Heather Graham

Heather Graham

Birth name: Heather Joan Graham
Born: January 29, 1970
Age: 54
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
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Heather Joan Graham (born January 29, 1970) is an American actress. After appearing in television commercials, her first starring role in a feature film came in 1988 with the teen comedy License to Drive, followed by her breakthrough role in Gus Van Sant's critically acclaimed 1989 film Drugstore Cowboy. She then played supporting roles in films such as Shout (1991), Diggstown (1992), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Swingers (1996) and in the television series Twin Peaks (1991) and its prequel film Fire Walk with Me (1992), before gaining critical praise in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997) as porn starlet Brandi / Rollergirl. In 1999, she co-starred in Bowfinger and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.

In the 2000s, Graham starred in films Committed (2000), Say It Isn't So (2001), Mary (2005), Gray Matters (2007), The Hangover (2009) and The Hangover Part III (2013). She also had a role in the television series Scrubs in 2004, before playing the title character in the short-lived series Emily's Reasons Why Not in 2006. Widely regarded as a sex symbol, she often appears in magazines' lists of "Most Beautiful" and "Sexiest" women. Graham is a public advocate for Children International, and supported the climate change campaign Global Cool in 2007.


Early life

Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the older of two children. Her family is of "three-quarters Irish" descent, with her father's side from County Cork. Her younger sister, Aimee Graham, is also an actress, and writer. Their mother, Joan (née Bransfield), is a teacher and author of children's books. Their father, James Graham, is a retired FBI agent. The girls were raised with traditional Catholic values. Her family relocated repeatedly before moving to Agoura Hills, California, when she was 9-years-old. She was introduced to acting during a school production of The Wizard of Oz.

After high school, Graham enrolled in extension classes at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where she studied English for two years. Graham withdrew from UCLA to pursue acting full-time, despite her parents' objections.


Early work (1984-88)

Graham's first film appearance was an uncredited cameo in Mrs. Soffel (1984). Her first credited film appearance was in the television film Student Exchange. In 1986, she appeared on a special "Teen Week" episode of the NBC game show Scrabble. Then she appeared in numerous television commercials, and an episode of the sitcom Growing Pains in 1987. Her first high-profile starring role came in the 1988 Corey Haim/Corey Feldman vehicle License to Drive, as a popular girl named Mercedes Lane, who serves as the love interest of Haim's character. Her efforts won her a Young Artist Award nomination in the Best Young Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Fantasy category. Her strict parents forbade her to accept a role in the black comedy Heathers (1988), which had an expletive-rich script. The same year she had an uncredited appearance as Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger's mother in Twins (during the laboratory conception flashback).

From Drugstore Cowboy to Swingers (1989-1996)

In 1989, Graham was featured in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy as Nadine, a young drug-addicted friend of the two main characters (played by Matt Dillon and Kelly Lynch). Her performance gave her career an initial boost and earned her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress. She rejected a steady role in a TV soap opera and a three-picture deal with a major studio because she thought it would be too restrictive. After Drugstore Cowboy she appeared in Lawrence Kasdan's dark comedy I Love You to Death (1990), alongside William Hurt and Keanu Reeves and the rock-and-roll coming-of-age film Shout (1991), for which she received a nomination for the Young Artist Award for Best Actress Starring in a Motion Picture.

After co-starring with Benicio Del Toro in a Calvin Klein commercial directed by David Lynch, the director cast her as Annie Blackburn in Twin Peaks, where she appeared in the final six episodes. Following the show's cancellation, Graham reprised the role of Blackburn in the 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

She featured in Diggstown (1992), alongside James Woods; the well-received Six Degrees of Separation (1993), alongside Will Smith; and The Ballad of Little Jo (1993), alongside Ian McKellen before re-teaming with Gus Van Sant for the critically panned film adaption of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, alongside Uma Thurman. The same year she co-starred as Mary Kennedy Parker in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. In 1995 she starred as Jackie in the poorly received Desert Winds and guest-starred in an episode of the television series Fallen Angels. She had a small but important role in Swingers (1996), where she played Lorraine, Jon Favreau's love interest. She also played a small role as Maggie Bowen in "Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story" (1996).

Wider industry and public recognition (1997-2003)

Graham's popularity significantly increased after she appeared as Brandi, a young porn star, nicknamed Rollergirl, in Paul Thomas Anderson's critically acclaimed, award-winning Boogie Nights (1997). The cast received a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. The same year she also starred in the Gregg Araki film Nowhere, and had a cameo in the horror hit Scream 2. She was subsequently cast in Two Girls and a Guy (1998), a film mainly based upon dialogue between the characters which was shot in 11 days, which co-starred Robert Downey Jr. and Natasha Gregson; and the sci-fi film Lost in Space, which was met with mostly negative reviews and bombed at the box-office, making only $69,117,629 when its production budget was $80million. The cast was signed on for sequels that have not yet been made.

She starred as Felicity Shagwell in the 1999 sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, which was a box-office hit. Shagwell is one of her best-known roles and became a fan favorite. Her turn as Shagwell also earned her a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Actress. She appeared in the music video for Lenny Kravitz's cover of "American Woman". Also in 1999, Graham co-starred as Daisy in the movie Bowfinger, opposite Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy.

The 2000 film Committed was her first starring vehicle. She played Joline, a devoted-beyond-reason young wife looking for the husband who left her. While the film itself received mixed-to-negative reviews, critics felt that "Graham shows she can play a central character" but noted "she's not enough to make Committed successful". The following year she co-starred as Annie Matthews, an unhappily married woman, in Edward Burns' Sidewalks of New York. In 2003, she starred with Joseph Fiennes in Chen Kaige's English-language debut film Killing Me Softly, which received overwhelmingly negative response from critics and a 0% at Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus being: "Respected director Chen Kaige's first English-language film is a spectacularly misguided erotic thriller, with ludicrous plot twists and cringe-worthy dialogue". In 2009, the site also rated it No. 12 on the countdown of the worst films over the last ten years.

Graham's other appearances in mainstream roles include playing Mary Kelly in the 2001 film From Hell, based on the story of Jack the Ripper, Anger Management (2003), with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, the Farrelly Brothers comedy Say It Isn't So (2001), with Sally Field, The Guru, with Jimi Mistry and Hope Springs (2003) with Colin Firth.

Independent films and television (2004-08)

During this period, Graham starred in the independent films Gray Matters, Broken, Adrift in Manhattan (all 2007) and Miss Conception (2008), which received negative-to-mixed reviews and most of them went largely unnoticed at the box-office. Her 2005 film Mary holds a 63% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, her first "Fresh" film since Bowfinger. The film premiered at the 2005 Venice Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize as well as three smaller awards. The film also played at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, Deauville Film Festival and San Sebastián International Film Festival and co-starred Juliette Binoche, Forest Whitaker, Marion Cotillard and Matthew Modine. In 2006, she co-starred in Bobby as Angela; the film's cast was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

During this period Graham also spoke about developing a comedy film titled The Accidental Virgin which would have focused on "female sexual confusion", telling the story of a woman who hasn't had sex in a year. The film has not been made. She also stated she would be interested in directing in the future if there is "something that, its burning in my mind that I need to do".

On television, Graham played herself in an episode of the TV series Sex and the City. She was given special guest-star status on nine episodes of NBC-TV's Scrubs during its fourth season (2004-2005), and also appeared as George Michael Bluth's ethics teacher in an episode of Fox's television series, Arrested Development in 2004. She played Emily Sanders in Emily's Reasons Why Not, however, the sitcom was canceled after airing only one episode.

The Hangover and after (2009-present)

In 2009, Graham played the stripper with a heart of gold, Jade, in The Hangover, which was released to critical and box office success. She won the role after Lindsay Lohan turned it down. Though she did not return for the sequel The Hangover Part II, she reprised her role in the final installment of the trilogy, The Hangover Part III. In 2010, she starred in Boogie Woogie, followed by roles in the unsuccessful films Father of Invention, 5 Days of War, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (all 2011) and About Cherry (2012).

Graham voiced the character of Antonia Bayle in the online role-playing game EverQuest 2.

She played Meredith Crown in At Any Price, which stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron and was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and later screened as an official selection at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals. Upcoming roles include mob lawyer Annette Stratton-Osborne in Behaving Badly and short story writer Mary Bellanova in My Dead Boyfriend (both 2014). She wrote a comedy screenplay called Half Magic, which she stated she wants to direct. She said the story focuses on "these female friends and sexuality and about people having a sense of shame about sexuality and learning how to have a healthier attitude about it It also deals with male/female relationships and sexism".

In 2012 she was a member of the jury of the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival.

In 2014, she starred in the second adaption of the V. C. Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic on the Lifetime network. She played the character of Corrine Dollanganger; an evil mother who locks her four children in an attic in order to receive an inheritance from her dying father. Graham also appeared in two TV-movie sequels based on the V.C. Andrews' series: Petals on the Wind and If There Be Thorns; continuing to play the role of Corrine Dollanganger. She appeared in the final season of Californication as the mother of David Duchovny's long-lost son.


Besides her acting work, Graham is also an activist who serves as a public advocate for Children International. She stated that what she likes about Children International is that "you are helping a child have a better life. It's great for that child to know that someone who lives in another country cares about them". Graham works with the Cambodian Children's Fund which provides supplies and education, and campaigns to stop slavery. "There's a lot of human trafficking in Cambodia," Graham has said. "Women are dying because they don't have $15 to give birth in a hospital. The provides free education, clean water and healthcare for communities... We're creating future leaders who will be able to help themselves." In 2007 she supported the climate change campaign Global Cool and appeared in Shekhar Kapur's short film Global Cool alongside Sienna Miller.

In the media

Graham is considered a sex symbol. She was ranked at number 40 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World list in 2000, number 95 in 2001 list, number 97 in the 2002 list, number #74 in the 2005 list and at number #98 in 2006 list. In 2001 she was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People. In 2003, she also posed for a photoshoot by photographer Sam Jones, during which she was levitated several feet into the air by a magician, who later also sawed her in half. Also in 2003, Graham appeared on the cover of Time magazine for an article titled "The Science of Meditation". To promote Emily's Reasons Why Not, she had posed for a Life Magazine cover story, printed weeks in advance of the assumed series schedule, referring to her as "TV's sexiest star" which appeared in the January 27, 2006 issue.

Graham is often cast in sexual roles including those of Felicity Shagwell (Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me), porn stars Rollergirl (Boogie Nights) and Sharonna (The Guru), prostitute Mary Kelly (From Hell), porn director Margaret (About Cherry) and stripper Jade (The Hangover and The Hangover, Part III). She stated she finds these types of roles and the issue of sexuality fascinating, and believes that "our culture sends out mixed messages to women about sex. Are women supposed to be sexually alive people, or are we supposed to be 'good' mothers who would never do those things?" and that she likes "the fact some of my roles maybe help people open their minds about the way they think about sex". Due to her portrayals of sexual characters and nudity in films she has been described as "completely up for it".

In 2005, Graham became the spokeswoman and TV model for the Garnier brand of hair care products.

Personal life

Graham is estranged from her family. Regarding the media's perception of her relationship with her family, she stated: "I don't really like to talk about my parents. Because I just feel that it gets misinterpreted in the press, and stuff..."

She enjoys playing poker and going to yoga retreats in Mexico. She has been practicing transcendental meditation since 1991 after being introduced to it by David Lynch. She also expressed dislike towards reality television, stating in a 2007 interview: "I think some of it, it seems strange - why do we all want to watch people be so miserable? Other people’s pain and misery - it seems kind of sad."



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Mrs. Soffel Factory Girl Uncredited
1988 License to Drive Mercedes Lane Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film
1988 Twins Young Mary Ann Benedict Uncredited
1989 Drugstore Cowboy Nadine Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
1990 I Love You to Death Bridget
1991 Guilty as Charged Kimberly
1991 Shout Sara Benedict Nominated—Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film
1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Annie Blackburn
1992 Diggstown Emily Forrester
1993 The Ballad of Little Jo Mary Addie
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Cowgirl Heather
1993 Six Degrees of Separation Elizabeth
1994 Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Mary Kennedy Taylor
1994 Don't Do It Suzanna
1995 Desert Winds Jackie
1995 Terrified Olive
1996 Swingers Lorraine
1996 Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story Maggie Bowen
1997 Nowhere Lilith
1997 Two Girls and a Guy Carla Bennett
1997 Boogie Nights Brandi "Rollergirl" MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
1997 Kiss & Tell Susan Pretsel
1997 Scream 2 'Stab' Casey Becker Cameo
1998 Lost in Space Dr. Judy Robinson
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Felicity Shagwell Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Actress - Comedy
Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Movie Couple
1999 Bowfinger Daisy Nominated—Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Actress - Comedy
2000 Committed Joline
2001 Say It Isn't So Josephine Wingfield
2001 Sidewalks of New York Annie
2001 From Hell Mary Jane Kelly
2002 Killing Me Softly Alice Tallis
2002 The Guru Sharonna
2003 Anger Management Kendra Uncredited cameo
2003 Hope Springs Mandy
2004 Blessed Samantha Howard
2005 Mary Elizabeth Younger
2005 Cake Pippa McGee Also executive producer
2006 The Oh in Ohio Justine
2006 Bobby Angela Hollywood Film Award for Ensemble of the Year
Nominated—Critics Choice Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2006 Gray Matters Gray Baldwin
2006 Broken Hope
2007 Adrift in Manhattan Rose Phipps
2007 Have Dreams, Will Travel Aunt
2008 Alien Love Triangle Elizabeth Short film
2008 Miss Conception Georgina Salt
2008 Baby on Board Angela Marks
2009 ExTerminators Alex
2009 The Hangover Jade
2009 Boogie Woogie Beth Freemantle
2010 Father of Invention Phoebe
2011 The Flying Machine Georgie
2011 Son of Morning Josephine Tuttle
2011 5 Days of War Miriam Eisner
2011 Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer Aunt Opal
2012 About Cherry Margaret
2012 At Any Price Meredith Crown
2013 Hangover Part III, TheThe Hangover Part III Jade
2013 Compulsion Amy
2013 Horns The Waitress
2014 Goodbye to All That Stephanie
2014 Behaving Badly Annette Stratton-Osborne
2016 Norm of the North Vera Voice
2016 My Dead Boyfriend Mary Post-production
2016 Half Magic Post-production, also director and writer


Year Title Role Notes
1987 Growing Pains Cindy / Samantha 2 episodes
1987 Student Exchange Dorrie Ryder Television film
1991 Twin Peaks Annie Blackburn 6 episodes
1992 O Pioneers! Young Alexandra Bergson Television film
1995 Fallen Angels Carol Whalen Episode: "Tomorrow I Die"
1996 The Outer Limits Alicia Episode: "Resurrection"
1996 Bullet Hearts Carlene Prue Pilot
1998 Fantasy Island Jackie Uncredited
Episode: "Pilot"
1999 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Heather Graham/Marc Anthony"
2002 Sex and the City Herself Episode: "Critical Condition"
2004 Arrested Development Beth Baerly Episode: "Shock and Aww"
2004-2005 Scrubs Dr. Molly Clock 9 episodes
2006 Emily's Reasons Why Not Emily Sanders 7 episodes; also producer
2011 Little in Common Ellie Weller Pilot
2011 Portlandia Heather Episode: "Baseball"
2014 Flowers in the Attic Corrine Dollanganger/Foxworth Television film
2014 Petals on the Wind Corrine Winslow Television film
2014 Californication Julia 9 episodes
2015 If There Be Thorns Corrine Foxworth Television film
2015 Studio City Stevie Pilot
2016 Flaked Tilly 3 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
2004 EverQuest II Antonia Bayle - Queen of Qeynos
2015 Call of Duty: Black Ops III Jessica

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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