1. Headline
  1. Headline
Carl Shamrock  /  AP
Patrick Dempsey at the Geisha House in Hollywood, Calif., during the complete first season of "Grey's Anatomy" DVD launch.
updated 2/28/2006 6:18:11 PM ET 2006-02-28T23:18:11

“Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey says his childhood wasn’t so McDreamy: He wasn’t diagnosed as being dyslexic until he was 12 years old.

“I think it’s made me who I am today,” says Dempsey, who plays neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit ABC series, in an interview on “The Barbara Walters Special” that airs Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET).

“It’s given me a perspective of — you have to keep working,” Dempsey tells Walters. “I have never given up.”

Dempsey, 40, says he struggles while reading scripts and memorizing his lines.

“I think that’s when I get the most insecure ... it’s very hard for me to read it off the page,” he says. “I need to memorize it, in order to go on.”

Dempsey, now experiencing a career comeback since dropping off Hollywood’s radar screen after his ’80s romantic comedy days, says he was once prone to divalike behavior.

“You can’t have temper tantrums,” he says. “You have to be professional and I don’t think I understood that at the time.”

On “Grey’s Anatomy,” Dempsey’s character is nicknamed “Dr. McDreamy” by the hospital’s female interns, including Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo.

Walters also interviews Matthew McConaughey, George Clooney, an Oscar nominee in multiple categories, and Mariah Carey, on the 25th edition of her Oscar special.

The show, which previously aired before the Oscars show on the East Coast and immediately following the show on the West Coast, was moved back this year to the last night of sweeps and following an original episode of “Lost.”

The Oscars will air Sunday on ABC (8 p.m. ET).

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Katie Tate, Laura Langan Spoerl,

    Why are you thankful this Thanksgiving? Show us! #WhyImThankful

    11/27/2014 1:41:45 PM +00:00 2014-11-27T13:41:45
  1. Black Friday shoppers flock into stores

    video Four out of 10 American shoppers are starting their holiday hunt for bargains today on Black Friday. Videos of crushes in stores are already popping up online. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

    11/28/2014 12:17:55 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T12:17:55
  1. The Tonight Show / YouTube

    Watch Jimmy Fallon, Rashida Jones sing awesome holiday medley

    11/28/2014 12:47:42 PM +00:00 2014-11-28T12:47:42
  1. Help TODAY feed more Americans this holiday season

    Join the TODAY family and Feeding America in putting food on the table for 1 million Americans this holiday season. Every little bit counts!

    11/23/2014 11:58:01 PM +00:00 2014-11-23T23:58:01
  1. Stef Smith

    Fuel up on Black Friday with these 6 quick breakfasts

    11/26/2014 5:34:13 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T17:34:13
  1. Blogging Over Thyme , A Spicy Pe

    8 great recipes for leftover Thanksgiving sides and desserts

    11/26/2014 5:11:02 PM +00:00 2014-11-26T17:11:02