Shonda Rhimes was born on January 13, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Shonda Lynn Rhimes. She is a producer and writer, known for Grey's Anatomy (2005), Crossroads (2002) and Scandal (2012).
She is the youngest in her family and has three sisters and two brothers.
She has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth (1991) and a master of fine arts (MFA) from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television.
Rhimes is the youngest of six children of a PhD teacher/mother and a father who is now chief information officer at the University of Southern California.
After graduating from Dartmouth, she read a news article that claimed that getting into USC's film school was harder than getting into Harvard Law School, so she elected to take on the more competitive challenge.
Maintains two rooms across from her studio for her two children.
Worked for few years as a film-development assistant before selling her first script.
On the first day in September 2001 that she moved into a rental house in Vermont as a quiet place to finish a movie script, the World Trade Center was attacked, which prompted Rhimes to reassess her future and her goals. She decided her top priority was to adopt a child and nine months later she did, with daughter Harper, and became a single mother. Emerson followed in 2012.
Has 3 daughters: two adopted daughters are named Harper Rhimes (b.2002) & Emerson Pearl Rhimes (b.February 1, 2012) and another one daughter named Beckett Rhimes (b.September 2013) who was born via surrogate mother.
In 2013, she and her Shondaland company partner Betsy Beers were named co-winners of the 2014 Directors Guild of America Diversity Award.
Suffers from fear of public speaking (glossophobia).
Her professional output is responsible for an estimated 70 hours of television per season.
Personal Quotes (8)
I don't understand why people don't understand that the world of TV should look like the world outside of TV.
[re troubles with Grey's Anatomy (2005) cast where she had to learn...] how to be a boss and a leader versus somebody who was like, 'Holy crap, I get to write a show every week.' But could I have lived without that lesson? Absolutely.
I was writing a hospital show for a very long time, and that became all that anybody thought that I could write. It's not that I want to do [for example, a female-spy show] because people don't think of me as doing it, but when I do say that's what I want to do next, and some network exec says: 'Really? Can't you do one of your romance triangle-y things?' I want to strangle them. A romance triangle-y thing is not a show.
[re her highly diverse, minority casting] I think it's sad, and weird, and strange that it's still a thing. It's 2013. Somebody else needs to get their act together. And, oh, by the way, it works. Ratings-wise, it works. When people who aren't of color create a show and they have one character of color on their show, that character spends all their time talking about the world as 'I'm a black man blah, blah, blah'. That's not how the world works. I'm a black woman every day, and I'm not confused about that. I'm not worried about that. I don't need to have a discussion with you about how I feel as a black woman, because I don't feel disempowered as a black woman.
It's superinsulting that because Olivia [in Scandal (2012)] is a woman, and the girl who wrote Grey's Anatomy (2005) wrote this, it must be for chicks. Like if it's geared for women, it's somehow not as serious as if it's geared for men.
Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag my way into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Mr. King. It does not change anything. It's you,sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show.
[on her role as a working mother] If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off. That is the Faustian bargain with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel one hundred percent okay. You never get your sea-legs. You are always a little nauseous.
A lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful,engaged people? Are busy doing. I wanted to be Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. That was my dream. I blue-skied it like crazy. I dreamed and dreamed. And while I was dreaming I was living in my sister's basement. Dreamers often end up living in the basement of relatives.