1. In the 1990s, he mostly appeared in smaller roles in film, such as Outbreak , a surprise box office hit.
2. Dempsey, who maintains a sports car and vintage car collection, also enjoys auto racing in his spare time.
3. He has competed in prestigious pro-am events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race, and Ensenada SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race.
4. Prior to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, Dempsey declared that he would “walk away” from acting if he could and dedicate himself full-time to motorsports.
5. Dempsey was born in Lewiston, Maine, and grew up in the nearby towns of Turner and Buckfield.
6. He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School.
7. He told Barbara Walters on her 2008 Oscar special that he thinks dyslexia made him what he is today.
8. His audition was successful, and he spent the following four months touring with the company in Philadelphia.
9. He followed this with another tour, Brighton Beach Memoirs, in the lead role, which was directed by Gene Saks.
10. Dempsey has also made notable appearances in the stage productions of On Golden Pond, with the Maine Acting Company, and as Timmy in a 1990 Off-Broadway revival of The Subject Was Roses co-starring with John Mahoney and Dana Ivey at the Roundabout Theatre in New York.
11. He then co-starred in the third instalment of the comedy classic Meatballs III: Summer Job, alongside Sally Kellerman in 1987.
12. In 1989, Dempsey had the lead role in the films Loverboy with actress Kirstie Alley and Happy Together with actress Helen Slater.
13. Dempsey made a number of featured appearances in television in the 1990s; he was cast several times in pilots that were not picked up for a full season, including lead roles in the TV versions of the films The Player and About A Boy.
14. However he received good reviews as he portrayed real-life mob boss, Meyer Lansky in 1991, when Mobsters was put on the screen.
15. He went on to play the role of Aaron Brooks on Once & Again.
16. Dempsey received an Emmy nomination in 2001 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for the role of Aaron.
17. In 1993, he played a young John F. Kennedy in the two-part TV mini-series JFK: Reckless Youth.
18. In 2004, he co-starred in the highly acclaimed HBO production Iron Jawed Angels, opposite Hilary Swank and Anjelica Huston.
19. He also appeared as special guest star in The Practice for its three-episode finale season .