Razberry Candy – Patrick ‘McDreamy’ Dempsey

When it was suggested that Patrick Dempsey would be a super Razberry Candy, I was told to ‘not get too excited’, and after a little research and writing I know why!

NAME:  Patrick Galen Dempsey


AGE: 47 (born 13 January 1966)

ABOUT: Patrick Dempsey is an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Dr Derek Shepherd a neurosurgeon who is for obvious reasons also named Dr McDreamy, in the US hit TV show Grey's Anatomy, but there was life before Grey’s Anatomy for Patrick, including portraying the “Woo Woo kid” in the 1987 film “In The Mood”.

Dempsey was born in Lewiston and grew up in Buckfield, both of which are in Maine in the US.  His parents were William and Amanda Dempsey, an insurance salesman and a school secretary respectively.

Whilst at High School (Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School) he displayed a talent for juggling, and was second (tied with another) in a national competition, always sporty from a young age, he was an impressive skier, winning the Maine state slalom championship whilst at High School.

Dempsey is dyslexic, diagnosed when he was aged twelve, and interestingly during a 2008 interview with Barbara Walters, he told her  that he thinks dyslexia made him what he is today, saying;. "It's given me a perspective of—you have to keep working,…………..I have never given up”.

Wanting to be an actor from a young age, he appeared on stage in various productions, his first break occurring when he was invited to audition for a stage production of the Torch Song Trilogy, this role was the first of many stage roles, others including the stage production of On Golden Pond, and an off Broadway revival of The Subject was Roses. 

It was in 1987, when he was 21 that he starred in his first feature film the ‘not terribly well received’ In The Mood, which was based on the true story of Ellsworth Wisecracker, known as the ‘Woo Woo Kid’, he became infamous for his relationships with much older women (interesting Dempsey fact – his first wife Rochelle "Rocky" Parker, an actress some 26 years his senior and the mother of his best friend, actor Corey Parker, appeared alongside him in In The Mood).

Despite his talent and initial success, it’s probably fair to say that Dempsey didn’t set the screen ablaze until Grey’s Anatomy (both the silver and the small screen!), he has worked consistently, with a screen glowing rather blazing; as well as In The Mood, in 1987 he starred in Can’t Buy Love, a teen comedy, with Amanda Peterson. 

The late 80’ and early 90’s were a busy time for Dempsey as his star rose very slowly, flat lining now and again as in 1988 when he starred in Some Girls, with Jennifer Connelly – the film was a total flop!

These years were the heyday for the fairly awful romantic comedy, and in 1989 Patrick starred in two Loverboy where he took the lead role together with Kirstie Alley and Carrie Fisher, and Happy Together which starred Super Girl Helen Slater, and the then unknown Brad Pitt.

Once the noughties struck, Dempsey was headed for the small screen, and he had lead roles in a number of television series’ and films, however bad luck and bad writing, rather than bad acting on his part meant that these were not actually picked up by the networks.

However in 2002 he starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in the successful romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, playing her fiancé, although ultimately losing out to love in this film, Dempsey won back some fans and profile with his box office hit.

Then in 2004, he co-starred in the brilliant Iron Jawed Angels (HBO production), with Anjelica Huston and Hilary Swank.

But it was in 2005 that gold finally struck for Dempsey, when he was cast in the role of neurosurgeon Dr Derek Shepherd (Dr McDreamy) in the to be a huge hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy, and ten seasons on the series (series ten premiered in the US in September), and Dr McDreamy are still going strong, much of this some might say is attributable to the full and luxurious head of hair Dempsy sports as Derek Shepherd (we kid!), incredibly successful and at one time in the top ten US TV shows, it has aired in many countries around the world and continues to draw in huge audiences.

But Dempsey has another love; one he has stated he would give up the world of acting and that hair do for!  In his ‘spare’ time he races cars, competing in races such as 24 Hours of Le Mans, Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race, Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the Rolex 24 sports car race.  He formed the Dempsey Racing team just to compete in the American Le Mans Series, in which he raced himself.  He as a very impressive sport and vintage car collection, and it was just before this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans that he declared:

“…..I would like to make that [motorsports] a complete priority and just focus on this full-time. If I could just walk away from acting, I think I could do that very easily, and just focus on the driving, I would love that more than anything else…..”

But with the tenth season of Grey’s Anatomy currently airing, and his star having finally risen into the stratosphere, with roles in Disney’s Enchanted, Freedom Writers (with Hilary Swank, whom he starred with in Iron Jawed Angels), the 2008 film Made of Honor, and in yet another romantic company in 2010 – Valentine's Day, we think Dempsey will be on our screens for some time to come yet!

WHAT MAKES HIM RAZBERRY CANDY?: He is the oh so dreamy Dr McDreamy!