Miranda Bailey

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Miranda Bailey
Grey's Anatomy character
Dr. Miranda Bailey.jpg
The season nine promotional photograph of Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey
First appearance "A Hard Day's Night" (1.01)
March 27, 2005
Created by Shonda Rhimes
Portrayed by Chandra Wilson
Nickname(s) The Nazi
Dr. B
BCB (Booty Call Bailey)
Occupation Chief of Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
Attending General Surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital
Title Chief of Surgery
Family William Bailey (father)
Elena Bailey (mother)
Danielle Bailey (sister, deceased)
Spouse(s) Tucker Jones (divorced)
Ben Warren
Significant other(s) Eli Lloyd
Children William George "Tucker" Bailey Jones[1]
Religion Christianity

Miranda Bailey, is a fictional character from the medical drama television series Grey's Anatomy. The character was created by series creator and producer Shonda Rhimes, and has been portrayed by actress Chandra Wilson since the show's inception in 2005. Wilson has reprised her role in the spin-off series Private Practice and Station 19.

Introduced as a resident in general surgery at Seattle Grace Hospital, Bailey works her way up to the attending physician level, and is eventually named Chief of Surgery. Her relationship with the five surgical interns she is in charge of - Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) - is a focal point at the beginning of the series.


Miranda Bailey married Tucker Jones in 1995 and is a Wellesley College graduate.

She is introduced to the interns as "The Nazi" in the first season premiere because of her tough personality and blunt attitude. When she was still a resident, Webber once pointed out that she disliked nearly every attending she worked under; the attendings take her seriously due to her formidable reputation as an excellent surgeon. Off the bat she tells her interns to "not bother sucking up cause I already hate you and that's not going to change"; however, Miranda's more motherly and protective side is exhibited, as she is shown to care about not only her patients, but also her colleagues. She is protective of her interns, as shown when she warns Derek to stay away from Meredith. Miranda stays beside Cristina's side as she recovers from surgery. It is later revealed that she has been married to her husband Tucker Jones (Cress Williams) for ten years and that she is pregnant. Her son is born during a bomb scare at Seattle Grace while her husband is being treated in surgery for injuries from a car crash. George O'Malley helped her through labor, and she thanked him by naming her son William George Bailey Jones (though he is nicknamed "Tuck").

Bailey adjusts to becoming a parent and reconciling this with her desire to continue her career as a surgeon. Her professional confidence was shaken and questioned by other surgeons when Izzie Stevens cut Denny Duquette's LVAD wire and Denny subsequently died. Christina kept Burke's secret about his disabled hand, and Bailey felt that she wasn't in control of her interns, and that she was ultimately responsible for these incidents. Dr. Richard Webber, Chief of Surgery, comforts her saying "You raised them like babies, and some of them turn out just like you". Disillusioned by how little she can help patients as a surgeon, Bailey pushes to open a free clinic at Seattle Grace. Izzie helps pay for it from a multi-million dollar bequest from Denny Duquette, whom she had loved. Bailey loses the post of Chief Resident to Callie Torres.

Bailey decides to back up Torres, which the Chief observes. He says that he made a mistake in not choosing Bailey in the first place. 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. Following severe injuries to her son and several arguments over the state of their marriage, Dr. Bailey and her husband separated. Realizing that she cannot perform surgery and direct the clinic, Bailey chooses Izzie Stevens for the position. She has shown both commitment and talent for it.

After watching the residents fight after the chance to do a solo surgery, Bailey realizes that she has become somewhat bored with General Surgery and may need a change of specialty. She became drawn to Pediatric surgery after working on a number of pediatric case and working closely with, (and having many arguments with), Arizona Robbins, a pediatric surgeon. Chief Webber is unhappy with 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. Ultimately, Bailey decided to continue to pursue her career in General Surgery because she had a fight with her husband who said that if she accepted a position as a Peds fellow, he would divorce her. She decides to go through with the divorce and states there will be no time to start a new specialty as a single-mom. Additionally, Bailey supports Stevens through her rounds of chemo and cancer treatments.

After declining a fellowship in Pediatrics, Bailey starts as an Attending in General Surgery. Bailey is so deeply saddened by the news of George's death and Izzie's near-death that she realizes that she is caring about them like her own children. She begins a relationship with the anesthesiologist from Mercy West, Ben Warren. A gunman enters the hospital, believing that the staff had failed his wife. He shoots several people, including resident Charles Percy, whom Bailey is unable to save because the elevators are shut down during the crisis and she can't get him to an OR. She grows close with a patient, Mary Portman, when she fights to save Charles' life. Charles dies in Miranda's lap. As Miranda comforts him, Charles says, "You [Bailey] were always my favorite, I thought you should know".

Distraught by these experiences, Bailey takes time off to visit her parents with her son. On her return, she breaks up with Ben. Mary Portman returns for her surgery, which appears to go well, but she does not wake up. They cannot discover what caused her death. Miranda starts on a quest to cure fistulas and encounters a nurse, Eli, whom she starts dating.

Bailey is offended when Meredith violates the rules of the Alzheimer's clinical trial in order to help the Chief's wife. She berates Meredith; the Chief resigns as head of surgery because of Meredith's action. Bailey resumes control of Ellis Grey's Diabetes trial, and Webber pushes her to forgive Meredith and choose her as staff for the trial. Bailey forgives Meredith. She breaks off her relationship with Eli, not wanting to pursue it further, and renews her relationships with Ben the anesthesiologist. She eventually moves in with him, but he gains a surgical internship in California.

They become engaged nonetheless, and new interns at SGMW refer to her as BCB ("Booty Call Bailey"): whenever Ben is in town she is giddy and has sex with him as much as possible. On the way to her wedding, Bailey is pulled in to perform surgery on Richard's wife, Adele. After saving Adele, she returns to the venue and marries Ben. She launches a genome mapping program, and Meredith is the first one to test it. An investigation of Bailey takes place after three of her patients contracted an infection and died. It concludes that Bailey transmitted the infection via permeable gloves, a new brand that the hospital started using.

Following that incident, Bailey shuts everyone out for some time, because she feels that she is dirty and contaminated. She blamed Dr. Webber the most for abandoning her and avoids him altogether. Eventually, her husband, Ben, flies to Seattle to get her out of the genome lab. In the first part of the season finale, Bailey returns to work but does not go into the surgical OR. Eventually, with Dr. Webber's stern push, she decides to be on the OR rotation for the upcoming storm along with her intern, Shane Ross.

Webber suffers electrical injuries and Bailey takes him as a patient. Bailey's husband Ben returns for Halloween and says that he has dropped out of residency to spend more time with her and Tuck. Bailey is not impressed by this decision, and starts exhibiting some odd behaviors. Ben suggests that Bailey might have developed OCD after what happened with the CDC investigation.

Dr Bailey gets very upset when Ben shows interest as a Fire Fighter, after the Fire Incident when Dr Edwards sets fire in Grey Sloan Memorial to defend her from the Rapist (Rings of Fire). He claims to give him "The Rush".

Later that season, Miranda Bailey gets hospitalized due to a heart attack.


Casting and creation[edit]

Shonda Rhimes intended the character of Bailey to be a tiny blonde with curls as "it would be unexpected to have this sweet-looking person open her mouth and say tough things." However, Wilson's audition went so well that she was offered the part, and the character was rewritten.[2] Sandra Oh was initially looking to audition for the part of Dr. Bailey.[3] Of her role, Wilson said: "I thought it was endearing; endearing as the word 'Nazi' can be."[4] Wilson explained how she plays Bailey:


Bailey has been characterized as "straightforward", "tough", and "quick-witted" by Grey's Anatomy executives.[6] Reflecting on her character, Chandra Wilson said: "I think a strength and a weakness for her is her ego. The strength part is great because it really does make her a really good physician. She's really good at her job and she continues to evolve and she continues to look at ways to be 'value added' at the hospital and is incredibly independent. That independence has certainly gotten in the way of her personal relationships. It's gotten in the way of her being a team player on many occasions."[7]


USA Today TV critic wrote in 2006 that Emmy voters could consider Chandra Wilson because she adds "warmth and humor to Bailey without making her go all squishy."[8] Reviewing the show's fourth season, Patrick Luce of Monsters and Critics found Bailey "one of the most interesting characters to watch" as "she had to deal with losing a promotion to Sara Ramírez’s Dr. Torres; her own marriage trouble; and the continued stress of balancing being a mom and being a doctor." He also appreciated the fact that people got to see "a softer side" of her while she kept "all the biting satire and sarcasm that made the character great."[9] Shawna Malcom of the Los Angeles Times deemed Bailey and Sam her favorite pairing of the Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice crossover, praising: "The grief he gave her about becoming a pediatric surgeon … the grief she gave him for letting ex-wife Naomi go and wind up in the arms of Archer … the fist bump. I say again, the fist bump! Together, Chandra Wilson and Taye Diggs are hilarious and touching and all sorts of fabulous. Here’s hoping this isn’t the last we ever see of this unexpectedly dynamic duo."[10] Fellow Los Angeles Times critic, Carina MacKenzie, welcomed Bailey's "flirtation" with Ben (Jason George) because it was "nice to see her fun, flirty side" presented with a bit of humor after the deterioration of her relationship with Tucker.[11] Margaret Lyons of New York Magazine was happy with the evolution of Bailey and Torres' friendship in the first half of the ninth season, calling it "the one bright spot": "They joke, they tease each other, they offer sage love advice to one another, now that they're both on their second marriages."[12] Entertainment Weekly included Bailey in its list of the "30 Great TV Doctors and Nurses".[13] AOL TV named her one of the 100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters.[14]

Chandra Wilson has received multiple nominations for her portrayal of Dr. Miranda Bailey. She won a 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in the show's third season. She has been nominated each year from 2006 to 2009 at the Emmy Awards for "Supporting Actress in a Drama Series", losing in 2007 to co-star Katherine Heigl in the role of Izzie Stevens for the performance in the episode "Oh, the Guilt". She has also been praised for her performance in Grey's Anatomy at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, receiving three nominations along with the other cast members for "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series" each year from 2006 to 2008, with the 2007 Awards marking a victory.



  1. ^ Season 2, Episode 17 — "As We Know It"
  2. ^ Winfrey, Oprah (December 2006). "Oprah Talks to Shonda Rhimes". O, The Oprah Magazine. Harpo Productions, Inc. p. 5. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Sandra Oh (2007). Grey's Anatomy – Sandra Oh Audition. Paley Center. Event occurs at 0:05–0:15. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ Fogel, Matthew (May 8, 2005). "'Grey's Anatomy' Goes Colorblind". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ McDaniel, Mike (August 10, 2006). "Grey's Anatomy role nets actress an Emmy bid". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) Bio". American Broadcasting Company. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ Samson, Janalen (April 25, 2013). "'Grey's Anatomy' Exclusive Interview: Chandra Wilson Says Bailey 'Didn't Do Anything Wrong'". BuddyTV. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ Bianco, Robert (May 14, 2006). "The cure for bromidic TV: 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'House'". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ Luce, Patrick (September 14, 2008). "Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Fourth Season (Expanded) – DVD Review". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved June 20, 2012. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Malcom, Shawna (February 13, 2009). "'Grey's Anatomy': Crossing over at Seattle Grace". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  11. ^ MacKenzie, Carina (March 12, 2010). "'Grey's Anatomy': Love is in the air for Bailey". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ Lyons, Margaret (January 23, 2013). "Now That Private Practice Is Over, Addison Should Go Back to Grey's Anatomy". New York. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Wilkinson, Amy (June 15, 2009). "Paging Dr. Feelgood: 30 Great TV Doctors and Nurses". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ Potts, Kim (March 2, 2011). "100 Most Memorable Female TV Characters". AOL TV. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 


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