Ellen Kathleen Pompeo (born November 10, 1969) is an American actress, best known for her role as Meredith Grey in the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy (2005–present). In 2007, this role earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama nomination. In film, she appeared in Moonlight Mile (2002), Old School (2003), and Daredevil (2003).
Pompeo began her career with minor roles on television shows such as Strangers with Candy, Friends and Law & Order and others. Pompeo moved to Los Angeles in 2001. She participated in the movie Mambo Café with Thalía. A turning point came when she was selected by director Brad Silberling in 2002 for a role in his film Moonlight Mile playing Jake Gyllenhaal’s sympathetic love interest. In 2002, Pompeo appeared in Catch Me If You Can and in 2003, in Old School. Television guest roles include two episodes of Law & Order and an episode of Friends. She portrayed Jim Carrey’s ex-girlfriend, Naomi, in the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Although her scenes were cut from the film, she felt grateful that director Michel Gondry chose her to appear in his film.
Pompeo landed her first major role in 2005, on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, which is now in its tenth season, as the title character, Meredith Grey, a surgical intern attending at a prestigious hospital. In 2011, she was named the ninth highest paid television actress, earning $7 million. In 2011, she signed a new contract for Grey’s Anatomy that increased her salary to US$200,000 per episode. On May 10, 2012, it was announced that she signed a contract for two more seasons. In 2012, she was named the eighth highest paid television actress, earning $9 million. She has extended her contract for two more years which would have her involved with the show until the 12th season.
On October 13, 2007, Pompeo was honored by the National Italian American Foundation for her achievement in entertainment at a black-tie gala in Washington, D.C. On October 27, 2011, Deadline.com reported that Pompeo had launched her own production company called Calamity Jane which sold its first project to ABC, an untitled show about female agents on the Secretary of State’s security detail.