This ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Was a Model for Calvin Klein

ABC’s hit show Grey’s Anatomy has no shortage of appealing men on the cast. Though McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and McSteamy (Eric Dane) are no longer on the series, actors like Giovanni Giannotti, Jesse Williams, and Chris Carmack have had no problem filling in the blanks.

Another cast member who’s been on the show since its premiere in March 2005 started out as a model before hitting the screen on the medical drama.

Cast members of "Grey's Anatomy"
“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Justin Chambers, Kevin McKidd, Jesse Williams, and James Pickens Jr. | Mitch Haaseth/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Before ‘Grey’s’

Actor Justin Chambers, who plays Dr. Alex Karev, was originally discovered by an agent while on vacation in Paris, according to IMDb. He then landed modeling gigs for top designers including Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. Chambers then went to New York where he studied acting, earning him parts in off-Broadway plays and a few TV appearances.

Chambers played a recurring role on the soap opera Another World in 1995, then went on to projects working with celebs including Jennifer Garner and Lolita Davidovich. He also starred in The Musketeer as D’Artagnan in 2001, and played Massimo in The Wedding Planner the same year, alongside Jennifer Lopez.

Better luck in love than Alex

Fans on Grey’s Anatomy have seen Chambers’ character Alex through a myriad of highs and lows. Viewers may not realize that in real life, Chambers is apparently very grounded – he has been married to his wife Keisha since 1993.  The two met while Chambers was modeling for Calvin Klein, and Keisha was working as a model agency booker.

“We’ve been together for so long that I really don’t know any other way to be. I can remember lying in bed with her years ago and having conversations about our grandparents — and now our grandparents are gone. We’ve gone through that together, and now our parents are getting older and we’re going through that together,” he told Good Housekeeping in 2007. “Every relationship has its ups and downs, but I’m glad I get to go through the ups and downs with her. I just feel really fortunate to have found someone who will be my partner on this journey.”

Father of five

Alex may not be a dad yet, but Chambers is actually the father of five with Keisha: Isabella (1994), twins Maya and Kaila (1997), Eva (1999), and Jackson (2002). “We didn’t plan on having such a big family, but after our first daughter, we had twins, so it sort of jumped from one to three right away,” the Grey’s Anatomy star told Good Housekeeping. “Our house is sort of like a nightclub: We’ve got loud music and chaos and crowds. But really, we’re pretty laid-back… My wife and I do our best to live a low-key, non-Hollywood kind of life.”

Maybe he chooses to bring the Hollywood aura just to work. His onscreen wife has noted a certain coolness the actor can deliver. “I almost feel like he’s got a Johnny Depp vibe,” Camilla Luddington, who plays his wife Jo, told Cosmopolitan.com last year. “Super cool. Like, [he] will come to the table read, and he’s in his hat and his cool sunglasses. If I did that, I would probably look douchey, but he can pull it off. He just makes everything look cool.”

Now with the Season 16 premiere showing Alex and Jo back on firm footing, fans are hopeful that Alex will start to have a solid home life much like the actor who portrays him.

Watch ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy on Thursdays!