Patrick Dempsey Biography

Patrick Dempsey photo

Born: January 13, 1966


Date of Birth: January 13, 1966

Of Irish descent, Patrick Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, the youngest of three children. While still a teen, he developed an interest in juggling and magic. Never a good student due to his dyslexia, he dropped out of high school to tour New England with various vaudevillians.

Dempsey was spotted by an agent, who asked him to audition for a role in a touring production of the play, Torch Song Trilogy. He won the role, playing the same part that Matthew Broderick had originated on Broadway. From there, he landed the lead role in a touring production of the Neil Simon play Brighton Beach Memoirs.

His first movie role came in the 1985 teen comedy, Heaven Help Us. Although he was 19 at the time, he looked much younger, and was able to continue playing a teenager in several more movies over the next few years. Dempsey's first lead role was in Can't Buy Me Love (1987), in which he played a high school nerd who pays a popular girl to pose as his girlfriend.

That same year, he starred in In the Mood, the true story of a 15-year-old boy who has affairs with two much older woman, and who goes on to marry one of them. The film would mirror his real life, as in 1987, at the age of 21, Dempsey married 48-year-old Rocky Parker, who had a minor role in In the Mood. Parker had a 22-year-old son at the time of her marriage to Dempsey. The marriage did not last.

Although he has worked steadily over the years both on television and in features, Dempsey's work was largely overlooked for many years, and he seemed to drop out of sight. When he landed a recurring role on the television series Once and Again, playing Sela Ward's psychologically unbalanced brother, he was nominated for an Emmy award in 2001, and his star once again began to rise.

In 2002, he won the plum role of Reese Witherspoon's rich, handsome fiancé in the hit romantic comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. The movie was a winner at the box office, and the role got him back into the public eye. In 2005, he hit the big time once again with a starring role on the new medical series Grey's Anatomy, playing the hunky Dr. Derek Shepherd. The show was an immediate hit and Patrick himself received one of three nominations for the series from the 2006 Golden Globes.

During his time on the long-running series, he continued working in film, appearing in the animated/live-action romance Enchanted (2007), the romantic comedies Made of Honor (2008) and Valentine's Day (2010), the crime comedy Fly Paper (2011), and the sci-fi action sequel Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Following his departure from Grey's Anatomy in 2015, Patrick landed a starring role in the comedy sequel Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) alongside Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth.

In addition, in 2018 he played the title role of the miniseries The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, based on the novel of the same name by Joel Dicker.

Off screen, Patrick's life seems to have settled into place as well. In 1999 he married Jillian Fink, a makeup artist, and they have a daughter together, named Tallulah, born in January 2002. They recently went through a rough patch and had filed for divorce, but have since called that off and are now back together.

Patrick enjoys skiing, gardening, remodelling homes and collecting antiques.


Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Tenth Season (2014)
Grey's Anatomy: Complete Eighth Season (2012)
Flypaper (2011)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Valentine's Day (2010)
Made of Honor (2008)
Enchanted (2007)
Freedom Writers (2007)
Shade (2006)
The Emperor’s Club (2002)
Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Rebellion (2002)
Scream 3 (2000)
Denial (1988)
Me and Will (1998)
There’s No Fish Food in Heaven (1998)
The Treat (1998)
Hugo Pool (1997)
Bloodknot (1995)
Outbreak (1995)
Ava’s Magical Adventure (1994)
With Honors (1994)
Face the Music (1993)
Bank Robber (1993)
Mobsters (1991)
Run (1991)
Coupe de Ville (1990)
Happy Together (1989)
Loverboy (1989)
In a Shallow Grave (1988)
Some Girls (1988)
Meatballs III (1987)
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
Heaven Help Us (1985)

In addition, he was entitled to the title role of the miniseries The Harry Quebert Affair </ em>, an American adaptation of Joel Dicker's popular novel "The Truth about the Harry Quebert affair".
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