Phenomenal Women

Published on October 29th, 2011 | by thevyne


Woman to Watch: Shonda Rhimes

Follow Her on Twitter: @shondarhimes

Birthday: January 13

Family: Born to a university administrator and college professor as the youngest of six children (three sisters and two brothers).

Education: BA from Dartmouth and a MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television

Hometown: Chicago (read her thoughts on Chicago here)

Occupation: Screenwriter, director, producer, creator of television shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Off the Map.

Family Life: Shonda has one daughter, Harper

Career Path: After graduating from Dartmouth, Shonda Rhimes moved out to San Francisco where she worked in advertising before moving to Los Angeles to eventually start a graduate program at USC. Shonda earned the prestigious Gary Rosenberg Writing Fellowship Award while entering USC to work on her MFA. After receiving her master’s degree she worked as a film screenwriter for several years, penning films including Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (featuring Halle Berry), Crossroads (featuring Britney Spears) and Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Though she achieved great success on the big screen, in 2005 she changed gears to television by premiering Grey’s Anatomy. Audiences found it refreshing to see a medical drama that was the most popular since ER, that was created by an African-American woman and had such a diverse cast and compelling storylines. From Grey’s Anatomy came the spin-off Private Practice in 2007. These two successful shows has allowed her to branch out into even more shows. In 2011 she launched another medical drama, Off the Map (that was unfortunately cancelled) and has several reported upcoming series including Scandal (featuring Kerry Washington), The Circle, Wildwood and Gilded Lillys.

Grey’s Wasn’t the First Show: Before bringing Grey’s to the small screen, Shonda created a show that included a group of young war correspondents. However, the war in Iraq prevented it from ever reaching the air.

The Medical Drama Themes: Shonda was a candy striper while in high school and has a fascination with surgery. She mentioned watching TV shows about surgeries and being so intrigued by them.

Trailblazer: Shonda Rhimes is the first African-American woman to create and executive produce a top-ten network series.

Quotable: “We spend our whole lives worrying about the future, planning for the future, trying to predict the future, as if figuring it out will cushion the blow. But the future is always changing. The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes. But one thing is certain when it finally reveals itself. The future is never the way we imagined it”  ~Shonda Rhimes

Watch Shonda talk about the genesis of Grey’s Anatomy:



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One Response to Woman to Watch: Shonda Rhimes

  1. NikkiB says:

    Love her quote – so true!

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