Jessica is the daughter of actress Kate Capshaw and salesman Bob Capshaw. She is also the stepdaughter of Steven Spielberg. She was born in Columbia, Missouri, where both parents were students at the University of Missouri. The family moved to New York then to pursue Kate's modeling career. Her parents divorced when she was three and Jessica got drawn along in her mother's new world. Kate married Spielberg when Jessica was fifteen. Among her three parents, she is one of ten children. Jessica graduated from Brown University in 1998 with an English degree. She then attended acting classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. From there, she got her first acting role on TV's "Odd Man Out".
Jessica married Christopher Gavigan on May 22, 2004. The couple has four children.
- Dear Zoe (2021)
- Holidate (2020)
- The Hero of Color City (2014)
- One Angry Juror (2010)
- Untitled David Kohan/Max Mutchnick TV Project (2007)
- Blind Trust (2007)
- The Groomsmen (2006)
- View from the Top (2003)
- Romeo Fire (2002)
- Minority Report (2002)
- The Mesmerist (2002)
- Valentine (2001)
- The Back Page (2001)
- Big Time (short) (2000)
- Killing Cinderella (2000)
- The Love Letter (1999)
- Denial (1998)
- The Locusts (1997)
- Grey's Anatomy (2009-2018)
- Head Case (2009)
- The L Word (2007)
- Thick and Thin (2006)
- Bones (2006)
- Into the West (mini-series) (2005)
- The Practice (2002-2004)
- Odd Man Out (1999-2000)
- ER (1999)
Notes and Trivia
- Jessica was a fan of the show before joining it.
- Jessica originally auditioned for the role of Rose and the role of Sadie Harris before being cast as Arizona.
- The first thing she knew about her character was the name: Arizona Robbins.
- If she could be a doctor and choose a specialty in real life, she'd choose to be pediatrician because she feels they have more regular hours than pediatric surgeons, but still get to work with kids.
- She thinks her "Mc" nickname would be McDimples.
- She and Justin Chambers always sat next to each other at table reads.
- She has the habit of watching the pilot episode of Grey's every year because it reminds her of the show she fell in love with and why she wanted to be on the show. Prior to season 13, she also watched the first few episodes with Arizona and the episode with Arizona's birthday party.
- On March 8, 2018, it was announced that the producers had not picked up Jessica's option for the fifteenth season, meaning season fourteen was her last season as part of the main cast. The same happened with Sarah Drew. After the announcement, Jessica tweeted the following statement:
- "For the past ten years I have had the rare privilege of not only playing Arizona Robbins but also being madly in love with playing her. Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job. She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented in a series regular role on network television. Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever. I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me. I am sad to see her go but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster. With a heart full of love, Jessica."
- On March 19, 2018, a plane with a banner reading "We <3 Sarah Drew & Jessica Capshaw" flew over set during lunch. The plane was sent by fans as a reaction to the two actresses leaving at the end of the season.
- She filmed her last scenes on set on April 10, 2018. Her last scene in the show was shot on April 16, 2018 with Justin Chambers. She wrapped filming for the series on April 19, 2018.
- Her first day of filming for the show was October 29, 2008.
- In the 10 days leading up to the finale, Jessica posted a daily video on Instagram of her 10 years on the show about moments that mean a lot to her:
- Her first scene ever from Wish You Were Here
- Callie and Arizona's dance scene from Elevator Love Letter
- Arizona's speech about peds from Invest in Love
- The entirety of Season 7 for some of the best and worst of times
- The rock, paper, scissors scene with Eric Dane and Jesse Williams from All You Need is Love
- The darker side of Arizona and her journey back to the light in Season 9
- For Season 10, she highlighted her close working relationship with Justin Chambers and what she loves about (working with) him.
- For Season 11, she shared a clip of the blooper reel.
- The closer friendship Arizona developed with Richard in Season 12
- For Season 13, she again shared a clip of the season's blooper reel.