Patrick Galen Dempsey was born on 13 January 1966, to Amanda and William Dempsey, in Lewiston, Maine. His father was an insurance salesman and his mother was a school clerk.
He studied at St. Dominic Regional High School. At the age of 12, he was diagnosed with dyslexia. It was around this time, young Dempsey is believed to have been ‘the most insecure’.
From a very young age, he was adept at juggling, winning a national juggling competition. He was also an accomplished skier and while in high school, he won the Maine state slalom championship.
He left high school in Lewiston to pursue acting and got the role of ‘David’ in the San Francisco production of ‘Torch Song Trilogy’. He performed in several plays including bagging the lead role in ‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ and ‘The Subject was Roses’.
In 1985, he starred in ‘Heaven Help Us’, a romantic film followed by ‘Meatballs III: Summer Job’ the next year. He was also seen on television in ‘A Fighting Choice’ and ‘Fast Times’.
He got his first major role in the 1987 movie, ‘In the Mood’. The same year he also starred in the romantic film, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, which cemented his lover-boy image.
In 1989, he was cast as a pizza boy who supplied ‘more than just pizzas’ in the romantic comedy, ‘Loverboy’. At this point of time in his life, he became a heartthrob with a horde of adoring fans. He was also cast as ‘Christopher Wooden’ in ‘Happy Together’ along with Helen Slater.
1991 proved to be an extremely busy year for the budding actor with a number of projects in his kitty. He appeared in ‘Mobsters’ and ‘Run’, two films which proved his versatility in acting. Two years later, he played a young John F. Kennedy in a two part TV mini-series, ‘JFK: Reckless Youth’.
From 1993 to 1998, he appeared in a string successful and not-so-successful films including, ‘Bank Robber’, ‘With Honors’, ‘Outbreak’, ‘Hugo Pool’ and ‘Denial’.
In 2000, he appeared as ‘Detective Kincaid’ in the third part of the thriller ‘Scream’ series, ‘Scream 3’. The same year, he bagged his first major role in television as ‘Mathew’ in ‘Will and Grace’ and in ‘Once and Again’.
He followed this with a critically-acclaimed performance alongside Reese Witherspoon in the hit film, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, in 2002. Two years later, he was seen in the television movie, ‘Iron Jawed Angels’ and ‘The Practice’.
2005 gave Dempsey one of his biggest breakthroughs when he was cast in a lead role as ‘Dr. Derek Shepherd’ in the hit American medical drama series, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. He overnight became a star and his fan-base expanded.
From 2006 to 2008, he starred in a number of critically-acclaimed hits including ‘Shade’, ‘Freedom Writers’, ‘Enchanted’ and ‘Made of Honor’. The next year, he appeared in the multi-starrer, ‘Valentine’s Day’ and ‘Easy A’.
In 2009, he starred in the spin-off of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ called, ‘Private Practice’ as ‘Dr. Derek Shepherd’.
He was cast as a supporting actor for ‘Transformer: Dark of the Moon’ as Dylan Gould, in 2011. The same year, he produced and appeared in ‘Flypaper’, which was one of the last films he appeared in.
In 2013, he was cast as himself in the Dutch movie ‘Ushi Must Marry.’
ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is a popular American medical drama which featured Dempsey in the lead role of ‘Dr. Derek Shepherd’, the irresistible neurosurgeon. Considered one of the ‘highest-rated shows of all time’, the series ran for 10 seasons and became the recipient of a number of important awards. Dempsey was praised for his screen presence and acting abilities which earned him a number of nominations and important awards for his role.
In 1987, he won the Young Artist Award for ‘Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy’ for ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’.
He won the Screen Actors Guild Award for ‘Best Cast in a Drama Series’ along with his other co-stars for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in 2006.
In 2007 and 2008, he was honored with a People’s Choice Award for ‘Favourite Male TV Star’ for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’.
He was ranked No. 1 on Buddy TV’s list of ‘TV’s Sexiest Men of 2011’.