Ellen Kathleen Pompeo (born November 10, 1969) is an American actress, director, and producer. One of the world's highest paid actors since 2017, she has made multiple appearances on the Forbes' year-end lists. Pompeo is also the recipient of such accolades as a Screen Award, a Special Achievement in Entertaining by the National Italian American Foundation, and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award.
Born in Everett, Massachusetts, Pompeo moved to Miami then to New York City, where she was discovered by a casting director who signed her for an advertisement campaign for L'Oreal. She made her screen debut with NBC's legal drama Law & Order and then guest-starred in other television shows, including the comedy Strangers with Candy, the medical drama Strong Medicine and Friends. Pompeo made her feature film debut in 1999 with the romantic comedy Coming Soon, and went on to play minor roles in films like In the Weeds and Mambo Café but found little success initially. A turning point came in her career in 2002, when she gained wide recognition for her starring role in Brad Silberling's drama Moonlight Mile.