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Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo

American actress
Ellen Pompeo
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
A.K.A. Ellen Kathleen Pompeo
Is Actor Television actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 10 November 1969, Everett, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Age 51 years
Star sign Scorpio
Residence Los Angeles, California
Spouse: Chris Ivery
Height: 1.6764 m
Satellite Award for Best Cast – Television Series 2006
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series 2007
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama 2007
Peoplepill ID ellen-pompeo
Ellen Pompeo
The details


Ellen Pompeo is an American actress and producer, best known for movies Old School, Catch Me If You Can, and Television show Grey's Anatomy.

Early life

Ellen Pompeo (Ellen Kathleen Pompeo) was born on November 10, 1969, in Everett, Massachusetts. She has three sisters and two brothers. Ellen is the youngest.

Raised Roman Catholic, Pompeo is of Italian, English, and Irish ancestry.

Her father, Joseph Pompeo, a salesman, was Italian, English, and Irish, and her mother, Ellen, was of Irish descent. Her mother died of a painkiller overdose when Ellen was five.


New York

Pompeo's acting career began in 1995 in New York with commercials for Citibank and L'Oreal. After working in the commercials, she worked in a few independent movies in New York and landed small roles in television shows like Law & Order, Friends, Strangers with Candy, and Strong Medicine. She was discovered while working at SoHo Bar & Grill in New York City.

Before moving to New York, she lived in Miami, where she worked as a bartender. While in Miami, she dated fashion photographer Andrew Rosenthal.


Pompeo moved to Los Angeles in 2001. She landed her breakthrough role in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile, in which she acted alongside Susan Sarandon, Dustin Hoffman, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Her work was applauded by her fans and the critics.

She then went on to work in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, in 2002.

In 2003, she starred in the comedy Old School, with Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell. The movie was an instant hit.

Then, in 2004, she played the part of Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend, the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But, her part was deleted from the final cut. The movie did well and scored 93% on Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. 


In 2005, Pompeo was selected to play Meredith Grey, the lead character of highly-successful medical drama series Grey's Anatomy on ABC. Grey's Anatomy went on to become one of the highest-rated television dramas in the country, and Pompeo's role was widely appreciated.

Pompeo won several awards for her work in the show.

  • In 2007, she received Satellite Award for the Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.
  • She, along with Grey's Anatomy cast, was awarded the "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" at the 13th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
  • In 2007, at the 64th Golden Globe Awards, she received a nomination for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series."
  • That same year, she was also honored by the National Italian American Foundation for her achievement in entertainment.
  • She won People's Choice Award's Favorite TV Actress award in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

In September 2014, Pompeo announced her retirement from acting after Grey's Anatomy concludes.

Personal life

Pompeo married Chris Ivery, a music producer, in 2007. Pompeo and Ivery had met in 2003 in a grocery store in Los Angeles.

The couple lives in Los Angeles, and have three children.

In 2016, she appeared in a political ad campaign for Hillary Clinton, alongside Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and Viola Davis.



  • Do You Have the Time (1995)
  • 8 ½ x 11 (1999)
  • Coming Soon (1999)
  • Eventual Wife (2000)
  • In the Weeds (2000)
  • Mambo Café (2000)
  • Moonlight Mile (2002)
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
  • Old School (2003)
  • Daredevil (2003)
  • Undermind (2003)
  • Nobody's Perfect (2004)
  • Art Heist (2004)
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Life of the Party (2005)


  • Law & Order (1996)
  • Strangers with Candy (1999)
  • Law & Order (2000)
  • Get Real (2000)
  • Strong Medicine (2001)
  • Friends (2004)
  • Grey's Anatomy (2005–present)
  • Repeat After Me (2015)

Little-known facts about Ellen Pompeo

  • Her nickname was "the pencil," and "stracciatella."
  • She suffers from asthma.
  • She is a Boston Celtics fan.

In her own words

I don't find acting to be a particularly noble way to make a living. I'm not saving anybody's life, I'm not a teacher, I'm not working for UNICEF. I don't think I'm some big deal.

I think having my mother die at such a very young age – when she was 33 – I appreciate life so much.

It was the best thing that happened to me all week - to say the very least...I was so flattered. I thanked him and told him how much I hoped we would have a chance to work together one day. - After being complimented by actor Jake Gyllenhaal

She's smart enough to make her way through medical school but she can't figure out that she can't sleep with strangers all the time. - On her character Meredith Grey

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