Patrick Dempsey has lived two charming but separate lives on film and television. From an exuberant, somewhat awkward charmer in college comedy films of the late 1980s and early 1990s, he has morphed spectacularly into a dreamy, wavy-haired television hunk of the new-age millennium and this seductive new image has since spilled off into romantic lead roles back on the large screen as a slightly offbeat, self-effacing Prince Charming type. Irish-American Patrick Galen Dempsey was born on January 13, 1966 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). Patrick, who was diagnosed as dyslexic (he has to fully memorize his scripts), attended St. Dominic Regional High School but dropped out before graduating.
Always interested in entertainment, Patrick 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. Directed by the renowned comedy favorite Gene Saks, Dempsey started looking at the possibility of film work.
He made his movie debut in the secondary part of a Catholic student 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 television-movie "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: A Fighting Choice (#30.10)" (1986) in which he played an epileptic teen who sues his parents (Beau Bridges and Karen Valentine) in order to have risky brain surgery. Around the same time, he found himself in a television series entitled "Fast Times" (1986), based on the ultimate school-age film Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), which made a star out of Sean Penn. Inheriting the Robert Romanus cool guy role of con artist Mike Damone, expectations were far too big and the television series died a quick death.
However, his movie career got on a faster track and he scored well co-starring with the worldly Beverly D'Angelo in the movie In the Mood (1987), as a young man who makes headlines pursuing older women. Life resembled art that same year when Patrick married actress and drama coach Rocky Parker, who played a bit part in the film. He was 21 and she was 48. By this time, his trademark cuteness and appeal started taking shape. The youthful 21-year old Patrick played a nerd role next in the very funny high school comedy Can't Buy Me Love (1987) with Amanda Peterson. A movie favorite for many, Patrick had reached the peak of his early career popularity. He showed a more serious side in the World War II-era drama In a Shallow Grave (1988), which presented a Cyrano de Bergerac-like storyline with Patrick as the Christian de Neuvillette counterpart, but then he went straight back to familiar territory with the college-themed comedies Some Girls (1988) with Jennifer Connelly, Loverboy (1989), and Happy Together (1989).
Stretching more in the 1990s, Patrick co-starred on stage in a 1991 production of "The Subject Was Roses" (playing the Martin Sheen film role) as the World War II soldier readjusting to civilian life with his parents (Dana Ivey and "Frasier" co-star John Mahoney). Films included the cross-country comedy-drama Coupe de Ville (1990), the action thriller Run (1991), Mobsters (1991), in which he made a stab at playing major Mafioso Meyer Lansky, Face the Music (1993) opposite "Brat Pack" femme Molly Ringwald, the title role in Bank Robber (1993), and the Mark Twain family-geared Ava's Magical Adventure (1998), co-directed by Patrick and wife Rocky. However, the couple divorced that same year. On television, Patrick played a young John Fitzgerald Kennedy in the miniseries J.F.K.: Reckless Youth (1993) (TV), Pierre Arronax in the television remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997/II) (TV), and Raskolnikov in a small screen version of Crime and Punishment (1998) (TV). The rest of the decade on film was less newsworthy with co-starring or featured movie roles in Hugo Pool (1997), Denial (1998/II), Life in the Fast Lane (1998) and Me and Will (1999).
It was television that gave Patrick a shot in the arm as he progressed into the new millennium. A recurring role as Will's closeted sportscaster amour in the sitcom "Will & Grace" (1998) presented Patrick in a more mature, wry and sexier fashion. Another recurring role in "Once and Again" (1999) earned him a dramatic Emmy nomination in 2001 as Outstanding Guest Actor, and a third on "The Practice" (1997) was also extremely well-received. 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. The perfect vehicle to showcase his undeniable charisma and sharp talent for offbeat comedy, he is a two-time Golden Globe nominee and his popularity has absolutely skyrocketed. This reawakening has also swung the door open again on high-profile film offers, registering with the ladies once again in a number of light leading man parts, notably Enchanted (2007) and Made of Honor (2008).
Off-camera, Dempsey married a second time in 1999, to make-up artist and Delux Beauty founder Jillian Dempsey. The couple have three children: daughter, Tallulah Fyfe (born 2002), and twin sons Darby Galen and Sullivan Patrick (born 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. Befittingly, he has produced a sexy men's fragrance line by Avon called "Unscripted".
|Jillian Dempsey||(31 July 1999 - present) 3 children|
|Rocky Parker||(24 August 1987 - 26 April 1994) (divorced)|
Curly black hair and soft blue eyes
Lived in Buckfield, Maine, and attended Buckfield High School.
As a teenager, placed third in his age group at the National Jugglers Convention. Aspired to attend Clown College.
At the time of his first marriage, he was 21 and his bride was 48.
Enjoys collecting antiques, remodeling homes, and skiing in his spare time.
Attended St. Dominic's Regional High School in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine.
In his first marriage, with Rocky Parker, he had a stepson who is a year older than he is.
Daughter, Tallula Fyfe Dempsey (born February 20, 2002) with wife, Jillian Dempsey.
Auditioned for the role of "Dr. Gregory House" on "House M.D." (2004).
Currently co-owner of Indycar Series team Vision Racing (February 2006)
Wife, Jillian Dempsey, gave birth to twin boys, Darby Galen Dempsey and Sullivan Patrick Dempsey, on February 1, 2007.
Voted #13 in Elle (France) Magazine's "15 Sexiest Men" poll (June 2007).
Tried out for the role of Duckie in Pretty in Pink (1986).
Driver of Pace Car at 91st Indianapolis 500; May 27, 2007.
Visited Amsterdam during the European promotion tour for Made of Honor (2008). [May 20, 2008]
As a teenager growing up in Maine, he was a state champion downhill skier who trained for a place on the Olympic team.
Visited Sao Paulo, Brazil for the launch of his second fragrance Patrick Dempsey 2, exclusive for Avon. [May 2010]
In 2006, Dempsey admitted that he was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was 12 years old.
One day my 3-year-old daughter said, 'You're very handsome, Poppy.' That was the best compliment ever.
"I'd come in with this bitter attitude. It's not an escape, because I feel this disappointment, this jealousy." - on why he couldn't stand to go to the movies during his decade-long career-drought.
People sometimes mistake being serious with being taken seriously. And, sure, if you have a political point of view, you have every right to share it. But you have to be careful not to get too self-important. You have to find the balance between being entertaining and being preachy. And you're seeing that at the box office. People aren't buying it any more. There's a time and a place, and what we need right now is a little more positivity.
|Freedom Writers (2007)||$500,000|
|Made of Honor (2008)||$4,000,000|
|"Grey's Anatomy" (2005)||$225,000/episode (2007-08)|
(June 2004) Driving a Panoz GTS race car in the Panoz GT Pro Racing Series. He was seen participating in race #2 of the 2004 racing season at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 27, 2004.
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