Fortunately for everyone, her strength and charm, mixed with plenty of inner vulnerability, turned Dr. McDreamy's cheating wife into a flawed fan favorite.
A native of San Jose, and graduate of the Tucson, Ariz., Catalina Magnet High School (see photo below, left) and the University of Arizona, who once donned a fat suit (below, right) to play Drew Carey's girlfriend, Nicki Fifer, Walsh has certainly come into her own.
The red-headed late bloomer has also found love with Alex Young, a 20th Century Fox executive, whom she plans to marry.
Here are five Kate Walsh fun facts, courtesy of People magazine:
- As a teenager, Kate Walsh's stepfather, a prison psychologist, paid her $5 a page to type psychological profiles of inmates he treated.
- The romantic comedy, The Sweetest Thing, starring Cameron Diaz, was written by Kate Walsh's best friend, Nancy Pimental, who based the film's female characters on the two of them.
- An opera fanatic, Kate overlooked some bizarre antics of a date in the 1990s because he had tickets to the Metropolitan Opera. "I get into the car, and the first thing this guy does is spray me with perfume. I don't even know where it came from. Maybe it belonged to the last woman he killed?"
- Kate Walsh played the lesbian lover of none other than Grey's Anatomy star Sandra Oh in the 2003 comedy-drama, Under the Tuscan Sun.
- Kate Walsh's last job before her star-turning role on Grey's Anatomy was playing a transvestite Las Vegas showgirl named Mimosa on CSI in 2004.