Shonda Rhimes: Keeping a low profile in Hancock Park

| August 1, 2019 | 0 Comments


Shonda Rhimes is a high-profile writer, producer and author who keeps a low profile in Hancock Park. Born and raised outside of Chicago, Rhimes moved to the neighborhood more than 15 years ago.

“Maybe I have just been a quiet neighbor!” Rhimes said in an e-mail. “I lived in two different houses in the area — one above Third St. and one below. I’d been living in Beachwood.”

Rhimes is the showrunner of “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running TV medical drama (headed into its 16th season), as well as its spinoff series, “Private Practice.” She also created the political thriller, “Scandal,” which wrapped up its seventh season this spring.

Shondaland, her media company, produced “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Station 19.” In July 2018, Netflix and Shondaland announced eight collaborative projects being produced exclusively for Netflix members.
Proximity to production companies is one of the reasons Rhimes said she moved to Hancock Park. She resides in the neighborhood with her three daughters.

“We are close to the studios, more diverse than any of the neighborhoods on the Westside and have easy access to all of the artistic events downtown and at the museums,” Rhimes said. “I call it ‘determined Bohemianism’ to my friends.”

Among other awards, Rhimes has received a Golden Globe, Peabody Award and two Television Academy Honors awards. She has lifetime achievement awards from the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.

Rhimes said she chose not to acknowledge barriers.

“My parents raised me to look at what other people see as obstacles and define them as challenges,” Rhimes said. “So I never felt there was much to overcome. Any biases against me are the problem of the biased.”

When she is not working on her media projects, she spends time in part serving the greater community. In 2016, she created a philanthropical foundation, The Rhimes Family Foundation, which has since funded The Rhimes Family Visual Arts Gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Rhimes serves on the boards of nonprofits, including Humanitas, the American Film Institute, Beyond 12 and Planned Parenthood.

She teaches others how to write for television through her bestseller course. Rhimes’ career extended to memoir / self-help books in November 2015 with her “New York Times” bestseller, “Year of Yes.”

For any kind of storyteller, Rhimes has one recommendation.

“My best advice is that a writer is someone who writes,” Rhimes said. “Which means: make writing your steady practice. Write everyday. Write as much as you can. Write all the time.”

By Talia Abrahamson

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Category: People

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