Jessica Capshaw

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Jessica Capshaw
Born Jessica Brooke Capshaw
(1976-08-09) August 9, 1976 (age 37)
Columbia, Missouri
Alma mater Brown University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1997–present
Spouse(s) Christopher Gavigan (2004–present)
Children 3
Parents Kate Capshaw
Relatives Steven Spielberg (stepfather)
Sasha Spielberg (half-sister)
Theo Spielberg (adopted brother)

Jessica Brooke Capshaw (born August 9, 1976) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Jamie Stringer in The Practice and Dr. Arizona Robbins on the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy. She was introduced in the latter show's fifth season as an attending surgeon and the new head of pediatric surgery.[1] Originally contracted to appear in three episodes, Capshaw's contract was extended to the remainder of the fifth season, with her becoming a series regular in the sixth season.

Early life[edit]

Capshaw was born in Columbia, Missouri, the daughter of actress and producer Kate Capshaw, and Robert Capshaw, a sales manager, marketing director, business executive, and high school principal.[2] She is the stepdaughter of director Steven Spielberg.[3] She graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in 1994 and Brown University in 1998[4] with an English degree. She then attended acting classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London.[1]


In the 2001 slasher film Valentine, Capshaw played Dorothy Wheeler. In 2009, she became a regular on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. It was first reported in December 2008 that Capshaw would be joining the cast of Grey's Anatomy as pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins, for a multi-episode arc.[5] Initially scheduled to appear in three episodes of the show's fifth season, series creator Shonda Rhimes later extended Capshaw's contract to appear in all of the season's remaining episodes,[6] becoming a series regular in the sixth season.[7]

She was established as a love-interest for orthopedic resident Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez). Series creator Shonda Rhimes was in contrast pleased with the chemistry between Robbins and Torres, citing the addition of Capshaw to the cast as an element of the season of which she was most proud. Speaking of the new addition, Rhimes said: "I love Jessica Capshaw, and when I say love I mean love. She couldn't be a more wonderful person, and I feel like the chemistry Arizona and Callie have feels like the Meredith and Derek chemistry to me. I find them delightful to watch."[8] Initial media reaction to the character was positive. Matt Mitovich of TV Guide described her as a "fan favorite", and Chris Monfette for IGN praised the addition of "fresh, new characters", such as Robbins over the course of the season.[9][10][11] Arizona took a job in Africa and told Callie to stay, as well as ended their relationship. Arizona soon comes back because she misses Callie. Callie is not ready to start their relationship back up because she flew a whole world away. Arizona tries very hard to start their relationship back up and will do anything and everything. Callie is soon tired of watching Arizona trying to get her back and finally asks if she still wants a relationship if she is pregnant with Mark's (Eric Dane)child. Arizona decides to be with Callie even if she is pregnant with Mark's child. At the end of episode 17 Callie and Arizona get in a car crash when Arizona asks Callie to marry her. In episode 18 Callie is traumatized from going through the windshield of the car and starts imaging about the hospital and her friends. Callie is fine after the car accident and so is her daughter Sofia. Callie and Arizona do get married 2 episodes later and Callie, Arizona, and Mark all raise Sofia together. In season 8 there is a plane crash that Mark and Arizona are both a part of. Arizona is able to see the bone of her leg and will later need an amputation. Mark has internal injuries that are not discovered until later in the episode and once back at the hospital Mark dies due to the extent of his injures. In season 9 Arizona cheats on Callie with pediatric surgeon, Lauren Boswell. Callie finds out because Lauren ends up wearing Arizona's scrub top. By the end of season 10 Callie and Arizona are back together and both want another baby, but find out that Callie is unable to have the baby. Arizona would have the baby, but earlier in season 9 she had a miscarriage and said she can't take another loss. There is hinting in an episode toward the end of season 10 that they might use a surrogate mother instead.

Personal life[edit]

Capshaw married Christopher Gavigan, writer and founder of a child health nonprofit organization, on May 22, 2004 at her family's East Hampton estate.[12] Capshaw has three children with her husband: son Luke Hudson (born September 8, 2007) [13] and daughters Eve Augusta (born October 20, 2010),[14] and Poppy James (born June 20, 2012).[15] Capshaw is best friends with Rizzoli & Isles star Sasha Alexander. The pair were repeatedly told they looked alike and eventually struck up conversation after meeting at an audition.


Year Film Role Notes
1999 ER Sally Guest Appearance
Odd Man Out Aunt Jordan 13 episodes
2000 Big Time Claire
2001 Valentine Dorothy Wheeler
2002 Minority Report Officer Evanna
The Practice Jamie Stringer Series regular (Seasons 7 & 8)
The Mesmerist Daisy
2003 View from the Top Air Hostess
2005 Into the West Rachel Wheeler Mini-series
2006 The Groomsmen Jen
Thick and Thin Mary Unaired
Bones Rebecca Stinson Season 2, Episode 2 and 5 (guest star)
2007 The L Word Nadia Karella Season 4
Blind Trust Cassie Stewart
2009–present Grey's Anatomy Dr. Arizona Robbins Recurring cast (season 5)
Series regular (season 6–present)
2010 One Angry Juror Sarah Walsh Lifetime made for TV movie


  1. ^ a b "Character Bios". Retrieved 2009. 
  2. ^ Jessica Capshaw Biography (1976–) at Film Reference
  3. ^ Jessica Capshaw - IMDB bio
  4. ^ "Reunion Report 1998". Brown Alumni Magazine. July–August 2003. 
  5. ^ Ausiello, Michael (December 3, 2008). "'Grey's Anatomy' Exclusive: Eric Stoltz lands killer role". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (February 26, 2009). "'Grey's' exclusive: Jessica Capshaw inks contract!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (June 17, 2009). "Exclusive: 'Grey's Anatomy' promotes Jessica Capshaw". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  8. ^ Marsi, Steve. "Jessica Capshaw Promoted to Full Time Cast Member". TV Fanatic. SheKnows Entertainment. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ Mitovich, Matt (June 19, 2009). "ABC Makes It Official: Heigl Is Staying on Grey's". TV Guide. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  10. ^ Monfette, Chris (May 29, 2009). "Grey's Anatomy: Season 5 Review". IGN. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  11. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 15, 2009). "Exclusive: 'Grey's' boss on finale's Izzie-George shocker, Mer-Der 'wedding,' and more!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 19, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Christopher Gavigan". 
  13. ^
  14. ^,,20438253,00.html
  15. ^

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