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GREY'S ANATOMY: Dr. Miranda Bailey

Miranda Bailey

Played by Chandra Wilson

POSITION: Attending

STRENGTHS: Straightforward; tough; quick-witted.

Bailey's not known for having many weaknesses, although some colleagues think having a baby has made her less of a doctor, something both she and Dr. Webber disagree with.

Miranda Bailey, a graduate of Wellesley College, is currently an attending general surgeon at Seattle Grace - Mercy West Hospital. Previous positions include Chief Resident and also the resident in charge of the five new surgical interns (three of whom are now fifth-year surgical residents). Her colleagues refer to her as "The Nazi" because of her tough personality and blunt attitude.

Although often harsh with her interns, she has been shown to provide both support and advice when they need it; some might say she practices "tough love." She married Tucker Jones circa 1995, but their marriage encountered difficulties in 2007, due to her commitments as both a parent to son "Tuck" and to her career as a surgeon.


In many episodes Miranda Bailey is referred to as "The Nazi" by most of the interns, because of the way she treats them. She has "Rules" which must be followed at all times. For instance, one of the rules is that you do not wake Dr. Bailey unless a patient is dying. If she gets there and the patient isn't dying, be prepared for some serious scut work. But underneath she is a compassionate person. Bailey stayed by Cristina during her pregnancy scare and her initial recovery. She cares about her patients and is a committed surgeon.

SEASON 2 & 3
Her son, William George Bailey, was born during a bomb scare at Seattle Grace while her husband was in surgery with Dr. Derek Shepherd, having crashed his car on the way to the hospital (It's The End Of The World/As We Know It, a two-part episode). George O'Malley helped her through labor, and she thanked him by naming her son William George Bailey (although he is nicknamed "Tuck" for his father).

Through the rest of season 2 into season 3, Bailey was seen adjusting to becoming a parent and reconciling this with her desire to continue her career as a surgeon. Her professional confidence was shaken when Izzie Stevens cut Denny Duquette's LVAD wire and Denny subsequently died after his heart transplant; Bailey felt that she wasn't in control of her interns, and that the incident was ultimately her fault. She was criticized for the events at a Morbidity and Mortality conference in Oh, The Guilt, with one colleague questioning outright her competence at juggling career and motherhood. While her confidence has been somewhat restored since then, she still feels bad about not spending enough time with her son, once making a late-night call to sing "God Bless the Child" to him.

Disillusioned by how little she can help patients as a surgeon, Bailey decided to open a free clinic at Seattle Grace in the middle of season 3. She faced initial difficulties getting support from the attendings, but after talking with the Chief, managed to get their agreement to work there. The Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic has since opened, paid for using part of the $8.7 million bequeathed to Izzie by Denny Duquette, and Bailey is satisfied that the clinic will change people's lives for the better.

She competed for the post of Chief Resident, but in the final episode of Season Three, she found out she lost to Callie Torres. Dr. Richard Webber indicated that she could become Chief of Surgery in a few years' time.

Season 4

In season four, Miranda decided to be Callie's "number two," as Torres was lacking of competence as Chief Resident. The Chief saw Bailey pick up the slack, and delegate exceptionally well, and eventually realized that Miranda was covering for Callie. He terminated Torres from the position, and told Bailey that he made a mistake in not giving her the job in the first place. He also apologized for taking Dr. Bailey for granted. At this, Miranda broke down in tears and hugged the Chief. This is an example of the emotional baggage the "Nazi" carries, and shows one of her very rare emotional moments. During season four Miranda helped save the life of a white supremacist paramedic despite his racist treatment of her.

When closing his stomach after the surgery, she comments to George that the incision will need to be aligned better, thus ruining the patient's large swastika tattoo on his stomach.
During the surgery she declared that she "will not be called the Nazi ever again." Following severe injuries to her son in late season four and several arguments over the state of their marriage, Doctor Bailey and her husband separated because her husband believed that she placed her job at the hospital before her family and that it led to Tucker's injuries. In the finale, she realizes that if she wants to continue with her surgical career, she will not be able to remain in control of the clinic, and so hands over the reins to Izzie Stevens, telling her she has earned it.

Season 5

In season 5, Christina confessed to Bailey and Alex Karev that Izzie had skin cancer, was refusing treatment and begged them to help. Bailey, like all the other residents and interns, was devastated to learn of this and set about helping Izzie recover. Bailey supported Izzie through her first surgery, while her friends failed to adequately do so, and through her cancer treatments. 

Throughout season 5, Dr. Bailey expressed discontentment with the General Surgery program and soon found herself drawn to Pediatric Surgery. Arizona Robbins, a Pediatric surgeon, eagerly encouraged Dr. Bailey to work in Pediatrics, having her work with her on a number of cases, many of which had the opposite effect than was intended and actively discouraged Bailey, as she grew attached to terminally ill children who later died. Chief Webber is unhappy with his mentee Dr. Bailey's decision to leave General Surgery, and discouraged her at every opportunity, giving her an uninspiring letter of recommendation and purchasing a surgical robot to lure her back to General Surgery. Dr. Robbins, however, vows to fight back and shows Dr. Bailey the positive side of Pediatrics, what Dr. Robbins calls "the joy" - when a child lives. 

This deeply moves Bailey, but she tells both the Chief (who has finally accepted Dr. Bailey's choice to move into Pediatrics) and Dr. Robbins that she cannot accept the fellowship in Pediatrics. Although both are shocked and do not understand why she would refuse such an opportunity, she later confides to the Chief that her husband has given her an ultimatum - either refuse the fellowship in Pediatrics or he will divorce her. Dr. Bailey decides that she will leave her husband herself, but as she will now be a single mother, she will be unable to make the commitment to Pediatrics Surgery and so will be remaining in the General Surgery program.

Season 6

In Season 6, Bailey starts as an Attending in General Surgery. She has a relationship with Mercy West anesthesiologist Ben Warren during this season. In the season 6 finale, when facing the gun of Gary Clark, she lies and tells him that she is a nurse to save her life. She then attempts to save the life of Dr. Charles Percy with the help of her patient, Mary Portman. However, when the hospital is on lockdown, she can't get him to an OR due to non-functioning elevators. He dies in her arms telling her to tell Reed (who was killed) that he likes her, and that she (Bailey) was his favorite doctor. In the end, she is shown talking to a police officer asking for someone named Reed.


Season 7

Dr. Bailey is shown immediately leaving Seattle with her son to go home to her parents', unable to tell Ben when she will be back. She later tells the trauma counselor that the day of the shooting was the worst day of her life. Bailey breaks up with Ben, stating that she cannot handle a relationship right now and that she is too busy trying to keep it together after the trauma that happened to her.

Bailey tries to help Cristina Yang return to the OR, telling her that she is free to even observe and that no one will pressure her. The patient she was trapped with on the day of the shooting, Mary Portman, returns to the hospital to receive the surgery she was scheduled to have that day. Despite it being an extremely quick and minor procedure, Mary does not wake after anesthesia and subsequently dies after being taken off life-support. This is a great personal blow to Bailey, and is further devastated by the fact that Mary's autopsy is inconclusive. During this season she starts dating Eli Lloyd, a male nurse at Seattle Grace-Mercy West.

PS: The character of Bailey was intended to be a blonde, white woman. However, Wilson's audition went so well that she was offered the part, and the character was rewritten. Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) was initially looking to audition for the part of Dr. Bailey

Favorite Dr. Bailey quotes

"I was special! I was young, gifted and black, and everybody knew it. Attendings knew it, Chief knew it." - Miranda Bailey
"I am so right about so many things it would make your head spin." - Miranda Bailey

"I am not your son or daughter. You don't get to pin all your hopes and dreams on me, sir." - Miranda Bailey

Please add your favorite quotes below the post

Dr. Bailey in real life:

Her real name is Chandra Danette Wilson (born August 27, 1969). She was born in Houston, Texas. She started her theater career at the age of five with the Houston-based Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS). Wilson attended Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and went on to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama.

Wilson with her son Michael on the set of grey's anatomy

Wilson and her husband have three children; daughters Serena and Joy were born in 1995 and 1998, respectively, and son Michael was born on October 31, 2005. Her eldest daughter also attended a KIPP school in New York.

Wilson with her daughters

Wilson's first regular network TV role was in the short-lived series Bob Patterson (2001), a post-Seinfeld vehicle for Jason Alexander. She also appeared on Law & Order SVU, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos, and had a small role in Lone Star (1996). Wilson also had career in theater, where she played Bonna Willis in The Good Times Are Killing Me, and was featured in the Tony-nominated musical Caroline, or Change. Wilson is an accomplished singer, and has sung in several productions.

Wilson worked as a temp at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown where she made presentations for the investment banking units. She worked at the Banker's Trust location on 130 Liberty Street, right across the street from the South Tower of the World Trade Center through 9-11 when that building was lost to the terrorist attacks. Wilson was still working at a bank when she auditioned for the Grey's Anatomy pilot.

She was cast as Miranda Bailey, a role initially envisioned as a blond Caucasian woman The show became a success. Wilson was nominated in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama. She was nominated and won the Screen Actors Guild Award in 2007 for Outstanding Female Actor in a Drama Series; she also won a SAG Award as part of the Grey's Anatomy cast, which won Best Ensemble in a Drama Series.

Wilson made her television directing debut with the episode "Give Peace a Chance", the 7th episode in season 6 of Grey's Anatomy. She also directed episode 17, "Push", of the same season and the fifth episode of season 7, "Almost Grown".