Pompeo was born on November 10, 1969, in Everett, Massachusetts, USA, and considers Boston home. She made her major studio screen debut in Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile (2002), starring alongside 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. After her involvement in Moonlight Mile, Pompeo appeared, later that same year, in Steven Spielberg's fact-based Catch Me If You Can, also released in 2002, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. The following year, Pompeo appeared alongside Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell in the wildly successful comedy Old School, which was released in 2003.
Pompeo suffers from the chronic respiratory disease asthma, but the time in her life when she was initially diagnosed and the severity of her case are not known.
She married Chris Ivery on November 9, 2007 and, on September 15, 2009, gave birth to their daughter. They welcomed a second daughter in September 2014. They welcomed a son in late 2016.
- Taylor Swift: Bad Blood (short) (2015)
- Life of the Party (2005)
- Art Heist (2004)
- Nobody's Perfect (short) (2004)
- Undermind (2003)
- Old School (2003)
- Daredevil (2003)
- Catch Me If You Can (2002)
- Moonlight Mile (2002)
- Eventual Wife (short) (2000)
- In the Weeds (2000)
- Mambo Café (2000)
- Coming Soon (1999)
- 8 ½ x 11 (short) (1999)
- Do You Have the Time (short) (1995)
- Grey's Anatomy (2005-)
- Station 19 (2018-2020)
- Doc McStuffins (2017)
- Friends (2004)
- The Job (2001)
- Strong Medicine (2001)
- Get Real (2000)
- Law & Order (1996-2000)
- Strangers with Candy (1999)
- Grey's Anatomy (2017-2018)
Notes and Trivia
- Ellen is allergic to cats.
- Ellen knows what a lot of medical terms mean, because she finds it makes it easier for her to learn her lines.
- She stated in multiple interviews that she loves it when fans come up to her on the street because they always have interesting stories to tell.
- She does like tequila, but not as much as Meredith, whom she feels takes it to the extreme.
- She considers herself the biggest joker on set.
- Ellen wanted to do a different ABC pilot, written by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, called Secret Service. When that didn't get picked up she was asked to play Meredith Grey.
- Her nickname is 'The pencil'.
- Out of all the relationships on the show, Ellen liked Mark and Lexie together.
- Ellen suffers from asthma.
- Ellen said on an interview on Ellen that her elder daughter wants to be an emergency room doctor when she grows up. Every time she gets on set, her daughter goes straight to Linda Klein's office to play with medical supplies.
- Ellen encouraged her daughter, who loved to stage weddings for her dolls, to stage same-sex weddings.
- When asked about her top three of all Grey's Anatomy episodes at PaleyFest 2017, she replied A Hard Day's Night, Sanctuary/Death and All His Friends and Be Still, My Soul.
- Following her first directing experience, Ellen has stated she will direct one episode per season. The writers don't want to lighten her acting workload and combining that with the directing workload is very heavy, resulting in her directing only one episode per season.
- She is 5'7".
- On January 17, 2018, it was revealed that Ellen signed a new two-year deal for seasons 15 and 16. The deal includes more than $550,000 per episode as well as producing credits for Grey's Anatomy and the new spinoff.
- She describes herself as 90% vegan.
- She redecorates her trailer on the Grey's Anatomy set every few years.
- She says her dream ending for the Grey's Anatomy series finale would be to have some of the former cast members return.
- She and T.R. Knight are close friends outside Grey's Anatomy.