Polly Draper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Polly Draper
Born Polly Carey Draper
(1956-06-15) June 15, 1956 (age 57)
Gary, Indiana, US
Alma mater Yale University
Yale School of Drama
Occupation Actress, director, writer, producer
Years active 1975–present
Notable work(s) Thirtysomething (1987–91)
The Tic Code (1998)
Getting Into Heaven (2003)
The Naked Brothers Band (2007–09)
Spouse(s) Kevin Wade (1983–1990)
Michael Wolff (1992–present)[1]
Children Nat Wolff
Alex Wolff
Parents William Henry Draper III
Phyllis Draper
Relatives Jesse Draper (niece)
Tim Draper (brother)
William Henry Draper Jr. (grandfather)

Polly Carey Draper[2] (born June 15, 1956)[3] is an American actress, writer, producer, and director. Draper received several awards, including a Writers Guild Award, and is noted for speaking in a "trademark throaty voice."[4][5] She first gained recognition for her role in the ABC primetime television drama Thirtysomething, which aired from 1987–91.

Draper co-starred in her screenwriting debut The Tic Code (1998) and Off-Broadway in her play Getting Into Heaven (2003). In mid-2004, she also wrote her directing debut The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie and created and produced the Nickelodeon musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band (2007–09)—portraying her sons Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff—which won her a WGA for Children's Script: Long Form or Special.

Personal life[edit]

Draper was born in Gary, Indiana (some sources say Palo Alto, California) to Phyllis, a Peace Corps administrator, and William Henry Draper III, a venture capitalist and civic leader of the United Nations Development Programme.[3][6] She is also the sister to venture capitalist Tim Draper[7] and granddaughter to banker and diplomat William Henry Draper, Jr.[8][9] Draper grew up in Palo Alto and Arlington, California,[10] and received her B.A.A. from Yale University in 1977, and her M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama in 1980.[3]

Following a seven-year marriage with playwright Kevin Wade,[5] Draper married musician Michael Wolff after meeting him when making a cameo on the syndicated late night talk show Arsenio Hall in 1989, where Wolff served as the bandleader.[3][11] Wolff's life with Tourette syndrome influenced The Tic Code; he provided the score.[10][12] She and Wolff have two sons, Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff, who starred in and composed the music for The Naked Brothers Band series and film. Draper's niece is actress Jesse Draper, who also co-starred in The Naked Brothers Band.[12]

Draper is a member of the Democratic Party, and voted for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 election.[13] She also voted for Democratic senator John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election.[14] Her late grandfather, William Henry Draper, Jr. was a member of the Republican Party.[15]


Draper began her acting career appearing Off-Broadway, including a role in Split (1980). She later starred as Ellyn Warren in the ABC television drama thirtysomething.[5][12] Draper starred in the Off-Broadway production of Four Dogs and a Bone (1993), and in 2003, she made a cameo appearance in the USA comedic detective series Monk and in the NBC police procedural series Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Draper's screenwriting debut was in Gary Winick's The Tic Code which is about Tourette syndrome, a condition her husband, Michael Wolff has; he contributed the film's score. In 2003, she also starred in, provided lead vocals and lyrics for her playwright Getting Into Heaven (2003) at The Flea Theater; the music was composed and performed by her husband.[16]

Draper starred in the Broadway production of Brooklyn Boy in 2005.[17] In 2007, she served as creator, writer, executive producer, and director of the Nickelodeon musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band, starring her sons Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff, who wrote and performed the music. The series was adapted by the pilot episode The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie which she wrote and directed as an independent film in mid-2004. Draper does not appear in the film—except with the thirtysomething cast in one of the scenes—or the TV series; the characters' mother is mentioned as deceased.

In 2010, Draper appeared with a recurring guest role in the Showtime comedic television drama The Big C. In addition, Draper directed her youngest son's play What Would Woody Do? (2010) at The Flea Theater. In 2011, she wrote and starred in an episode of the Current TV science fiction series Bar Karma. She also acted in the play My Brilliant Divorce (2012) at the Bay Street Theater. Since then, she starred in the film Side Effects and appears in the CBS television drama Golden Boy, both in 2013.

Performances and filmography[edit]

Draper's stage performances and filmography include:[3]

Year Event Title Network/distributor/venue Role
1975–1989 TV series Ryan's Hope ABC Winnie Robin
1978 Off-Broadway Buried Child Yale Repertory Theatre Unknown
1979 Off-Broadway As You Like It Yale Repertory Theatre Unknown
1979 Off-Broadway Measure for Measure Yale Repertory Theatre Unknown
1980 Off-Broadway Split Second Stage Theatre Jean
1980–1981 Off-Broadway The Stitch in Time American National Theatre and Academy Caroline Lou Bingham
1981/1982 Off-Broadway The Freak WPA Theatre/Douglas Fairbanks Theatre Gertrude Cayce
1981 Off-Broadway The Actor's Nightmare Playwrights Horizons Meg
1982 Off-Broadway Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You (double-bill) Westside Arts Theatre Diane Symonds
1982 Off-Broadway Hooters Hudson Guild Theatre Cheryl
1983 Off-Broadway Top Girls PublicTheatre Marlene
1984 Off-Broadway Mr. and Mrs. WPA Theatre Blake Upton
1985 Off-Broadway Want Ad Manhattan Punch Lounge Lucy
1985 Off-Broadway Folie a'deux Manhattan Punch Lounge Danny
1985 Off-Broadway Only a Woman Manhattan Punch Lounge Heather
1985 Off-Broadway Separate Vacation/Grounds for Divorce/Sexual History INTAR Theater Lois
1985 Off-Broadway The Ground Zero Club Playwrights Horizons Fiona
1986 Off-Broadway Rum and Coke PublicTheatre Linda Seward
1986 Film Adams Apple CBS Bernadette Pascoe
1986 Film Seven Minutes in Heaven Warner Bros. Aileen Jones
1987 Film Making Mr. Right Orion Pictures Suzy Duncan
1987 Film The Pick-Up Artist Twentieth Century-Fox Pat
1987–1991 TV series thirtysomething ABC Ellyn Warren
1987 TV series Tales from the Darkside - The Grave Robber TBA Aileen
1988 TBA The Hitchhiker The Verdict TV series
1988 TBA Merrill Markoe's Guide to Glamorous Living Cinemax Comedy Experiment Cinemax TBA
1989 TV series The Arsenio Hall Show TBA "self"
1990 Off-Broadway Love Letters Canon Theatre Unknown
1992 Off-Broadway Crazy He Calls Me Walter Kerr Theatre Yvette
1993 Off-Broadway Four Dogs and a Bone City Stage Theatre; Manhattan Theatre Club Unknown
1993 TV series Broken Promises: Taking Emily Back CBS Ella Sabin
1993 Film Danielle Steel's Heartbeat NBC Adrian Townsend
1993 Film The Innocent (also known as Silent Witness) NBC Pamela Sutton
1994 Film A Million to Juan (also known as A Million to One) Samuel Goldwyn Company Olivia Smith
1994 Film Schemes Bristol Entertainment Evelyn Hayes
1995 Film Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain Universal Kate Easton
1996 Film Always Say Goodbye TBA Donna Evans
1996 Film LaVyrle Spencer's Home Song CBS Claire Gardner
1997 Film Hudson River Blues (also known as Family Blues) Romance Classics TBA
1998 TV series The Larry Sanders Show - Just the Perfect Blendship HBO Dr. Monica Gordon
1998 (Italy); 1999 (USA); 2000 (NYC) Film The Tic Code Avalanche Releasing Laura Caraday
1998 (Italy); 1999 (USA); 2000 (NYC) Film The Tic Code Avalanche Releasing Producer
1998 (Italy); 1999 (USA); 2000 (NYC) Film The Tic Code Avalanche Releasing Writer
1999 Broadway Closer Music Box Theatre Anna
1999 Off-Broadway Imagine Brad Greenwich House Theater Dana Sue Kay
1999 Off-Broadway Trudy Blue MCC Theater Ginger
2000 Film Dinner Rush Access Motion Picture Group Natalie Clemente
2000–2001 TV series Gideon's Crossing ABC Elaine Hoffman
2001 Off-Broadway Blur Unknown Unknown
2002 TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Faith NBC Christine Wilkes
2002 TV series Monk - Mr. Monk Takes a Vacation USA Network Rita Bronwyn
2003 Off-Broadway Getting Into Heaven The Flea Theater Writer
2003 Off-Broadway Getting Into Heaven Flea Theater Cat Venita
2004 Film Second Best Paula
2005 Film Shooting Livien Rose Livien
2005 Film A Perfect Fit Dr. Weiss
2005/2007 Film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie The Hamptons International Film Festival/Nickelodeon Producer/Executive Producer
2005/2007 Film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie The Hamptons International Film Festival/Nickelodeon Writer
2005/2007 Film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie The Hamptons International Film Festival/Nickelodeon Director
2007–2009 TV series The Naked Brothers Band Nickelodeon Creator
2007–2009 TV series The Naked Brothers Band Nickelodeon Executive Producer
2007–2009 TV series The Naked Brothers Band Nickelodeon Writer
2007–2009 TV series The Naked Brothers Band Nickelodeon Director
2007 Film Too Young to Marry Lifetime Television Beth
TBA TV series Not Necessarily the News HBO Unknown
Unknown Off-Broadway Thorn Hill Unknown Unknown
Unknown Off-Broadway Split Second Stage Unknown
Unknown Off-Broadway Actors and Actresses Unknown Unknown
Unknown Off-Broadway Insignificance[disambiguation needed] Hudson Guild Unknown
TBA Off-Broadway Brooklyn Boy South Coast Repertory TBA
2010 TV series The Big C Showtime Lorena, Marlene's daughter
2013 Film Side Effects Open Road Films Emily's boss
2013 TV series Golden Boy CBS Nora Clark
2014 Film Obvious Child A24 Films Nancy Stern


Draper's work on Thirtysomething earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[3] In addition, her starring role in the Off-Broadway production of Four Dogs and a Bone (1993) won her a New York Magazine award for Best Broadway Actress.[17] Draper's portrayal in her screenwriting The Tic Code (1998) won her the Bronze Gryphon award for Best Actress at the Giffoni Film Festival.[3]

Draper wrote her directing debut The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, which earned the Audience Award for Family Feature Film at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2005.[18] The film became the pilot to the Nickelodeon musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band (2007–09) which she created, wrote, executive produced, and directed, earning her two Writers Guild Award nominations. The first one, in 2007, Draper was nominated in the category of Children's Episodic Shows & Specials for the episode "Nat is a Stand Up Guy".[19] She also won the Children's Script: Long Form or Special category for the TV movie "Polar Bears" in 2009.[20]


  1. ^ Warrick, Pamela (June 11, 2007). "Look Who's ... Fiftysomething". People. Retrieved August 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Polly Carey Draper Is Bride". The New York Times. August 21, 1983. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Polly Draper Biography (1956-)". Film Reference. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ Megan Walsh-Boyle (February 2, 2007). "Polly Draper: The Naked Brothers' Mother Returns to TV!". TV Guide. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Susan Schindehette, Michael Alexander (May 8, 1989). "Single Again, Thirtysomething's Polly Draper Brushes Up on Becoming a Sexy Working Girl". People. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  6. ^ Europa Publications (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Routledge. p. 454. ISBN 1857432177. 
  7. ^ Saracevic, Al (January 26, 2007). "The Technology Chronicles: Six degrees of Tim Draper". SFGate. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Lim, Jason (June 3, 2011). "Baidu Early Investor, Tim Draper is the Risk Master". TechNode. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ PV, Sahad (October 16, 2008). "Next Tech Giant Will Be A Cellphone Application Company: Tim Draper". VCCircle. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Meyer, Carla (June 24, 2011). "Free Expression / Polly Draper drew on her husband's Tourette's syndrome for "The Tic Code"". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  11. ^ Kaufman, Joanne (October 29, 1990). "Late Night Becomes Electric with the Hip Help of Arsenio Hall's Bandleader, Shaggy-Dog Playboy Michael Wolff". People. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c Lee, Felicia R. (January 25, 2007). "A TV Family Bound by Blood and a Band". The New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Polly Draper - Political Campaign Contributions - 2008 Election Cycle". CampaignMoney.com. September 6, 2007-September 22, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Polly Draper - Political Campaign Contributions - 2004 Election Cycle". CampaignMoney.com. July 27, 2004. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ Hess, Jerry N. (January 11, 1972). "Oral History Interview with General William H. Draper Jr.". The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  16. ^ Finkle, David (July 3, 2003). "Getting Into Heaven: Review". TheaterMania. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b Gans, Andrew; Kenneth Jones (December 6, 2004). "Polly Draper Replaces Dana Reeve in Broadway's Brooklyn Boy". Playbill. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Nickelodeon's New Teenick Series The Naked Brothers Band". Jazz News. 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ "2008 Writers Guild Awards Television & Radio Nominees Announced". Writer's Guild of America. December 12, 2007. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Winners Announced for 2009 Writers Guild Awards". Writers Guild of America. February 7, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 

External links[edit]