Fans of the show would know that Patrick Dempsey‘s career-making character Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd was married twice in Grey’s Anatomy. Does it ring true for the actor in real life as well? And if so, who was his first wife?
Patrick Dempsey’s first wife was Rochelle’ Rocky’ Parker, whom the actor met in the production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Later both starred in the movie Can’t Buy Me Love.
It turns out that there is an interesting parallel between Patrick Dempsey and “McDreamy,” his iconic Grey’s character after all. Here’s what we have on the actor-slash-racer’s first wife and their time together.
Who was Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Parker?
Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Parker was an actress who was born on February 26, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were Shirley and Bernard Parker.
Not much is written about Rocky Parker, save for a few write-ups around her marriage with Patrick Dempsey. Her IMDb page is practically empty with just two movie roles listed under her filmography: one as ‘Nurse’ in Night-Flowers (1979) and the other as ‘Receptionist’ in Hell Hath No Fury (2011).
According to some sources, Rocky Parker was active in modeling and theatre productions at the start of her career. She eventually made it to Broadway and then transitioned to films and television thereafter. Rocky Parker also taught acting to help new actors get the right guidance and help they need to grow in the craft.
She was married three times during her lifetime and had three children. Her first marriage was in 1958 with Sheldon Leonard Stein, with whom she had one child (David).
After the breakdown of her first marriage with Stein, Rocky Parker remarried in 1964, to her second husband John Haas. They had one child together, Corey. Unfortunately, their marriage ended from Haas’ untimely death in 1968.
Parker did not remarry again until 1987, to then young actor Patrick Dempsey. Rocky Parker was in a relationship with Nick Ferri before her third marriage. Rocky and Nick had a baby together, Noelle, in 1979.
How did Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker meet?
Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker met in 1984 in the Broadway production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, a play by Neil Simon. Patrick Dempsey played the role of 15-year-old Eugene, while Rocky Parker played his Aunt Blanche.
In real life, Dempsey was eighteen at the time and Parker was forty-four when they met. Patrick was described as an engaging young actor in the production, which is typical of bright-eyed newcomers in the world of acting. Rocky Parker’s natural heart for mentoring young actors during that time was likely their common ground despite their age difference.
Rocky Parker and Patrick Dempsey tied the knot in 1987. Despite their 26-year age gap, the couple stayed married for seven years. They were not only husband and wife–Rocky became Patrick’s acting coach, mentor, and manager as well.
Do Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker have children together?
Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker did not have children together. Patrick was technically stepfather to Rocky’s three children from previous relationships during their marriage.
Why did Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker divorce?
Patrick Dempsey and Rocky Parker’s divorce was officially finalized by April 1994. They were married for seven years.
The divorce was reported to be very messy, with allegations of physical, mental, and even substance abuse. Parker later retracted her 1994 accusations against Dempsey in 2006. Patrick Dempsey never made public comments about the divorce.
How did Rocky Parker die?
Rochelle ‘Rocky’ Parker died in 2014 at 74 years old. She suffered lung and throat cancer towards the end of her life.
Who is Patrick Dempsey married to now?
Patrick Dempsey, after his divorce from Rocky Parker in 1994, later remarried in 1999. His second wife’s name is Jillian Fink, and they remain married as of 2022.
Patrick Dempsey and Jillian Fink started dating in 1994 as they both were getting out of previous relationships. Jillian Fink Dempsey is a celebrity makeup artist who now has founded her makeup line, named after her: Jillian Dempsey.
The couple has three children together: Talula Fyfe, Sullivan Patrick, and Darby Galen. Sullivan and Darby are twin boys who were born in 2007. Talula is the eldest, born in 2002.
Patrick Dempsey, his wife Jillian, and their kids (plus pets) live in Los Angeles, California. The couple reportedly paid $1.9 million for the Venice Beach home, a “micro-compound” that includes the main house, a one-bedroom apartment, and an office.