Known for her roles as Jamie Stringer on The Practice and Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy, American actress Jessica Capshaw established a steady acting career on her own when she could have easily capitalized on her family name and connections. Jessica, daughter of film actress Kate Capshaw and stepdaughter of Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg, was exposed to the entertainment business as she was raised primarily by her mother after her divorce with Jessica’s father, Robert Capshaw, a business executive and high school principal, when she was only three years old. Even as a child, Jessica displayed a keen interest for the performing arts. She used to tell herself stories in front of the bathroom mirror and entertain her family by staging short plays during reunions and holiday gatherings.
During her years in Harvard-Westlake High School, Brown University, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, her acting skills were honed as she performed in various stage productions under the schools’ theater arts programs. She also studied under renowned New York acting coach Harold Guskin. Her first big break on television was a series regular spot on the ABC teen comedy Odd Man Out in the Fall of 1999. Although the show didn’t last long on air, Capshaw gained some recognition as a budding actress and won herself roles in popular movies such as Valentine (2001), Minority Report (2002), and View from the Top (2003).
In 2002, Jessica joined the cast of ABC’s long-running legal drama The Practice as a high-strung Harvard graduate who is hired as an associate by the Donnell, Young, Dole, & Frutt law firm after the murder conviction of Lindsay Dole. She was a regular for the show’s penultimate and final seasons. Afterwards, Capshaw became part of the rich and talented cast of the Western action-drama miniseries Into the West (2005). Her other guest appearances on other shows include ones in Bones (2006) and The L Word (2007). During the fifth season of the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Jessica was brought in as the new pediatric surgeon of Seattle Grace, with a chipper attitude and optimistic outlook, who eventually becomes a love interest for Dr. Callie Torres.