American television and film actor Eric Dane, born on November 9, 1972, is perhaps best remembered for his character, Dr. Mark Sloan, in the popular television medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy.” He began his acting career in the 1990s in small television roles, but it was his appearance in “Grey’s Anatomy” that became his breakthrough role. After exiting the show, he went on to star in other television shows and films in significant roles. He is also known for supporting organizations working to spread awareness about depression, a condition he has battled himself. Celebrate his birthday with some interesting trivia and insights from his life and career.
Eric William Dane was born in San Francisco, California, on November 9, 1972. He is the elder of two children. His father, William Melvin, was an architect and interior designer, while his mother, Leah Dane, was a homemaker. On his parents’ side, he has English, German, Russian-Jewish, Finnish, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. His father died of gunshot wounds when Dane was seven years old. His mother raised him and his brother in the Jewish faith and he had a bar mitzvah. He attended Sequoia High School in Redwood City, California, and then enrolled at San Mateo High School in San Mateo, California. It was in high school that he became interested in acting and enrolled in drama school.
Dane decided to pursue a full-time career in acting after graduating high school, and his first television role was in “Saved by the Bell,” a small guest part. To pursue more opportunities, he moved to Los Angeles in 1993. Over the next few years, he appeared in small roles in several television shows, including “The Wonder Years” in 1993 and “Married… with Children” in 1995. It was in 1995 that he appeared in his first made-for-television film, “Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.” His first movie appearance came in the 1999 film “The Basket.” He had a recurring role in the medical drama “Gideon’s Crossing” in 2001. However, he first came into the limelight in 2003 when he got cast in the fantasy television show “Charmed” as Jason Dean, appearing in two seasons of the show. His guest appearance in the second season of the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2005 as Dr. Mark Sloan led to him being cast as a regular after viewers responded positively to him. Appearing in subsequent seasons, he earned the name ‘McSteamy,’ his nickname on the show. In 2006, he starred in the television film “Wedding Wars” alongside John Stamos, and in “X-Men: The Last Stand” with Hugh Jackman. This was also the year he starred in his first leading role in the movie “Open Water 2: Adrift.” In 2008, he appeared in the Owen Wilson-film “Marley & Me.” In 2010, he was part of the ensemble movie “Valentine’s Day.” He quit “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2012 at the end of the eighth season and returned for the first two episodes of season nine. In 2014, he headlined the cast for the show “The Last Ship,” which he also co-produced. In 2017, after a battle with depression, he quit “The Last Ship.” In 2019, he joined the Emmy-nominated show “Euphoria.” In 2021, he returned to “Grey’s Anatomy” for a special guest appearance in Season 17. Currently, he is all set to appear in the 2022 movie “National Anthem” with Sidney Sweeney.
Dane became a popular face on television with “Grey’s Anatomy,” and he has built on that fame to become a bankable star. As part of the cast of the show, he earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Drama Series. He is also known for supporting several charitable causes, most notably those concerned with spreading awareness of depression, a condition he suffers from. In 2013, he checked himself into rehab for addiction to painkillers. He is a doting father to his two daughters with his former wife, actress Rebecca Gayheart.
Dane makes his screen debut in a small role in “Saved by the Bell.”
Dane appears in the movie “The Basket,” marking his debut in feature films.
After being cast as a series regular on “Charmed,” Dane comes into the limelight.
After his guest appearance in the second season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” Dane is cast as a series regular from the third season onwards.
Dane stars in his first leading role in the movie “Open Water 2: Adrift.”
Dane is cast as part of the Emmy-nominated show “Euphoria” as the older version of Carl Jacobs, one of the main characters on the show.
Why We Love Eric Dane
He is McSteamy
Dane’s appearance as Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan certainly earned him heartthrob status with fans. His first appearance on the show received an overwhelming response, earning him a place as a series regular.
He talks openly about mental health
Dane has been in a constant battle with depression and openly talks about his struggles. He even supports charity organizations involved in spreading awareness of mental health.
He has struggled a lot
It was after several years of playing small parts that Dane found success in “Grey’s Anatomy.” His success story is an inspiration for people struggling with their careers.
5 Surprising Facts
He likes to cook
When he gets time, Dane likes to cook, and while he can only cook a few dishes, he makes them really well.
He played water polo
Back in school, Dane used to play water polo.
He has interesting hobbies
Apart from traveling, Dane likes to swim.
He used to date Alyssa Milano
Before he met his wife Rebecca Gayheart, Dane briefly dated Milano.
He wasn’t serious about drama school
Dane was not too serious about drama school and only became interested after being chosen for a play.
Eric Dane FAQs
Are Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane friends?
Yes, the former “Grey’s Anatomy” co-stars continue to be friends even today.
Does Eric Dane have a wife?
No, Dane is at present single but he was previously married to actress Rebecca Greyheart until their divorce in 2018.
Did Eric Dane go to rehab?
Yes, in 2011, Dane checked into a rehab facility to overcome his addiction to painkillers.
Eric Dane’s birthday dates