Ellen Pompeo's career was jumpstarted when, while working as a cocktail waitress in Miami, she was spotted by an agent, who gave her roles in several TV commercials. After appearing in minor roles on TV, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
Pompeo's big break came in 2002, when she was cast as Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest in the film Moonlight Mile. Other film roles include those in Daredevil, Catch Me If You Can and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where all of her scenes were ultimately cut.
Her first major role came in 2005, when she snagged the lead role in the ABC medical series Grey's Anatomy. Her portrayal of surgical intern (and later surgeon) Meredith Grey earned her a Golden Globe nomination, as well as a Satellite Award.
Pompeo is married to record producer Chris Ivey, with whom she has one daughter.
- One of her scenes in the movie Daredevil was cut from the final version.
- She is the youngest among six children: all her siblings are at least 8 years older than her.
- She suffers from asthma.
- Screen Actors Guild Award, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, 2007 (for Grey's Anatomy)
- Satellite Award, Best Actress in a Drama Series, 2007 (for Grey's Anatomy)
- 8 1/2 x 11 (1999)
- Coming Soon (1999)
- Eventual Wife (2000)
- Mambo Cafe (2000)
- In the Weeds (2000)
- Moonlight Mile (2002)
- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
- Daredevil (2003)
- Old School (2003)
- Undermind (2003)
- Nobody's Perfect (2004)
- Art Heist (2004)
- Life of the Party (2005)
- Grey's Anatomy (regular, 2005-present)
On being complimented by actor Jake Gyllenhaal: "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."
On her character Meredith Grey: "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."