Kathleen Mary Griffin born November 4, is an American comedian and actress who has starred in television comedy specials and has released comedy albums. She has also appeared in supporting roles in films. Griffin was born in Oak Park, Illinois ; in , she moved to Los Angeles , where she studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and became a member of the improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings. In the s, Griffin began performing as a stand-up comedian and appeared as a guest star on television shows, including the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan — Griffin has released six comedy albums, all of which received Grammy Award nominations. Her first album For Your Consideration made her the first female comedian to debut at the top of the Billboard Top Comedy Albums chart.
Before that, she was a resident at Dillard Medical Center , prior to its closure, who treated Derek Shepherd after his car accident. As a child, Penny moved every two years due to her mother's job. She hated high school, which she attributes to cheerleaders. She put in his chest tube and his thoughts indicated that he liked her, said she was smart. She wanted to order a head CT, but Paul Castello insisted that they didn't have time and they needed to take him into surgery to get his abdominal bleeding under control. While they were on the way to the OR, she made one final plea to get the CT, since he was stable. Paul again declined and they took Derek into surgery and started operating.