Ellen Pompeo is an American actress best known for her title role as Dr. Meredith Grey on the medical comedy-drama television series Grey's Anatomy.
Pompeo was born in Everett, Massachusetts, then lived on New York City's Upper West Side. Her grandfather was born in Gesualdo, a village in Province of Avellino, Italy. Her mother died when she was four years old.
In 1996, she was bartending at the SoHo Bar & Grill when an agent approached her about appearing in commercials. She subsequently appeared in commercials for Citibank and L'Oreal.
Minor roles on shows like Strangers with Candy and a handful of films followed.
Determined to succeed in acting, Pompeo moved to Los Angeles in 2001. A turning point came when she was selected by director Brad Silberling in 2002 for a role in his film Moonlight Mile.
She also appeared in the film Daredevil playing Matt Murdock's (Ben Affleck) secretary Karen Page, but most of her scenes were deleted from the theatrical version of the film.
She portrayed Jim Carrey's ex-girlfriend, Naomi, in the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but all her scenes were cut from the final film. They can be viewed on the collector's edition DVD of the film.
In 2003 and 2002, Pompeo starred in Old School as Nicole and Catch Me If You Can as Marci.
Her television guest roles include two episodes of Law & Order and an episode of Friends.
Pompeo landed her first major role in the ABC medical drama Grey's Anatomy, as the title character, Meredith Grey, a surgical intern at a prestigious hospital.
The show became the highest-rated show on network TV in its third season. In 2007, Pompeo was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series.
That year, she also signed a new contract for Grey's Anatomy that increased her salary to nearly $200,000 per episode.
She married music producer Christopher Ivery on 9 November, 2007 and they reside in Los Angeles. They met in 2003 when mutual friends introduced them at a Whole Foods Market, but only began dating six months later.
She gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Stella Luna, on 15 September, 2009.