Tessa Ferrer is an American actor, best known for her performance as ‘Dr. Leah Murphy,’ a surgical intern and resident, in 'Grey's Anatomy.' She started her acting career with an award-winning performance in the short film 'Excision' and subsequently appeared in a few more short films and produced one of them. Tessa later made her first appearance in a feature-length movie in 2018 with 'Insidious: The Last Key.' She, however, is more prominent as a television actor and has had a recurring role in series such as 'Extant,' 'You're the Worst,' and 'Catch-22.' Apart from 'Grey’s Anatomy,' Tessa earned fame on television with her performance in 'Mr. Mercedes,' too.
Childhood & Early Life
Tessa was born Tessa Rose Ferrer on March 30, 1986, in Los Angeles, California, to singer, author, and actor Debby Boone and her husband, Gabriel Ferrer. She has three siblings; a brother, Jordan (born 1980), and fraternal twins, Gabrielle and Dustin (born 1983).
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Tessa began her acting career in 2008, with the short film 'Excision' in which she played the character of ‘Pauline’ and won awards at 'First Run Film Festival' and 'ShockerFest International Film Festival,' both in the best actress category.
In 2009, she was again seen in a short film titled 'Nobody’s Night' as ‘Nora’ and co-starred in the lead with Kristen Correll in 'Red Rare Veins' (2010). She was heard as the sound of a fighting woman in the short 'Ramblin' Round.'
Continuing with her short film spree, Tessa appeared as ‘Jessica’ in 'Modern Mad Men' and ‘Eva’ in 'After the Triumph of Your Birth,' both released in 2012. That year, Tessa transitioned to television. She made her television debut with her breakthrough role of ‘Dr. Leah Murphy’ in the 'ABC' medical drama 'Grey's Anatomy.' Her character was introduced in the ninth season and was promoted to a series regular for the following season in September 2013.
In March 2014, she quit at the end of the season, as her character created discord between ‘Callie’ and ‘Arizona,’ not paving way for an intriguing storyline of the character. She, however, returned as a recurring character in season 13, appearing in a total of 46 episodes in the series.
In between filming for 'Grey's Anatomy,' Tessa had a recurring role (six episodes) as ‘Katie Sparks,’ an astronaut who dies in space under mysterious circumstances, in the ‘CBS’ science fiction drama 'Extant' (2014).
She also appeared in two short films in 2013; as ‘Katrina’ in 'Go for Sisters' and as ‘Jessica Marino’ in 'Abducted.'
In 2015, Tessa had a recurring role (five episodes) as ‘Nina Keune,’ a former ski champion and the owner of her crush Jimmy's (the lead character played by Chris Geere) favorite bar on the second season of single-camera comedy-drama 'You're the Worst.'
Tessa reunited with 'Grey’s Anatomy' creator Shonda Rhimes in 'Toast' (2016), a hybrid comedy pilot for 'ABC' that revolves around a wedding rehearsal dinner and the story unleashes the true side of everyone who raises a toast for the new couple. She was cast as ‘Jules,’ an over-enthusiastic tomboy from Texas, and the lead character Max’s closest friend, who is also his biggest champion and business partner.
In 2018, Tessa was introduced as ‘Cora Babineau,’ the marketing head of a major pharmaceutical corporation in the second season of the crime drama 'Mr. Mercedes.' She played ‘Felix Babineau's wife in the series.
Tessa played the mother of the lead character ‘Elise Rainier’s’ younger version and on-screen abused wife of Josh Stewart as ‘Gerald Rainier’ in the 2018 supernatural horror film 'Insidious: The Last Key.'
In 2018, Tessa became a producer with the 'Boston Film Festival' premiered short film 'The Passing Parade.' She also starred in the film as ‘Errol Larson.’ Tessa also appeared in the role of the short film 'Faery.'
Tessa has a recurring role as ‘Nurse Sue Ann Duckett’ in the satirical dark comedy miniseries 'Catch-22' (2019). Aired on 'Hulu,' the series is based on Joseph Heller's novel of the same name and revolves around ‘Captain John Yossarian (Abbott),’ a World War II U.S. Air Force soldier, and Tessa plays his love interest. In an interview, Tessa said that ‘Catch-22' would daze the audience with its "completely different" portrayal of the story's female characters.
Family & Personal Life
Tessa’s father is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. Both of her parents are related to different well-known Hollywood families. She is the granddaughter of Puerto Rican actor and theatre and film director Jose Ferrer, and American singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.
Her sister, Gabrilelle, also known as Gabi was the production assistant in 2004 short 'Ugly' and co-starred with their mother, Debby, in 'Hug-A-Long Songs' video (1991). The video featured Debby singing and guiding children through stories and games.
Tessa was rumored to date her 'Grey’s Anatomy' co-star, Martin Henderson. The rumor fueled by another rumor that they both had introduced each other to their parents and got their blessings. However, none of the two has revealed anything about their relationship.
Actor and filmmaker George Clooney, who co-directed 'Catch-22,' is Tessa’s first cousin.