How Patrick Dempsey Really Got The Nickname 'McDreamy'

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By ASHLEY NICKELL

Patrick Dempsey made a splash when he debuted on “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Derek Shepherd, famously nicknamed “McDreamy.” Most viewers assume the name comes purely from Dempsey’s good looks, but “McDreamy” actually has a real origin story, as told by “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes.

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Rhimes told Oprah Winfrey, “When we were shooting the pilot, Patrick was seriously the most adorable man we'd ever seen [...] We'd watch the monitor and think, 'Look at his dreamy eyes!' So we started calling him Patrick McDreamy, and it stuck.” In other words, it’s all about his eyes.

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As for how Dempsey feels about being McDreamy, he admitted that “It's going to be there for the rest of my life so I have to accept that as a fact,” but he has no hard feelings about it. Dempsey also revealed a childhood nickname that’s very different from the one he has today.

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Dempsey told “Nightline,” “I was really a small guy growing up and so I was 'the amoeba.' That was my nickname [...] I was a late-bloomer.” For a “late bloomer,” Dempsey certainly hit the jackpot later in life, becoming a teen heartthrob in the ‘80s and ‘90s before making it big on “Grey’s.”

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