Patrick Galen Dempsey (born January 13, 1966) is an American actor, known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd ("McDreamy") on the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. Prior to Grey's Anatomy, he made several television appearances, earning him an Emmy Award nomination. He has also recently appeared in several films, including Sweet Home Alabama, Scream 3, The Emperor's Club, Freedom Writers, Enchanted, Made of Honor, Valentine's Day, Flypaper and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, and grew up in Buckfield, Maine, the youngest of three children born to Amanda and William Dempsey. He has Irish ancestry. He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School. He was an adept juggler, tying for second in a national juggling competition. He was also an accomplished skier and while in high school won the Maine state slalom championship.
As a child, Dempsey attended Camp Wekeela located in Hartford, Maine.
Dempsey was diagnosed with dyslexia at age twelve. He told Barbara Walters on her 2008 Oscar special that he thinks dyslexia "made him what he is today.