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Grey’s Anatomy: 20 Surprising Facts About Ellen Pompeo

Let’s get to know Ellen Pompeo of Grey’s Anatomy a little better!

By Emily_X Published Dec 22, 2019
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Since 2005, Ellen Pompeo has been on our tv screens portraying the talented, if not slightly emotionally damaged, Meredith Grey. While not even Shonda Rhimes herself could have imagined how big of a success Grey’s Anatomy would be back then, here we all are 16 seasons later, still sitting on the edge of our seats waiting to see what Meredith’s got planned next.

Instead of focusing on our beloved Meredith Grey in this article, we will be going through 20 surprising facts about the actress who plays her. While we all basically know everything there is to know about her on-screen character at this point, there’s still is quite a bit to learn about the extremely talented Ellen Pompeo. She is notoriously private, but we’ve still managed to dig up some interesting facts about her life. Scalpels down everyone, we won’t be needing them for this one! Who’s ready to start scrolling?

20 She Lost Her Mother At A Very Young Age

While many know what happened to Ellis Grey (Meredith’s on-screen mother), not everyone is aware of the real life struggle Ellen Pompeo had to deal with when she was only 5 years old. When she was just a girl, Ellen’s mother passed away due to an overdose. He father was quick to remarry, though we are sure the incident had lasting effects on Ellen and her siblings.

19 She Was On Law & Order . More Than Once

What is it about up Law & Order that attracts all of the best up and coming stars? There has to be other programs out there who need one-off characters, no? Regardless, Ellen Pompeo chose the traditional route by portraying two different characters in two different episodes of Law & Order.

18 She Was Born And Raised In Boston

Forget Seattle, Ellen Pompeo is a born and raised Boston girl! Even though she left her hometown to pursue various lines of work, Pompeo still has a ton of family back in Everett, Maschussetts. While appearing on an episode of Ellen, the actress talked about how close some of her family actually was to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

17 She Needs To Get A Good Sweat In Every Day

In an interview, the Grey’s Anatomy star talked about her daily routine and we gotta say, it’s a lot more dedicated than most. “I wake up at 5:30 every day, and I go down to the treadmill. I’ll have my alkaline water and my coffee, and I take my coffee right down to the treadmill and I get on. I have to get my blood circulating and sweat every day”. You go girl!

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16 She Had An Awkward Moment With Jake Gyllenhaal Before He Was Famous

In a press conference, Pompeo spilled the bean on what went down between her and her Moonlight Mile co-star. When she was 33 and Jake Gyllenhaal was 22, the young stud tried to make a move (pretty unsuccessfully we might add). “We sort of bumped into each other. He told me I was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.”. Not the worst pickup line we’ve ever heard, though he didn’t land the girl.

15 She Has Asthma

Like many people, Ellen Pompeo suffers from asthma. While it’s easy enough to manage, it’s still something that has to be considered, especially for a woman who enjoys keeping active as much as Ellen does. We wonder if she ever picked up any useful asthma tips while wandering around Seattle Grace.

14 She Met Her Husband At A Grocery Store

Back in 2003, Ellen Pompeo met her future husband, Chris Ivery. There was no blind date or swiping of any kind involved in their meeting, just a good old fashioned meet-cute. The happy couple actually met at a grocery store! While they became fast friends, it wasn’t until six months later that they finally decided to give dating a try.

13 Her Rate Per Episode Recently Increased To A Whopping $575,000

Ellen Pompeo’s fight for equal pay has been a long one. Over the many years since Grey’s Anatomy first began, Pompeo has talked a lot about her struggle to get producers to pay her what she believed was deserved. Well, her persistence paid off. In 2018, The Hollywood Reporter labelled Ellen “TV’s $20 million Woman” thanks to her pay increase to $575,000 an episode.

12 Meredith Grey Might Be The Last Role She Ever Plays

It seems like Ellen Pompeo might be over the whole acting thing. In an interview, Pompeo stated “I definitely feel myself transitioning. I don’t find acting terribly empowering. I don’t find acting to be a particularly noble way to make a living. I’m not saving anybody’s life, I’m not a teacher, I’m not working for UNICEF. I don’t think I’m some big deal.”.

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11 She Didn’t Even Audition For Grey‘s Anatomy

That’s right Grey’s Anatomy fans, we could have very well had an entirely different lead. In an interview, Pompeo admitted that she didn’t even audition for the show, thinking it was going to be just another silly pilot that never went anywhere. Thankfully, her agent stepped in. “My agent said, “Just do the pilot and make some money—these things never go.” And then 12 years later… yup!”.

10 She Isn’t All That Close To Patrick Dempsey In Real Life

This one is pretty heartbreaking. While there isn’t some big unresolved fued going on between these two on-screen soulmates, they aren’t exactly best buds either. Over the years, there has been many rumors about the two simply not getting along. Ellen has also opened up in the past about Dempsey refusing to negotiate contracts with her, to help on the equal pay front.

9 Before Getting Into Acting, She Was A Bartender In SoHo

Even the biggest stars had to start somewhere, right? Well, before Ellen Pompeo figured out that she wanted to act, she worked as a bartender to pay the bills. While working in the service industry, Pompeo met the right people at the right time. “I was doing my survival job, but I wasn’t really trying to act. I was thinking about trying to get into something more sensible. [Acting] found me.”.

8 She Doesn’t Just Star In Grey’s Anatomy, She’s A Producer Too!

While negotiating her Grey’s Anatomy contract, Pompeo decided to go one step further by involving herself in a new aspect of the series. She decided to take on the role of producer, not only adding to her paycheck, but also giving her a higher ranking on the set in general!

7 Poodle Is Her Breed Of Choice

This one makes a lot of sense. Ellen Pompeo has asthma, as well as some pretty severe allergies. However, a dog lover is a dog lover, and most will do whatever manageable to ensure they have a furrball in their home. Ellen and her family decided that poodles were the way to go. They are hypoallergenic and let’s be honest, they are super adorable!

6 She’s Not Big On Makeup

While Pompeo obviously has to get her makeup done for work, she’s confessed that in her day to day life away from the set, she doesn’t usually touch the stuff. In an interview with IntoTheGloss, Pompeo said “I get my makeup done at work, but when I’m not working, I never wear makeup unless I have to go out.”.

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5 She’s Good Friends With Taylor Swift

Many wouldn’t expect this, but Ellen Pompeo is actually a member of Taylor Swift’s coveted girl gang. Not only does Taylor have a cat named after Pompeo’s famous character, but Ellen herself actually got to play a role in Taylor’s Bad Blood music video. We want to see more Ellen and Taylor!

4 She Comes From A Big Family

Even though Ellen lost her mother when she was very young, she did have quite a few siblings to lean on during those hard times. Ellen is actually the youngest of 6 siblings. All of her brothers and sisters are at least 8 years older than her, so she is definitely considered the baby of the bunch.

3 She’s Got A Thing For Angelina Jolie And Sandra Oh

Ellen was asked once which famous woman she’d make out with given the opportunity. Pompeo’s answer was quick and to the point, “Ooh! Angelina Jolie. She’s gorgeous. Or Sandra Oh.”. Both are great choices and we are sure if they were to be asked the same question, the sentiment would be returned.

2 There Was only 1 Witness At Her Wedding

When talking about her wedding, Pompeo admitted that she didn’t want a huge party or anything extravagant. Instead, she and her hubby had a simple civil ceremony, where they decided to bring only one witness along. New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was their witness of choice.

1 She Has A Net Worth Of $70 Million!

Even though she did come close to passing on her legendary role, it seems like Ellen Pompeo and Meredith Grey were simply meant to be. As of this year, Grey’s Anatomy is on it’s 16th season. Thanks to the hard work Pompeo has put into the series, she’s now got a net worth of about $70 million.

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About The Author

Ellen Pompeo Feet

Emily_X (40 Articles Published)

After spending years watching more TV and movies than what would be considered normal, Elimy found the perfect place to showcase her expertise. Previously a writer for TheQuiz, Elimy’s been thoroughly enjoying her experience writing and editing for several websites this past year.