Ellen Pompeo
General Information
Birth Name: Ellen Kathleen Pompeo
Birthday: November 10, 1969
Birth Place: Everett, Massachusetts, US
Age: 46
Spouses: Chris Ivery (m. 2007)
Children: 2
Stella Luna (b. 2009)
Sienna May (b. 2014)
Character Information
Role: Meredith Grey
Seasons: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Ellen Pompeo is an American actress, best known for her role as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy (2005-present).

Early LifeEdit

Ellen Kathleen Pompeo was born on November 10, 1969, in Everett, Massachusetts, to Kathleen B. O'Keefe and Joseph E. Pompeo, a surgeon. She grew up in Boston. Her father was Italian, English, and Irish and her mother was Irish. She was raised Roman Catholic. Kathleen died of a painkiller overdose when Ellen was five. Joseph remarried shortly after. He died on September 1, 2012. She has five siblings: three sisters and two brothers. She worked as a bartender in Miami.


In 1995, while living in New York City, she was approached by a casting director to appear in commercials for Citibank and L'Oreal. In 1996, she made her television debut by guest-starring in the NBC legal police drama, Law & Order. She later appeared in the series in 2000. In 1999, she made her feature film debut in Coming Soon, playing a small part.

In 2000, she guest-starred on Strangers with Candy, Strong Medicine and Friends. In 2001, she participated in the movie Mambo Cafe with Thalia. In 2002, she made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile, starring with Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman and Jake Gyllenhaal. She received outstanding reviews for her performance as an outspoken young woman who carried a silent burden that was breaking her heart. In the same year, she starred in Steven Spielberg's fact-based Catch Me If You Can, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2003, she appeared in Old School as the love interest. She also played the role of Karen Page in Daredevil. In 2004, she portrayed Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend, Naomi, in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Her scenes were cut from the film.

In 2005, she landed her first major role 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. The series was a breakout hit and in later seasons the highest-rated TV drama in the key 18-49 demographic. In 2011, 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 extended her contract for two more years, which had her involved until the twelfth season. In 2013, she earned $350,000 per episode plus millions from syndication. 

In 2007, she 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." She was honored by the National Italian American Foundation for her achievement in entertainment at a black-tie gala in Washington, DC.

In 2011, she launched her own product 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. In August 2014, it was announced that she was developing two dramas with ABC Studios - adaptation of Rachel Carey's 2013 novel Debt for ABC Family, and untitled female police drama for ABC. She appeared in the music video of Bad Blood, a song from Taylor Swift's fifth album, 1989. In October 2015, it was announced that she was developing the Spanish thriller Motivos Personales with London-based company, New Media Vision.

In 2012, she was named the eighth highest paid TV actress in 2012, earning $9 million. In 2015, she was ranked fourth in the list of highest paid television actresses and earned $11.5 million. In 2014, she announced that she will not be acting after Grey's Anatomy ends. She 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."

Personal LifeEdit

While bartending in Miami, she started dating fashion photographer Andrew Rosenthal. In 1995, they moved to New York City. In 2001, she moved to Los Angeles, California.

In 2003, she met Chris Ivery in a Los Angeles grocery store and began dating. They married on September 9, 2007. On September 15, 2009, she gave birth to daughter, Stella Luna. In September 2014, she welcomed another daughter, Sienna May, with the help of a surrogate mother. They also own two toy poodles since they don't shed.

She suffers from the chronic respiratory disease asthma and several allergies. She follows a healthy lifestyle, meditates twice a day for 20 minutes each, and does so inside her trailer in between takes as well.



Year Title Role
1995 Do You Have the Time Woman
1999 8 1/2 x 11 Human Resources Woman
1999 Coming Soon Upset Girl
2000 Eventual Wife Beth
2000 In the Weeds Martha
2000 Mambo Cafe 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
2004 Art Heist Sandra Walker
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Naomi
2005 Life of the Party Phoebe Elgin


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

Music VideoEdit

Year Title Artist Role
2015 "Bad Blood" Taylor Swift Luna

Awards & NominationsEdit

Year Award 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 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 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress Grey's Anatomy Nominated
2013 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress Grey's Anatomy Won
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Grey's Anatomy Won
2015 Taormina Film Fest Taormina Arte Award Won
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Grey's Anatomy Won

Official Account Edit

Trivia Edit

  • Allergic to cats
  • Quit acting after Grey's Anatomy
  • Knows what a lot of medical term mean because it helps her learn her lines
  • Loves when fan come up to her on the street because they always have interesting stories to tell
  • Wanted to do a different ABC pilot, written by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, called Secret Service
  • When it didn't get picked up, she was asked to play Meredith Grey
  • Nickname is the 'The Pencil'
  • Out of all the relationships, Mark and Lexie were her favorite
  • Suffers from asthma
  • Oldest daughter, Stella, wants to be an emergency room doctor when she grows up
  • Every time she gets on set, she goes straights to Linda Klein's office to play with medical supplies
  • Encouraged her daughter, who loved to stage weddings for her dolls, to stage same-sex weddings