Ellen Pompeo

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Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo LF.JPG
Pompeo at the premiere of 27 Dresses, 2009
Born Ellen Kathleen Pompeo
(1969-11-10) November 10, 1969 (age 46)
Everett, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1995–present
Spouse(s) Chris Ivery (m. 2007)
Children 2

Ellen Kathleen Pompeo (/pʌmˈpɛ/, born November 10, 1969)[1] is an American actress. She rose to fame for her portrayal of Dr. Meredith Grey in the long-running hit ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy (2005–present). The role earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama nomination in 2007 including many more accolades. She has also appeared in the films Moonlight Mile (2002), Old School (2003), and Daredevil (2003).

Early life[edit]

Ellen Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, the daughter of Kathleen B. (née O'Keefe) and Joseph E. Pompeo, a surgeon.[2][3] Her father was of Italian, English, and Irish descent, while her mother was of Irish ancestry.[4][5] She was raised Roman Catholic.[6][7] Her mother died of a painkiller overdose when Ellen was five, and her father remarried soon after; he died on September 1, 2012.[8] She has five siblings: three sisters and two brothers. She was nicknamed the pencil, and stracciatella (an ice cream flavor).[9]



After meeting boyfriend, fashion photographer Andrew Rosenthal, and serving cocktails in Miami for more than two years, Pompeo moved to New York City for her acting career.[10] She began working in commercials and small independent films.[1] Pompeo made her television debut in 1996 by guest-starring in the NBC legal police drama, Law & Order.[10] She made her feature film debut in Coming Soon (1999), playing a small part. She made her second appearance on Law & Order in 2000, and then guest-starred on Strangers with Candy, Strong Medicine and Friends. Pompeo then moved to Los Angeles in 2001. She participated in the movie Mambo Café[11] with Thalía. A turning point came in 2002, when she was selected by director Brad Silberling for a lead role in his film Moonlight Mile, playing Jake Gyllenhaal's character's sympathetic love interest.[10] Also in 2002, Pompeo appeared in the biographical crime drama film Catch Me If You Can and in 2003, she appeared in Old School as Luke Wilson's love interest. She portrayed Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend, Naomi, in the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Although her scenes were cut from that film, she felt grateful that director Michel Gondry selected her for his film.[12] She also played the role of Karen Page in the 2003 Marvel Entertainment film Daredevil.

Grey's Anatomy and other works[edit]

Pompeo landed her first major role in 2005 on the ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy, created by Shonda Rhimes. She plays the title character and series' protagonist, Meredith Grey, a surgical intern at a prestigious hospital.[13] In 2011, she was named the ninth highest paid television actress, earning $7 million.[14] Grey's Anatomy was a breakout hit in 2005, and in later seasons the highest-rated television drama in the key 18–49 demographic. She signed a new contract for Grey's Anatomy in 2011 that increased her salary to US$200,000 per episode. On May 10, 2012, it was announced that she signed a contract for two more seasons. She was named the eighth highest paid television actress in 2012, earning $9 million. She extended her contract for two more years, which would have her involved with the show until its 12th season.[15] As of 2013, she earns $350,000 per episode plus millions from syndication.[16]

Pompeo has been nominated for multiple awards for her performances in Grey's Anatomy. She and the Grey's Anatomy cast won Best Ensemble in a Television Series at the 2006 Satellite Awards.[17] During the following year's ceremony, she was named Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.[18] She was among the Grey's Anatomy cast members awarded the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series accolade at the 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards,[19] and received nominations in the same category in 2006[20] and 2008.[21] Pompeo received a Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series nomination at the 64th Golden Globe Awards – the program won Best Drama Series at the same ceremony.[22] Also in 2007, Pompeo and the female cast and crew of Grey's Anatomy received the Women in Film Lucy Award, which honors those "whose work in television has positively influenced attitudes toward women."[23] Her performance has garnered two People's Choice Award nominations. At the 37th People's Choice Awards, she was nominated against Dempsey and Oh in the Favorite TV Doctor category,[24] and the following year, she was a contender in the Favorite TV Drama Actress category.[25] In 2007, show-business awards reporter Tom O'Neil commented that Pompeo was overdue an Emmy Award nomination for her role in Grey's Anatomy.[26] Readers of O'Neil's awards website, The Envelope, included Pompeo in their 2009 nominations for Best Drama Actress in the site's Gold Derby TV Awards.[27]

On October 13, 2007, Pompeo was honored by the National Italian American Foundation for her achievement in entertainment at a black-tie gala in Washington, D.C.[28] On October 27, 2011, Deadline.com reported that Pompeo had launched her own production company called Calamity Jane which sold its first project to ABC, an untitled show about female agents on the Secretary of State's security detail[29] On August 2014, it was announced that Pompeo was developing two dramas with ABC Studios - adaptation of Rachel Carey’s 2013 novel Debt for ABC Family,[30] and untitled female police drama for ABC.[31]

In September 2014, Pompeo announced that she will not be acting after Grey’s Anatomy ends its run. Pompeo said: “I definitely don’t have a strong desire to act after Grey’s. I definitely feel myself transitioning. I don’t find acting terribly empowering.”[32][33]

In October 2015, it was announced that Pompeo was developing the Spanish thriller Motivos Personales with London based company, New Media Vision.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Pompeo began dating music producer Chris Ivery in 2003. They married on November 9, 2007, with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg as the legal witness to the ceremony.[35] Pompeo and Ivery have two daughters: Stella Luna (born September 2009)[36] and Sienna May (born August 2014, via surrogacy).[37]



Year Title Role Notes
1995 Do You Have the Time Woman Short film
1999 8 ½ x 11 Human Resources Woman Short film
1999 Coming Soon Upset Girl
2000 Eventual Wife Beth Short film
2000 In the Weeds Martha
2000 Mambo Café Stacy
2002 Moonlight Mile Bertie Knox
2002 Catch Me If You Can Marci
2003 Old School Nicole
2003 Daredevil Karen Page
2003 Undermind Flynn
2004 Nobody's Perfect Veronica Short film
2004 Art Heist Sandra Walker
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Naomi Scenes deleted
2005 Life of the Party Phoebe Elgin


Year Title Role Notes
1996 Law & Order Jenna Weber Episode: "Savior"
1999 Strangers with Candy Lizzie Abrams Episode: "Feather in the Storm"
2000 Law & Order Laura Kendrick Episode: "Fools for Love"
2000 Get Real Nina Adler Episode: "History Lessons"
2001 The Job Sue Episode: "Anger"
2001 Strong Medicine Quincy Dunne Episode: "Wednesday Night Fever"
2004 Friends Missy Goldberg Episode: "The One Where the Stripper Cries"
2005–present Grey's Anatomy Dr. Meredith Grey Lead role; Narrator
2015 Repeat After Me Herself Episode 8

Music video[edit]

Year Title Artist Role Ref.
2015 "Bad Blood" Taylor Swift Luna [38]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV – Breakout Female Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2006 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2006 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2006 Satellite Awards Best Ensemble in Television Grey's Anatomy Won
2007 Golden Globe Awards Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy Won
2007 Satellite Awards Best Actress – Drama Series Grey's Anatomy Won
2007 National Italian American Foundation Special Achievement in Entertaining[citation needed] Won
2008 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Doctor Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2012 Favorite TV Drama Actress Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2013 Favorite TV Drama Actress Grey's Anatomy Won
2015 Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Grey's Anatomy Won
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Grey's Anatomy Won


  1. ^ a b "Ellen Pompeo - Biography". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Ellen Pompeo Quietly Weds in New York – Weddings, Ellen Pompeo : People.com
  3. ^  Posted by Andrea at 12:29 pm. "Ellen Pompeo's Father Dies". Bitten and Bound. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  4. ^ "Obituaries 09-13-2012 | Charlestown Patriot-Bridge". Charlestownbridge.com. 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  5. ^ "Descendants of Mary Coffey and Dennis O'Keefe:Information about Ellen Pompeo". Familytreemaker.genealogy.com. 1969-11-10. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  6. ^ The Inner Actor: Ellen Pompeo: strength and tenacity from a challenging early life
  7. ^ ELLENPOMPEO.NET – Ellen Pompeo Fansite
  8. ^ Sep 6, 2012 @ 6:00AM (2012-09-06). "Actress Ellen Pompeo’s Father Passes Away". Radar Online. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  9. ^ Bried, Erin: "Anatomy lesson", Self, February 2006
  10. ^ a b c "Ellen Pompeo Biography". People. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Spanish Wikipedia link to movie "Mambo Café"
  12. ^ Bochroch, Judy: "Anatomy of a Late Bloomer", Allure, December 2006
  13. ^ Ellen Pompeo Series 6 Interview
  14. ^ "Forbes Ranks The 2011 Highest Paid TV Actresses". Huffington Post. September 28, 2011. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ "2012 Highest Paid TV Actresses - Forbes Galleries". Galleries.forbes.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  16. ^ "The Highest Paid TV Actresses Of 2013". Forbes. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Winner Announcement" (PDF). www.pressacademy.com. International Press Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 2, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Satellites Award 'No Country,' ' Juno'". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc). December 17, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ "The 13th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". www.sagawards.org. Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". www.sagawards.org. Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "The 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". www.sagawards.org. Screen Actors Guild Awards. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Grey's Anatomy". www.goldenglobes.org. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  23. ^ Davidson, Ben G. (June 14, 2007). "WIF's Lucy Award goes to women of 'Grey's Anatomy'". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Company). Retrieved January 22, 2012. (subscription required)
  24. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2011 Nominees". www.peopleschoice.com. People's Choice Awards. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  25. ^ "People's Choice Awards 2012 Nominees". www.peopleschoice.com. People's Choice Awards. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  26. ^ O'Neil, Tom (June 6, 2007). "Battle to the finish". The Envelope (Los Angeles Times) (Tribune Broadcasting). Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  27. ^ O'Neil, Tom (June 30, 2009). "'30 Rock,' 'Mad Men' lead Gold Derby TV Award nominations". Gold Derby (Los Angeles Times) (Tribune Broadcasting). Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  28. ^ NIAF 32nd Anniversary Convention and Gala
  29. ^ "‘Grey’s’ Star Ellen Pompeo Launches Prod. Company, Sells First Project To ABC" October 27, 2011, Deadline.com
  30. ^ Sebastian Torrelio (August 1, 2014). "Ellen Pompeo to Produce ABC Family Drama ‘Debt’". Variety. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  31. ^ Samantha Highfill (August 20, 2014). "Ellen Pompeo developing police drama for ABC". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  32. ^ Ariana Bacle (September 11, 2014). "Ellen Pompeo says she might be done with acting after 'Grey's Anatomy'". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  33. ^ Lesley Goldberg (September 10, 2014). "Ellen Pompeo: "I Definitely Don't Have a Strong Desire to Act After 'Grey's Anatomy' "". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  34. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Ellen Pompeo To Produce 'Personal Motives' ABC Drama Based On Spanish Format From 'Mysteries Of Laura' Team". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-02-04. 
  35. ^ "Ellen Pompeo Quietly Weds in New York" People, November 14, 2007
  36. ^ "Exclusive: Ellen Pompeo Welcomes a Baby Girl!" US Magazine, September 23, 2009
  37. ^ Webber, Stephanie (October 2, 2014). "Ellen Pompeo Secretly Welcomed a Second Daughter With Chris Ivery". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' Video: Cindy Crawford, Mariska Hargitay, Ellen Pompeo Posters REVEALED [SEE PICS]". Fashion & Style. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 

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