Patrick Dempsey stole the hearts of fans as Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy, but these days, fans can’t get enough of the actor when it comes to being a dad. Patrick is such a doting father to his three kids, Talula, Sullivan and Darby, and their rare photos are an indication of how much the star adores his famous family.
The Emmy nominee shares his children with his longtime love, Jillian Fink. Patrick and his wife wed in 1999 and three years later, they welcomed their first child, Talula, in 2002. By the time their daughter was a young child, the couple expanded their family when Jillian gave birth to their twin sons, Sullivan and Darby, in 2007.
As Patrick was adjusting to life as a dad, he was also juggling his role on Grey’s Anatomy, which first premiered in 2005. While once speaking with People, the Enchanted actor recalled the difficulty of balancing his professional work with the responsibilities of having a newborn.
“The first year is really hard,” he shared with the outlet, jokingly adding the challenges never end. “Come to think of it, the first 18 years are extremely difficult.”
Over time, Patrick has learned a lot about raising children. Though fatherhood is filled with plenty of obstacles, the Bridget Jones’s Diary star said the most important thing he’s focused on is being a role model and support system for his youngsters.
“I think with your kids, whatever their passion is, you give your support,” the loving father shared with People. “You give them the opportunity to try what they want to try.”
While Talula, Sullivan and Darby have yet to follow in Patrick’s famous footsteps, the Hollywood hunk said he’d “support” his kids no matter what careers they pursue in the future. Even if the trio do pave paths in showbiz, Patrick knows his kids will always tease him about his A-list status.
“Oh yeah, they make fun of me,” he told Entertainment Tonight in August 2019. “They don’t let me take myself too seriously. I mean, I’m just Dad, so … either you’re ‘Cool Dad’ or not. It depends on where they’re at in their development and age.”
To check out Patrick’s rare family photos through the years, scroll through the gallery below!
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