toured in 1984.
He made his movie debit in the 1960s-era school-age comedy Heaven Help Us (1985) starring "Brat Pack" actor 'Andrew McCarthy'. More silliness followed with Meatballs III: Summer Job (1986) and a ripe turn in the socially aware TV-movie A Fighting Choice (1986). Around the same time he found himself in a TV series entitled Fast Times (1986), based on the ultimate school-age flick Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).
By this time his trademark cuteness and appeal started taking shape. The youthful 21-year old Dempsey played a nerd role next in the very funny high school comedy Can't Buy Me Love (1987) with 'Amanda Peterson' and (later Oscar winner) 'Jennifer Connelly'. A movie favorite for many, Dempsey had reached the peak of his early career popularity. He showed a more serious side in the WWII-era drama In a Shallow Grave (1988), but then he went straight back to familiar territory with the college-themed comedies Some Girls (1988) with (again) 'Jennifer Connelly', Loverboy (1989), and Happy Together (1989).
On TV Dempsey played a young John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the mini-movie J.F.K: Reckless Youth (1993), Pierre Arronax in the TV remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997), and Raskolnikov in a small screen version of Crime and Punishment (1998). The rest of the decade on film was less newsworthy with co-starring or featured movie roles in Hugo Pool (1997), Denial (1998), There's No Fish Food in Heaven (1998) (aka Life in the Fast Lane) and Me and Will (1999).
It was TV that gave Dempsey a shot in the arm as he progressed into the new millennium. A recurring role in the hit sitcom Will & Grace (1998) presented Dempsey in a more mature, wry and sexier fashion. Another recurring role in Once and Again (1999) earned him a dramatic Emmy nomination in 2001as Outstanding Guest Actor, and a third on The Practice (1997). While the romantic comedy film Sweet Home Alabama (2002) opposite 'Reese Witherspoon' really nailed the direction Dempsey was headed, the medical series Grey's Anatomy (2005), as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd (aka "Dr. McDreamy"), gave distaff audiences the whole heartthrob package.
In 2007, Dempsey starred in the Disney film Enchanted, and the Paramount Pictures film Freedom Writer where he reunited with his Iron Jawed Angels co-star 'Hilary Swank'. He also voiced the character Kenai in Brother Bear 2. Dempsey's most recent roles include the 2008 film Made of Honor as Tom and the 2010s romantic comedy Valentine's Day; the latter film, directed by Garry Marshall, follows five interconnecting stories about Los Angelinos anticipating (or in some cases dreading) the holiday of love. Dempsey starred as Dylan Gould in the 2011 movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Dempsey has been married twice. In 1987, he married actress and acting coach Rochelle "Rocky" Parker. She appeared with Dempsey in the film In the Mood. The couple divorced in 1994.
On July 31, 1999, Dempsey married Jillian Fink. The couple have three children, daughter Tallulah Fyfe (b. February 20, 2002) and twins Sullivan Patrick and Darby Galen (b. February 1, 2007)
An avid sports car racer (he has participated in the Indianapolis and Daytona Beach events), he showed off a more humanitarian side when he started the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in his hometown of Lewiston after his mother developed ovarian cancer.
- Driver of Pace Car at 91st Indianapolis 500; May 27, 2007.
- Attended St. Dominic's Regional High School in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine.
- As a teenager growing up in Maine, he was a state champion downhill skier who trained for a place on the Olympic team.
- (May 20, 2008) Visited Amsterdam during the European promotion tour for the Made of Honor.
- Sons Darby Galen and Sullivan Patrick born Thursday, February 1, 2007.
- Daughter Tallula Fyfe born on February 20, 2002.
- At the time of his first marriage, he was 21 and his bride was 48.
- In his first marriage, with 'Rocky Parker' (qv), he had a stepson who is a year older than he is.