“These days I have to be extra nice in stores. It never fails that whenever I look as bad as I can possibly look or I am sort of cranky because the store is out of something, that is precisely the time when someone will recognize me and say: ‘I really like your show.’” Lauren Graham
A Lofty, appealing TV and movie actress who stand outs at portraying comic roles with whip-fast dialogue, Lauren Graham is best-known for her portrayal of Lorelai Gilmore, the wisecracking young mother who shares a sisterly acquaintance with her teenaged daughter in The WB’s hit show “Gilmore Girls” (2000-?). For her virtuoso acting, Graham took home a 2001 Family Television Award, as well as earned a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild nominations. A regular on several short-lived shows, including “Good Company” (1996), “Townies” (1996) and “M.O.Y.B” (2000), Graham also landed some notable roles in the mid-to late ‘90s such as recurring roles on the NBC’s “Caroline in the City,” “Law& Order” and “NewsRadio,” and a guest stint in the popular comedy “Seinfeld.”
Graham’s fame, however, has not been limited to television. Kicking off her film career in 1997 with the thriller Nightwatch, the attractive Graham has since dotted her resume with a number of vehicles, including the hit comedy Bad Santa (2003, opposite Billy Bob Thornton). Graham’s admirers should not miss her attractive performance in the upcoming Because I Said So, and Evan Almighty, set for release in 2007.
Off screen, Lauren Graham is Irish Catholic. She owns a production company named Good Game, which she founded in 2003. On a personal front, the brunette beauty is not married and currently resides in West Hollywood, where Gilmore Girls is shot. As for her romantic life, during her senior year at Columbia University, she dated Robert Maschio, but the relationship ended. She was once linked to actor Tate Donovan, and more recently, she is dating actor Marc Blucas. Being asked about guys she goes for, she said, “I wouldn’t pick anybody from ’N Sync. I love Jeff Bridges. I like guys who have some gravity and look like they can ride a horse.”
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of the President of the Chocolate Manufacturer’s Association Lawrence Graham and his ex-wife Donna Grant, Lauren Helen Graham was born on March 16, 1967, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Lauren was left under the guidance of her dad when she was five after her mother departed the family to pursue a singing career in London. Along with her father, Lauren traveled extensively as a child. She spent her early years in Fairfax, Virginia before relocating to Washington D.C, in which her father took a congressional staffer position. Lauren’s father remarried in 1981, with stepmother Karen Graham, from whom she has two half siblings: Maggie and Chris.
While growing up, tomboy Lauren had a passion for riding horse and dreamed of becoming a jockey in the future. But, her height became an impediment (she was to tall). Aside from horse back riding, young Lauren was interested in acting from an early age. She was educated in Langley High School and was a member of the Drill Team which is a blend of Cheerleading and Dance. She then attended Barnard College/Columbia University in New York and received a B.A degree in English in 1988. Moving to Texas, Lauren continued her study at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University, where she graduated with a M.F.A degree in Acting in 1992.
Hawaii-born, Virginia-raised actress Lauren Graham found acting while in elementary school and performed in a number of theatrical presentations throughout high school. She went on to hone in her crafts while attending Barnard College, where she joined the female a capella/comedy troupe the Metronomes. After completing her study, Graham, with a MFA degree in acting on her pocket, moved to New York to give acting a try, while also working as a cocktail waitress. While there, she snagged an agent and took part in a few stage productions before finally making her way to Los Angeles to find more work.
Arriving in Hollywood in 1995, Graham soon broke to television when she was cast opposite Lea Thompson in the recurring role of Shelley, the lively but deprived lover of artist Richard Karinsky in the first season of NBC’s sitcom “Caroline in the City” (1995-96). After doing a spot on “3rd Rock from the Sun” (1996), she progressed to a series regular with roles in the short-lived CBS sitcom “Good Company” (1996), playing smart copywriter Liz Gibson, and ABC’s momentary comedy “Townies” (1996), in which she was singled out for her talent in settling her character’s fast-talking and unpredictable moods as Denise Garibaldi Callahan, the twentysomething new mom who attempts to get her live-in boyfriend to the altar. The latter series saw her costar with Jenna Elfman, Molly Ringwald, Dion Anderson and Billy Burr.
By year 1997, Graham had branched out to film acting. Making her motion picture debut with a supporting part in the thriller Nightwatch (1997), which starred Patricia Arquette and Ewan McGregor, the actress had her next exposure by landing a larger turn as soap opera performer Tracy in director/actor Sandy Tung’s Confessions of a Sexist Pig (1998). Next up for Graham, she had a supporting role as Renee Zellweger’s best friend in the drama film One True Thing (1998) and costarred as Kristie Sue, the romantic interest of the title character (played by Billy Burke) in Dill Scallion (1999), a mockumentary about the world of country music that featured cameos by Willie Nelson and LeAnn Rimes.
Meanwhile, Graham had a three-episodic guest arc as Lisa Lundquist, a studio executive who pursues Detective Reynaldo Curtis (Benjamin Bratt), in “Law& Order” (1997), a one-line turn as Jerry Seinfeld’s speed-dial-obsessed girlfriend Valerie in the hit comedy “Seinfeld” (1997) and a recurring role as the efficiency specialist Andrea in NBC’s sitcom “NewsRadio” (1997), in which her playful but merciless turn garnered Graham a lot of kudos. In 1998, she returned to TV sitcom with a starring role in the NBC “Conrad Bloom,” playing the ex-girlfriend-turn-best buddy of advertising executive Molly Davenport. Unfortunately, the show, which cast Mark Feuerstein in the title role, was stopped airing by the network after its 13th episode, that same year.
Continuing her work for TV, Graham essayed the starring role of Opal Marie Brown, a high school officer who tries to keep the lid on a defiant niece in the Don Roos-created comedy “M.O.Y.B” (2000). The NBC-aired series, however, was axed after only five episodes due to low ratings. A veteran of short-lived series, Graham’s career gained real impetus when she had a lead role in the WB family drama “Gilmore Girls” (2000-?). As fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore, the thirtysomething mother raising a teen (played by Alexis Bledel), Graham was garnered with several nods during the first two seasons such as two Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Screen (2001 and 2002) and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama (2002).Graham’s impressive portrayal of sardonic and hard-working single mom also won her a 2001 Family Television for Best Actress as well as got her much media exposure. She was even named one of E! Online’s “Hollywood’s Bachelorettes: Sexy and Single” in 2004. As for the show, the Amy Sherman-created has received critical accolades and become one of the most trustworthy ratings-grabbers at WB network.
While enjoying the success on the small screen, Graham kept on busy with other projects. She made her big screen comeback by teaming up with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron in the romance film Sweet November (2001), in which she appeared as Reeves’ girlfriend Angelica. After costarring with Casper Van Dien and Christopher Lloyd in the made-for-TV film Chasing Destiny (2001), she made a cameo appearance as woman at party in the comedy/romance The Third Wheel (2002, starred Luke Wilson, Denise Richards and Ben Affleck) and was memorable as the sex-crazed department store Santa groupie Sue in the Billy Bob Thornton dark comedy hit Bad Santa (2003) for director Terry Zwigoff. Next up were roles in the comedy films Seeing Other People (2004) with Jay Mohr, Julianne Nicholson and Andy Richter, director Chris Hall’s indie Lucky 13 (2005) opposite Brad Hunt, Taryn Manning, Brande Roderick and Harland Williams, Josh Stolberg’s The Life Coach (2005) and the Jeff Bridges and Tim Blake Nelson vehicle The Moguls (2005). Additionally, she stared as a high school principal conflicting with Navy SEAL-turned-government babysitter Vin Diesel in the Adam Shankman-helmed The Pacifier (2005) and took part in a short movie called Gnome (2005).
Away from filmmaking throughout 2006, Graham can add Michael Lehmann’s Because I Said So and the comedy/fantasy Evan Almighty (both 2007) to her imposing film resume. The latter will see Graham sharing the screen with Johnny Simmons and Jimmy Bennett.
- Family Television: Best Actress, Gilmore Girls, 2001