Nancy Lee Grahn

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Nancy Lee Grahn
Nancy Lee Grahn.jpg
Grahn in 2010.
Born (1958-04-28) April 28, 1958 (age 56)
Skokie, Illinois, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1980–present

Nancy Lee Grahn (born April 28, 1958[1][2]) is an American actress who has starred in such soap operas as Santa Barbara as Julia Wainwright Capwell from 1985 to 1993 and General Hospital as Alexis Davis since 1996.

Early life and career[edit]

Grahn was born in Skokie, Illinois.[3] Her parents were both involved with their local community theater in Skokie. Grahn's first stage appearance was as a pony in a community production of Oklahoma! [3][4] At Niles North High School, she played "Daisy Mae" opposite future Broadway actor Gregg Edelman in the school's production of Lil' Abner. As a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Grahn landed her first credited role, as Mimi in Guys and Dolls at the Goodman Rep Theater, 1973–74 season.[3][5]

Grahn subsequently went to New York City, where she studied acting with noted drama teachers Sandy Meisner and Bill Epsen.[4] Here she had roles in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Barefoot in the Park.[3] She also appeared in commercials and several industrial films; in an interview, Grahn recalled crossing paths with fellow future soap star Kim Zimmer at the production of several of those films.[citation needed] She also continued to perform in numerous plays, such as Father's Day and Two for the Seesaw, among others.

Television roles[edit]

Grahn has made a number of appearances in episodic prime time television, including Little House on the Prairie, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Diagnosis: Murder, Perry Mason, The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider and Babylon 5 ("The War Prayer", 1994). She has also been seen in the recurring role of Denise Fielding on Melrose Place, as Connie Dahlgren on Murder One, and as Principal Russell on 7th Heaven.

Grahn also has had several roles on daytime dramas. Her first television role was as Beverly Wilkes,[3] Marco Dane's secretary on ABC's One Life to Live from 1980 to 1982. In 1985, she was cast as headstrong lawyer Julia Wainwright Capwell, on the now-defunct soap opera Santa Barbara. Julia was a departure from the traditional "damsel in distress" or vixen roles; she was an intelligent, uncompromising woman. Julia was paired with Mason Capwell, and the two had a Tracy/Hepburn-esque romance. Offscreen, Grahn was briefly involved with Mason's portrayer, actor Lane Davies; conflict over their storylines eventually led to Davies' departure from the series.[citation needed] Grahn's performance garnered her a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1989,[3] an award which she shares with All My Children actress Debbi Morgan. She portrayed the role of Julia until the show's cancellation in 1993.

In 1996, she was cast as Alexis Davis, another headstrong lawyer, on General Hospital. She was nominated for several additional Daytime Emmys, winning in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category in 2012.[6][7] In July 2010, Grahn re-signed with General Hospital for another four years on the show.[8]

Political views[edit]

A liberal,[9] Grahn is outspoken in political matters. In 2000, she organized a television conference for fellow Democratic daytime stars titled "Daytime for Gore/Lieberman".[4] The event was held at the home of Gary Tomlin, director of NBC's Passions, and in attendance were Sharon Davis, wife of California Governor Gray Davis, and Kristen Gore, daughter of Vice President Al Gore.[10] During the 2008 presidential election, she hosted an online chat along with fellow daytime actors to discuss the election with fans.[11]

Grahn is an active proponent of reproductive rights. She created "Daytime for Choice"[4] in 1988,[10] and discussed with the New York Times in 2007 her decision to have an abortion when she was in her 20s as well as her desire to see abortion depicted in a fair and unbiased light within film and television.[12] Grahn is also a supporter of LGBT rights and has participated in the NOH8 Campaign.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Grahn is a single mother to one daughter, Katherine Grace, born in 1998.[14] She is also involved in various charities.[3][4]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1985 Obsessed with a Married Woman" Bianca
1985 Kids Don't Tell Puppet Lady
1985 Streets of Justice Young Lawyer
1990 The Girl Who Came Between Them Jann
1991 Perry Mason: The Case of the Glass Coffin Kate Ford Television film
1995 Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest Amanda Porter
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Little House on the Prairie Saloon Girl Episode: "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: Part 2"
1980–82 One Life to Live Beverly Wilkes 200 episodes
1982 The Incredible Hulk Patty Knowlton Episode: "A Minor Problem"
1982 Magnum, P.I. Wendy Gilbert Episode: "Try to Remember"
1982 Quincy, M.E. Melanie Dumont Episode: "For Love of Joshua"
1982 The Phoenix Holly Episode: "A Presence of Evil"
1982 Simon & Simon Joan Episode: "Mike & Pat"
1982 Knight Rider Jane Adams Episode: "Just My Bill"
1985-1986 Murder, She Wrote Erin Carey 2 episodes
1986 Blacke's Magic Major Crawford Episode: "Address Unknown"
1985–93 Santa Barbara Julia Wainwright Capwell 477 episodes
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (tied with Debbi Morgan)
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Lead Actress
Nominated — Soap Opera Digest Award for Hottest Female Star
1994 Babylon 5 Shaal Mayan Episode: "The War Prayer"
1995 Models Inc. Det. Towers 3 episodes
1995 Renegade Liza Episode: "Studs"
1995–96 Murder One Connie Dahlgren 7 episodes
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Terri Michaels Episode: "Left-Handed Murder"
1996— General Hospital Alexis Davis 1040 episodes
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2012)
Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role (2000-2001, 2003)
Nominated — Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2003-2005)
Nominated — Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2000, 2011)
1997 Melrose Place Denise Fielding 7 episodes
1997–99 7th Heaven Principal Russell 6 episodes
1997–2003 Port Charles Alexis Davis 7 episodes
2013 Castle Samantha Peterman Episode: "Significant Others"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biography of Nancy Lee Grahn
  2. ^ Riggs, Thomas (1986). Contemporary theatre, film, and television 30. Gale Research. ISBN 0-7876-3189-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Nancy Lee Grahn 411". Soap Opera Digest. soapoperadigest.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Nancy Lee Grahn". ABC Medianet. abcmedianet.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.goodmantheatre.org/About/History/Timeline.aspx
  6. ^ Moore, Frazier (2012-06-23). "Daytime Emmys 2012 Winners Revealed". Huffington Post. huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ Stanhope, Kate (2012-06-24). "General Hospital, Today Top Daytime Emmys". TV Guide. tvguide.com. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Ciaccia, Maria (2012-07-06). "Nancy Lee Grahn Tweets About Her Contract". The New York Times. about.com. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  9. ^ Logan, Michael (2012-10-29). "General Hospital's Nancy Lee Grahn Lets it All Hang Out". TV Guide. tvguide.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Calvo, Dana (2000-10-14). "Daytime Stars on Soapbox for Gore-Lieberman Ticket". Los Angeles Times. latimes.com. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Nancy Lee Grahn & Friends Invite Fans to Talk Politics". TV Guide. tvguide.com. 2008-09-30. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ Navarro, Mireya (2007-06-10). "On Abortion, Hollywood Is No-Choice". New York Times. nytimes.com. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ Nancy Lee Grahn - Familiar Faces
  14. ^ "Dear Soaps, Who is the child playing...". TV Guide. tvguide.com. 2004-11-11. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]