ByKathryn Jackson FallonANDCat Lafuente/May 22, 2020 2:45 pm EDT/Updated: march 15, 2021 6:20 afternoon EDT
Ellen Pompeo is just one of the best-known and also most loved stars on television today. Her function as Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey"s Anatomy has actually turned her right into an icon. Fans almost everywhere the people love the show and want come know an ext about the person who displayed Dr. Grey. 

Pompeo has always been very private around her personal life. As she"s supposedly said, follow to TV Guide, "It"s not hard to stay out the the press if you don"t want it." however over time, she has actually opened increase a tiny bit about her career, she family, and what she wants for her future.

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Pompeo climbed from humble starts to become the star the the ultra popular show Grey"s Anatomy and one of the highest-paid mrs TV stars. Her net worth, according to Us Weekly, is around $85 million. But her road to mainly success to be challenging, as she started her journey armed with just talent and also determination.

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Ellen Pompeo constantly wanted to act, but, together she called Allure, she was much too awkward to gain started in together a career. "I was an extremely sad and also introverted together a child, and I would certainly never, ever before have had the confidence or the extroverted nature to be in a college play," she said. But one day when she was an extremely young, an aunt and uncle In new York took she to view the Rockettes in ~ Radio City Music room in new York City (via E! News), and also she ended up being inspired: "Afterward, i stood up and said, "That"s what I desire to be. They"re alive. That"s what I desire to do.""

While she would, the course, later discover success in the human being of entertainment, the wasn"t easy, and also her at an early stage life didn"t do it any easier. Together she said People, "Where i come from, you don"t simply say, "Oh, I"m going to come to be an actor.""

Ellen Pompeo to be the youngest of six kids in one Italian-Irish family, elevated in the Boston suburb Everett. Pompeo to be 5 years old her mom died, and she was increased by her father, relatives, and also babysitters, follow to one interview v Playboy (via E! News). But no matter how chaotic her childhood may have actually been, Pompeo remained "fiery." as Pompeo stated in an interview through Good Housekeeping, "You can"t obtain out of where I come indigenous if you"re a wallflower." 

Unfortunately, life was tough for Pompeo. "I was pathetically insecure," she shared, describing she youth. "I didn"t have actually a mother to tell me just how amazing i was."

Luckily, Pompeo had a father who encouraged her to follow her dreams. Come Playboy, she said her dad "always said me you have the right to do something you want to do." and as evidenced by her effective career, Pompeo showed him right.

Ellen Pompeo left her home in Massachusetts ~ high school and a brief time in ~ college and also headed because that Miami, working there tending bar. In one interview through Playboy (via E! News), she shared, "I wouldn"t say ns was a great drink maker, however I was a very an excellent hustler." Pompeo said she would make client wait for their drinks till they put enough money down on the bar. If customers "put money under on the bar and it wasn"t enough," she said, "I"d walk wait on who else that was giving me sufficient money." She revealed she"d occasionally make guest wait for your drinks until she witnessed $20.

Soon enough, she moved to brand-new York City, whereby opportunity and talent fortuitously collided. While working as a bartender at the Soho Kitchen in new York in 1995, according to the Los Angeles Times, a spreading director spoke to her around being in commercials. She called the spreading director the next day and was sent out to audition for three commercials, getting each and also every one, including L"Oreal. The L"Oreal ad, claimed Pompeo, "was actually really cute," noting, "They dyed mine hair red." She added, "And then ns booked choose 20 an ext commercials ~ that since I had this great red hair."

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Ellen Pompeo began snagging credited small screen roles, one gift on the tv drama Law & Order in 1999. She likewise played the component of "Upset Girl" in the 2000 movie Coming Soon, which featured Ryan Reynolds and Mia Farrow, and she landed parts in Strangers through Candy and The Job. 

In 2000, she appeared as Martha in the indie film In the Weeds, acting alongside Pretty in Pink star Molly Ringwald. The film, which is about the an individual and professional difficulties of the wait employee at a liven restaurant, acquired some attention. Pompeo played "the ever-eager naif," together described Variety. Of the film, Variety shared, " Rauch manages to provide every member of the restaurant staff — also the busboys — a minute to shine, and his gibbs pay him back with nuanced, funny performances."

Ellen Pompeo was obtaining noticed as an actress!

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Ellen Pompeo properly auditioned because that a role in the 2002 movie Moonlight Mile, playing the component of Bertie, a postal salesman who eventually connects with Jake Gyllenhaal"s character. Film doubter Roger Ebert was an extremely impressed by her in the film. Of her performance, he claimed in a review, "Pompeo, a newcomer, theatre Bertie through a sort of scary charisma the cannot it is in written, only felt. ... She is so breakable in this movie..."

Pompeo, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, garnered significant interest from significant filmmakers. She was cast in Catch Me if you Can, i beg your pardon starred Leonardo DiCaprio, and played flight attendant Marci. More film roles followed, including a component in the 2003 movie Daredevil and the comedy Old School. especially she likewise appeared on an episode of Friends. 

But, according to THR, "by 2004, she movie career had stalled and she to be perilously close come broke."

At first, Ellen Pompeo had no interest in gift on Grey"s Anatomy. She said The Hollywood Reporter, "I was like, "I"m not going to be grounding on a medical display for five years."" But at the urging of her agent, that told her no to worry due to the fact that the pilot would most likely not acquire picked up and also that she must take the job simply to make some money, she auditioned, follow to Good Housekeeping.

Of course, the show went past being choose up — it came to be a substantial hit and a favourite of many. That wasn"t long before Grey"s Anatomy beat out ER together the longest-running primetime medical drama, as reported by E! News. Interestingly, in the beginning, Pompeo was surprised at the show"s popularity. She told Allure, "When ns did the pilot, i thought, "I can"t stand clinical shows. This will never obtain on.""

In 2006, Ellen Pompeo got involved to record producer chris Ivery. That proposed come Pompeo on she 37th date of birth after having breakfast at their home, as reported by the Associated Press. He presented her through a beautiful engagement ring through a "3.5-carat emerald-cut diamond in a platinum setting," according to People. The two had been date for three years at that point, after having very first built a friendship for around six months. "We to be friends for 6 months; climate one night she simply looked various to me," Ivery previously defined to the magazine.

Notably, the two had grown increase in the Boston area a brief distance apart from one another, though they didn"t satisfy until later on in life. "We to be six degrees our whole lives, so ns feel prefer we were sort of intended to be," Pompeo described to People. "We"ll obtain married eventually, secretly." And, eventually, they did.

Ellen Pompeo married record producer kris Ivery in new York City at City Hall, v Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiating. According to People, who cited a report native Boston Globe, kris Ivery and Michael Bloomberg have mutual friends and also both prospered up in the Boston area. According to Country Living, the wedding to be so personal that no guests were invite and First Deputy mayor Patricia Harris to be the just witness.

On Live through Kelly and also Ryan, Pompeo talked around how she and also Ivery "flew the end on a red-eye Thursday night," adding, "Friday morning, woke up, went to City Hall, had actually the wedding yes, really quick, and also then we visited Lupa for lunch after." The couple went come a Knicks video game that weekend, as both Pompeo and Ivery space basketball fans.

Pompeo had actually previously common with Los Angeles Confidential Magazine the they want to avoid having a large wedding since "we desire one thing to ourselves".

By 2011, Ellen Pompeo began her own production company, Calamity Jane, as reported through Deadline, and she became more involved together a producer. Throughout a 2014 panel discussion hosted through BuzzFeed, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, she said, "I definitely don"t have a strong desire come act ~ Grey"s; I certainly feel myself transitioning." She continued that she merely didn"t always want to work for others. And, together she told The Hollywood Reporter, she "enjoys" producing.

Still, Pompeo is grateful for all the acting has actually done for her. In BuzzFeed"s panel discussion, she shared, "Maybe part of my personality is i feel like I have something come prove sometimes. And with acting, i don"t feel choose I have anything come prove anymore..." note Grey"s success in other countries and also the quantity of fans it"s secured, she listed that she want to "challenge ."

Ellen Pompeo dram Luna in the Taylor Swift video clip for "Bad Blood." yet Pompeo pointed out that she was not a member of Swift"s "squad." together reported by Entertainment Tonight, Pompeo said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that it"s not prefer she and Swift are best friends. "Her civilization called my people and said, "Would you favor to it is in in this video?" the abc star recalled. "And ns said, "Oh my god, that course, just how fun! Is over there an old lady section? I"m down."" Bad-ass Luna is solid an old lady!

We wonder if Pompeo"s seen the music video, as she"s opened up come People about not liking to watch herself period on TV. "To it is in honest, it"s the toughest component of my job," she said. "But as uncomfortable as watching myself age is, ns don"t think concentrating on physics beauty is have to the finest thing for your mind. It"s a organic thing that we all do, but I don"t think it"s the healthiest thing. ... Everyone ages, and it"s okay."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, executive producer Debbie Allen to be behind Ellen Pompeo directing the 2017 illustration "Be Still, mine Soul," marking the actress" directorial debut, as noted by Variety. As THR reported, Pompeo wasn"t at every keen ~ above directing in ~ first. "I have a brand-new baby at home, two various other adorable tiny kids, a husband, 3 dogs, four chickens and a fish," she said, "and ns told Debbie that i couldn"t perhaps be here another minute than I currently am." however Pompeo at some point came roughly to the idea, later on directing another episode, "Old Scars, Future Hearts."

With her work on Grey"s Anatomy, Pompeo is pass the emotion of empowerment onto she daughter, who have the right to visit the show"s collection and "see fierce females in charge," she said in The Hollywood Reporter. Pompeo added, "She loves come sit in the director"s chair with the headphones ~ above yelling "Action" and also "Cut." She"s farming up in an atmosphere where she"s totally comfortable through power. I don"t know any other atmosphere in Hollywood whereby I could carry out that because that her."

Ellen Pompeo and also Chris Ivery space the parental of three children — Stella Luna, born in 2009; Sienna May, born in 2014; and Eli Christopher, born in 2016, follow to Country Living. And top top Pompeo"s Instagram bio, she renders clear what her duty at home is: "Not a real doctor, however a really good fake one. Personal Assistant come Stella Luna, Sienna May, and also Eli Christopher." 

When Pompeo was pregnant throughout filming for Grey"s Anatomy in 2009, and also her character, Meredith Grey, wasn"t an alleged to be pregnant, she was filmed mostly from the neck up. Come accommodate for she maternity leave, a storyline was written that connected her recuperating from donating part of her liver to she estranged father (via Us Weekly). 

Regarding her long-lasting marriage with Ivery, Pompeo defined that the an enig to a solid marriage is acceptance. In Us Weekly"s podcast In case You to let go Us, she shared, "Just don"t shot to change people," adding, "They space who castle are, and they were fine when you married them, therefore don"t expect them to change."

As she told Into the Gloss, Ellen Pompeo usually doesn"t wear makeup once she is not functioning in character on the set of Grey"s Anatomy. "I obtain my makeup excellent at work, but when I"m not functioning I never ever wear makeup, unless I have to go out," she said. "If i go out, I"ll maybe perform a popular music of a lip, or I just do a smoky black eye and little Physicians Formula Mascara since it"s organic." Who requirements a many makeup when you have actually a natural glow!

She further listed that she often tends to prevent using assets like eyeshadow and also blush, and also people at work aid her with "an organic spray tan sometimes." She likewise gets her eyelashes tinted darker, i beg your pardon is "a substantial thing because that"s much less prep time for me in the morning at work," as she said Into the Gloss.

To The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, Ellen Pompeo speak out around having the courage and conviction to ask because that what you deserve. "I"m 48 now, for this reason I"ve finally gotten come the location where I"m OK asking for what ns deserve, i beg your pardon is something that comes only with age." She listed that, while world may not discover her together "relevant" anymore after gift one display for a long time, it takes ability to continuously stay on peak of her acting video game in one role. "But the reality is, anybody can be great on a show season one and two," she said. "Can you be an excellent 14 years later?"

She also highlighted how men may not have any type of issues requesting an ext money for your work, yet women often do. "A male wouldn"t have any type of problem questioning for $600,000 one episode. And as women, we"re like, "Oh, deserve to I ask for that? Is that OK?" together it turn out, that was absolutely OK.

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Towards the end of 2017, she signed a resolve Grey"s Anatomy the made her among television"s highest-paid actresses and also that secured income of $20 million every year.

Given that Ellen Pompeo is the beating love of Grey"s Anatomy, you might be tempted come think the she"s contents to just present up for work, gain it done, and leave. Yet that"s no the case, together Pompeo is passionate about using the display as a to teach tool, working closely with showrunner Krista Vernoff to perform so. "We to be able to have actually a story line that faced a young, undocumented boy not having health insurance," she defined in one interview v Variety in 2020, " to be a story line that Krista and also I felt really thankful to be able to tell."

Pompeo knows that making statements like that can be controversial, yet that simply doesn"t concern her. "I know everybody"s no so crazy about it sometimes — and also whatever, lock don"t have to watch if they"re not crazy about it," she continued. "But to touch top top political worries like this is important." means to use your powers for good, Ellen!