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Shonda Rhimes

  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
  • Birthday: January 13

Shonda Rhimes is the prolific writer, executive producer and creator of the record-breaking series Grey's Anatomy, as well as its spinoff series Private Practice and the ground-breaking show Scandal. Grey’s Anatomy in its 16th season is now the longest running medical drama in history. Scandal, which recently ended its award-winning 7 season run, introduced audiences to the first black leading lady in a drama in 37 years.

Shonda Rhimes is the prolific writer, executive producer and creator of the record-breaking series Grey's Anatomy, as well as its spinoff series Private Practice and the ground-breaking show Scandal. Grey’s Anatomy in its 16th season is now the longest running medical drama in history. Scandal, which recently ended its award-winning 7 season run, introduced audiences to the first black leading lady in a drama in 37 years. Rhimes’ media company Shondaland produces the series How to Get Away with Murder, for which Oscar and Tony winner Viola Davis became the first woman of color to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama. Shondaland also produces the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff series Station 19. For her collective work on her various shows, Rhimes is the recipient of a Golden Globe for Outstanding Television Drama, the Peabody Award, a Television Producer of the Year award by the Producers Guild of America, a Writers Guild Award for Best New Series, a GLAAD Media Award, two Television Academy Honors awards as well as numerous AFI Awards for Television Program of the Year and an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. For six TV seasons, Shondaland shows have occupied every time slot on ABC’s Thursday night schedule, creating a brand well-known to fans and advertisers as TGIT.

Twice included in TIME Magazine’s 100 list of the most influential people as well as Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business," Rhimes has received lifetime achievement awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America. Among many other honors, she is a recipient of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, The Hollywood Reporter’s Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, the Human Rights Council’s Ally for Equality Award and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women’s Rights Award. In May 2017, Planned Parenthood awarded Rhimes the first ever Champion of Change Award for her commitment to issues of gender, sex, sexuality, and race. Internationally, Ms. Rhimes received the MIPCOM 2016 Personality of the Year Award as well as the International Emmy Founders Award for her contributions to the quality of global television production. Shonda Rhimes is the first woman to create three television dramas that have achieved the 100 episode milestone. She has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame and to the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

<--break->In 2017, Rhimes shifted television’s business model when she left traditional network tv in an unprecedented agreement to produce content exclusively for a streaming media company. Shondaland’s first Netflix slate of programming was announced July 2018.

Rhimes’ influence extends beyond entertainment. Currently, she serves as Creative Director to Dove’s #RealBeauty campaign which challenges standards of beauty. She partnered with Pilot Pen to award the G2 Overachievers Grant to enhance the reach of ordinary community heroes. In November 2015, Rhimes released her first book Year of Yes from Simon & Schuster. The book, which candidly chronicles her moving and humorous attempts to come out of her shell by saying “yes” to everything that scares her, was an instant New York Times bestseller. Her Masterclass.com course on television writing continues to be a best seller. In 2017, she launched Shondaland.com, a digital storytelling platform focused on life not lifestyle. Rhimes was honored to create the high-profile biopic on Secretary Hillary Clinton that officially introduced Clinton as the Presidential candidate at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

In 2016, Rhimes formed The Rhimes Family Foundation whose mission is to support arts, education, and activism. The foundation proudly funded The Rhimes Family Visual Arts Gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. It also supports the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, the Obama Foundation and The IAMA Theater Company. Ms. Rhimes serves on the boards of several non- profit organizations  including Humanitas, the American Film Institute, Beyond 12, Planned Parenthood. She is one of the many founders of Time’s Up. In addition, Rhimes is on the Television Academy Executive Committee, the USC Film Council, the Obama Foundation Storytelling Committee and the Writers Guild Inclusion Committee. In 2013, Rhimes was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Kennedy Center trustee.

Rhimes holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from the USC School of Cinema-Television. She’s also received honorary PhDs from both institutions. The child of educators, Rhimes blames her parents for her rampant addiction to books. She was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL, and now resides in Los Angeles with her three daughters.

Shonda Rhimes was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes

Photo credit: 
Jay Goldman

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AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

3 Nominations No Emmys 1 Honor

Hall of Fame - 2017

  • Winner
  • Shonda Rhimes, as Honoree

Outstanding Drama Series - 2007

  • Nominee
  • Shonda Rhimes, Executive Producer
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • ABC
  • ABC Studios

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - 2006

Outstanding Drama Series - 2006

  • Nominee
  • Shonda Rhimes, Executive Producer
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • ABC
  • ABC Studios

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