LYNN ELBER and DARREN DEVLYN
PATRICK Dempsey has a message for casting directors who have stopped offering him work in television and film productions — he’s not dead.
Dempsey, the star of Grey’s Anatomy, has had a jab at rumours suggesting he had died in a car accident.
Dempsey, 46, an avid car racer, became the latest celebrity to be killed off in a sick online hoax when ‘‘ R.I.P. Patrick Dempsey’’ became a trending topic on social networking site Twitter.
The actor responded to the sick joke by writing, ‘‘ Hi, I am back from the dead!"
Perhaps the rumours were prompted by Dempsey’s recent campaign to promote his passion for motor sport.
He is producing a new documentary series, Road to Le Mans, a four-parter about his competition in the venerable French race.
Dempsey, who has a professional auto racing team based in Georgia, will be both owner and driver at the 24-hour endurance race in June.
Road to Le Mans, set to air in mid-2013, will explore his team’s preparation for the event, including sponsor acquisition, training and time trials, and the race itself.
Dempsey and his Mazda racing team have gained increasing credibility. Even with commitments to his day job that limit his ability to compete, Dempsey’s posted top 10 finishes, including a careerbest third last year with his teammates at the Rolex 24 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
His love of the sport is based on elements including its physical and mental challenges and something hard to find in Hollywood: ‘‘ Control of your own destiny,’’ Dempsey says. The result also is definitive.
‘‘ In racing, either you’re fast and you’re the first one across the line, or you’re not,’’ he says.
He’s also set to star in the feature film, The Art of Racing in the Rain.
‘‘ It’s the material for me that’s going to generate the most passion,’’ he says.
‘‘ With Grey’s, after eight years, there’s very little left to explore and you’re pretty much on autopilot.’’
It sounds as if he’s ready to call it quits on the medical drama.
‘‘ Nothing has been resolved, either to end or continue,’’ he says. Grey’s Anatomy, Channel 7, Thursday, 8.30pm Road movie: Patrick Dempsey is using his interest in motor sport to make a new documentary.