Kathleen Erin "Kate" Walsh (born October 13, 1967) is an American film and television actress, currently known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on the ABC dramas Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice.
Walsh was born in San Jose, California and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. Her father, was Irish, being a native of Navan in County Meath, Ireland, and her maternal grandfather came from Italy. Her mother Angela lives in Nevada and Walsh has four older siblings. She has two sisters and two brothers, Sean and Joe, who are film-makers. Walsh studied at the University of Arizona for a while, where she got involved in regional theater. She now lives in Los Angeles. She was raised Roman Catholic.
Before modelling she worked at Burger King and Dairy Queen. Walsh began as a model in Japan in the 1980s where she also taught English . Later she moved to Chicago and worked with the Piven Theatre Workshop. She also performed on National Public Radio in the production of the radio play Born Guilty. Walsh later moved to New York City and joined the comedy troupe Burn Manhattan on June 27, 1987, performing in a number of Off-Broadway plays.