Former Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey has gone from actor to athlete, and is preparing to get involved with a legendary car racing event. Recent reports have revealed that the 49-year old will be helping out with the 99th Indanapolis 500.
The actor will serve as honorary starter for the event, waving the green flag that sets the race in motion. The race in question takes place today, May 24. This is not theman formerly known as Derek Shepherd’s first time around the track; back in 2007, he drove the Pace Car at the 91st Indianapolis 500. Last summer, he participated in a Tudor United SportsCar Championship Race by driving on the road course. Indeed, he is known as a passionate racer and avid fan of the sport overall.
J. Douglas Boles, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is ecstatic that Dempsey will be helping out with the start of the race. He made mention of the fact that Dempsey was not only a very famous actor, but also a distinguished racecar driver; therefore, he says, the Maine native is the perfect individual to have been hired to wave the legendary green flag.
Dempsey has been most certainly making the headlines lately, most notably for his dramatic exit from the aforementioned ABC medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. His character, Derek Shepherd, was killed off after being hit by a truck, but it was his departure from the cast behind the scenes that grabbed the most attention. The actor had been noticeably absent from the most recent series for several episodes, prompting the start of a hashtag entitled #WheresDerek on Twitter, one which began to massively trend throughout the nation.
As for why the actor left the show after 11 seasons, there were multiple rumors floating around. One of the main ones centered around the speculation that creator Shonda Rimes had gotten fed up with the actor’s “diva” behavior, and had wanted him out for quite some time. Dempsey himself has attributed leaving the show to his wanting to do other things, and explore a different aspect of his career after focusing on the same thing for so long. He is reportedly looking to get back into movies, in order to add to the collection of casting credits he already has under his belt (Made of Honor, Sweet Home Alabama and Enchanted, to name a few).
Regardless of the reason the actor left the highly coveted television show, Grey’s fans were nothing short of hysterical following his character’s death in the show. Given that he was perhaps the second most key person in the series, this is understandable, but the dedication to bring him back went to the extremes. There were petitions circulating the internet, letters written to Rimes insisting she reinstate his role in the show, and direct tweets and messages to the actor himself begging him to reconsider. None of these efforts have proved useful, however, as Dempsey is still set on his decision to make a path for himself elsewhere. One of the first steps on this path is the Indianapolis 500’s 99th race, where he has turned from actor to athlete.
By Chanel van der Woodsen
Fox59 – Actor Patrick Dempsey to serve as Honorary Starter for 99th Indianapolis 500
MSTAR News – ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Patrick Dempsey Killed Off Due to Diva Behavior After Jillian Fink Divorce