Jessica Capshaw

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Jessica Capshaw
Jessica Capshaw.png
Jessica Brooke Capshaw

(1976-08-09) August 9, 1976 (age 42)
Alma materBrown University (BA)
OccupationActress, Activist, Entrepreneur
Years active1997–present
Christopher Gavigan (m. 2004)
Parent(s)Kate Capshaw
RelativesSteven Spielberg (stepfather)
Sasha Spielberg (maternal half-sister)
Theo Spielberg (adopted brother)

Jessica Brooke Capshaw Gavigan (born August 9, 1976), known professionally as Jessica Capshaw, 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 Grey's Anatomy'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 August 9, 1976 in Columbia, Missouri,[2] the daughter of actress and producer Kate Capshaw, and Robert Capshaw, a sales manager, marketing director, business executive, and high school principal.[3] She is the stepdaughter of director Steven Spielberg, whom her mother married when Capshaw was fifteen years old.[4] Her father is from a Jewish family, whereas her mother converted to Judaism.

Capshaw graduated from Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles in 1994. She then enrolled at Brown University,[5] where she appeared in productions of Arcadia and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.[2] She graduated in 1998 with a B.A. in English.[2] During summers, she attended classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London,[1] where she appeared as Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.[2]


Capshaw had a minor role in the drama The Locusts (1997), co-starring her mother, at age nineteen.[2] She subsequently had a role in Adam Rifkin's independent film Denial (1998).[2]In the 2001 slasher film Valentine, Capshaw played Dorothy Wheeler. She then had a minor role in Minority Report (2002), and a lead role in Edward Burns's The Groomsmen (2006).[2]

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.[6] 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,[7] becoming a series regular in the sixth season.[8]

She was established as a love-interest for orthopedic resident Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez). Series creator Shonda Rhimes was 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."[9] 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.[10][11][12] In March 2018, Capshaw was let go from Grey’s Anatomy, with the producers citing creative reasons.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Capshaw married Christopher Gavigan on May 22, 2004, at her family's East Hampton estate.[14] The couple have a son and three daughters.[15]



Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Locusts Patsy
1998 Denial Marcia
1999 The Love Letter Kelly
2000 Killing Cinderella Beth
2000 Big Time Claire Short film
2001 Valentine Dorothy Wheeler
2002 The Mesmerist Daisy Valdemar
2002 Minority Report Evanna
2003 View from the Top Royalty International Flight Attendant Uncredited
2006 The Groomsmen Jen
2007 Blind Trust Cassie Stewart
2014 The Hero of Color City Duck
TBA Holidate Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1999 ER Sally McKenna 1 episode: "Rites of Spring"
1999-2000 Odd Man Out Aunt Jordan Main cast
13 episodes
2001 The Back Page TV Movie
2002-2004 The Practice Jamie Stringer Main cast
Season 7 & 8; 42 episodes
2005 Into the West Rachel Wheeler 1 episode: "Manifest Destiny"
2006 Thick and Thin Mary Unaired
2006 Bones Rebecca Stinson 2 episodes: "Mother and Child in the Bay", "The Truth in the Lye"
2007 The L Word Nadia Karella 3 episodes: "Livin' La Vida Loca", "Lassoed", "Layup"
2009 Head Case 1 episode: "Tying the Not"
2009–2018 Grey's Anatomy Dr. Arizona Robbins Recurring (Season 5)
Main Cast (Season 6-14) 214 episodes
2010 One Angry Juror Sarah Walsh TV Movie


  1. ^ a b "Character Bios". Archived from the original on 2012-01-31.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Jessica Capshaw Biography". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018.
  3. ^ Jessica Capshaw Biography (1976–) at Film Reference
  4. ^ "Steven Spielberg Fast Facts". CNN. March 19, 2018. Archived from the original on October 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "Reunion Report 1998". Brown Alumni Magazine. July–August 2003.
  6. ^ Ausiello, Michael (December 3, 2008). "'Grey's Anatomy' Exclusive: Eric Stoltz lands killer role". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Ausiello, Michael (February 26, 2009). "'Grey's' exclusive: Jessica Capshaw inks contract!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on September 28, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  8. ^ Ausiello, Michael (June 17, 2009). "Exclusive: 'Grey's Anatomy' promotes Jessica Capshaw". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  9. ^ Marsi, Steve. "Jessica Capshaw Promoted to Full Time Cast Member". TV Fanatic. SheKnows Entertainment. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Mitovich, Matt (June 19, 2009). "ABC Makes It Official: Heigl Is Staying on Grey's". TV Guide. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  11. ^ Monfette, Chris (May 29, 2009). "Grey's Anatomy: Season 5 Review". IGN. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 15, 2009). "Exclusive: 'Grey's' boss on finale's Izzie-George shocker, Mer-Der 'wedding,' and more!". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2018-03-08). "'Grey's Anatomy' Shocker: Jessica Capshaw & Sarah Drew To Exit ABC Medical Drama After Season 14". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-03-16.
  14. ^ "Christopher Gavigan".
  15. ^ Park, Andrea (May 9, 2016). "Jessica Capshaw Welcomes Fourth Child. Daughter Josephine Kate".

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