Gail O'Grady

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Gail O'Grady
Gail O'Grady (1994).jpg
Gail O'Grady at the Emmy Awards in 1994
Gail Ann O'Grady

(1963-01-23) January 23, 1963 (age 57)
Years active1986–present
Richard Dasko
(m. 1981; div. 1983)

(m. 1990; div. 1991)

Severin Wunderman
(m. 1991; div. 1992)

Steve Fenton
(m. 1995; div. 1996)

Anthony J. Pellegrino
(m. 1998; div. 2000)

John Stamatakis
(m. 2004; div. 2008)

Gail Ann O'Grady (born January 23, 1963), an American actress and producer, is best known for her roles on television. Her roles include Donna Abandando in the ABC police drama NYPD Blue, and Helen Pryor in the NBC drama series American Dreams. O'Grady is also well known for her lead roles in a number of television movies. She has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award three times.

Early life[edit]

O'Grady was born in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Jan and Jim O'Grady, a financial planner.[1] She was raised in Wheaton, Illinois, and graduated from Wheaton North High School in 1981. She appeared in a few commercials before moving to Los Angeles in 1986.[2]


O'Grady began her career as a model for Montgomery Ward and by making several commercials.[3] In one, she played the neighbor for whom Michael J. Fox's character chased down a Diet Pepsi. In time, she began making guest appearances, often as a villain.[4] She made her big screen debut in the 1988 romantic comedy She's Having a Baby, and later was cast in a recurring role on the ABC drama China Beach, opposite Dana Delany. She also guest starred on several other shows, and appeared in made for television and independent movies.

Her first major role was as Donna Abandando on the ABC police drama NYPD Blue. O'Grady played the big-haired squad secretary from 1993 to 1996, and for each year received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[3] Along with cast, she won Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 1995.[3] O'Grady left the series in 1996, and made a pilot for her own sitcom, The Gail O'Grady Project, but the show was not picked up by any of the networks.[5]

After leaving NYPD Blue, O'Grady began starring in numerous television movies for Lifetime and other networks, including The Three Lives of Karen (1997), Two Voices (1997), Every 9 Seconds (1997), Two of Hearts (1999), Another Woman's Husband (2000), Lip Service (2000), Hostage Negotiator (2001), Hope Ranch (2002), Lucky 7 (2003), Sex and the Single Mom (2003), and More Sex & the Single Mom (2005).[6]

From 2002 to 2005, O'Grady starred as Helen Pryor in the NBC television series American Dreams, which depicted an all-American family living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the 1960s. The series was canceled after three seasons. In fall 2005, O'Grady was lead actress in the ABC comedy series Hot Properties. The series was canceled after 13 episodes. In 2006 she guest starred on Two and a Half Men, and in 2007 had a recurring role on Boston Legal as Gloria Weldon, a judge in a personal relationship with attorney Alan Shore. Also in 2007, she starred in the Hallmark Channel movie All I Want for Christmas.[7]

O'Grady had series regular roles on the short-lived CW series Hidden Palms as Karen Hardy in 2007, and on Hellcats, playing Wanda Perkins, the mother of the main character from 2010 to 2011. In 2008 she had a recurring role on ABC series Desperate Housewives as Anne Schilling, a woman who is having an affair with the character Porter Scavo (at that point a teenager).[8] She also has made appearances on Monk, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Mentalist, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Drop Dead Diva, Hawaii Five-0, and Castle.[9][10] She also was cast in major recurring role as Conrad's first wife on ABC primetime soap opera Revenge, opposite Madeleine Stowe.[11]

Personal life[edit]

O'Grady has been married six times.[5] After breaking up with artist Robert Claypool, she sought a restraining order against him in 1995, claiming he was stalking her, but did not obtain one.[12] He responded by suing her for defamation, libel and slander.[13] In 2004, before her sixth marriage, to John Stamatakis, O'Grady gave birth to her first child with her ex-boyfriend Chris Byers, son Michael Colton O'Grady, named after her late brother.[14][citation needed]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Billionaire Boys Club Judy Television film
1988 She's Having a Baby Laura
1988 Blackout Caroline Boyle
1988 Spellcaster Jackie
1990 Nobody's Perfect Shelly
1990 People Like Us Rebecca Bailey Television film
1990 Parker Kane Cindy Ellis Television film
1991 The Hit Man Sara Television film
1995 She Stood Alone: The Tailhook Scandal Lt. Paula Coughlin Television film
1995 Trial by Fire Paulette Gill Television film
1995 Nothing Lasts Forever Dr. Page Taylor Television film
1996 Celtic Pride Carol O'Hara
1997 That Old Feeling Rowena
1997 The Three Lives of Karen Karen Winthrop / Emily Riggs / Cindy Last Television film
1997 Two Voices Kathleen Anneken Television film
1997 Every 9 Seconds Janet Television film
1997 Medusa's Child Vivian Henry Television film
1999 Two of Hearts Molly Saunders Television film
1999 Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo Claire
1999 Walking Across Egypt Elaine Rigsbee
2000 Another Woman's Husband Susan Miller Television film
2000 Out of Sync Maggie Stanley Television film
2001 Hostage Negotiator Theresa Foley Television film
2002 Hope Ranch June Andersen Television film
2003 Lucky 7 Rachel Myer Television film
2003 Sex and the Single Mom Jess Gradwell Television film
2004 The Sure Hand of God Molly Bowser
2004 Tricks Jane
2004 Sleep Easy, Hutch Rimes Olivia Wise
2005 More Sex & the Single Mom Jess Gradwell Television film
2005 Mayday Anne Metz Television film
2007 While the Children Sleep Meghan Eastman Television film
2007 All I Want for Christmas Sara Armstrong Television film
2008 An American Carol Jane Wagstaffe
2009 The House That Jack Built Hannah
2009 Living Out Loud Emily Marshall Television film
2010 Circle Dr. Green
2010 After the Fall Dr. Susan Miles Television film
2011 ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 Nancy
2013 Shadow on the Mesa Mona Eastman Television film
2013 The Minister's Wife (a.k.a. Sins of the Preacher) Susan Parker Television film
2013 The Mystery Cruise Alvirah Meehan Television film
2014 Enough About Jack Gail Television film
2014 Mothers of the Bride Debra Wolf
2015 Justice Served Dr. Helen Florentine Limited release
2019 Identity Theft of a Cheerleader Angie Patterson Television film


Year Title Role Notes
1986–1990 Matlock Julia McCullough 2 episodes
1987 Werewolf Victim in VW Episode: "Werewolf"
1988 In the Heat of the Night Pauline Slade Episode: "Road Kill"
1988 China Beach Georgia Lee Episodes: "Pilot" and "Chao Ong"
1989 Superboy Victoria Letour Episode: "Hollywood"
1990 Cheers Laura Walton Episode: "Finally!: Part 1"
1990 Anything But Love N/A Episode: "Three Men on a Match"
1990 Hardball N/A Episode: "Prescription for Murder"
1992 Murder, She Wrote Robin Dishman Episode: "Badge of Honor"
1993 Time Trax Kristen Episode: "Fire and Ice "
1993 Designing Women Kiki Kearney 2 episodes
1993 Silk Stalkings Betty Whitburn-Marks Episode: "Crime of Love"
1994 Burke's Law Patricia Stone Episode: "Who Killed the Anchorman?"
1996 Promised Land Pam Riley Episode: "The Prodigy"
1996 Space: Above and Beyond Colonel Klingman (uncredited cameo) Episode: "Stardust"
1993–1999 NYPD Blue Donna Abandando 51 episodes
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1994–96)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (1996–97)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Drama Series
1996 The Gail O'Grady Show Gail Unsold TV pilot
2001 Ally McBeal Helena Fisher Episode: "Home Again"
2002–2005 American Dreams Helen Pryor 61 episodes
2002 Monk Miranda St. Claire 2 episodes
2005 Hot Properties Ava Summerlin 13 episodes
2006 Two and a Half Men Mandi 2 episodes
2007 Hidden Palms Karen Hardy 8 episodes
2007 Monk Lovely Rita Episode: "Mr. Monk and the Birds and the Bees"
2007 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Mrs. Towne Episode: "The Case of the Cross-Dressing Carp "
2007 Las Vegas Erin Hudson Episode: "It's Not Easy Being Green"
2007 Boston Legal Judge Gloria Weldon 7 episodes
2007 Cane Senator Finch Episode: "The Exile"
2008 The Mentalist Juniper Tolliver Episode: "Pilot"
2008 CSI: Miami Dr. Rachel Marsh Episode: "And How Does That Make You Kill?"
2008 Desperate Housewives Anne Schilling 4 episodes
2009 Empire State Laurel Cochrane Unsold TV pilot
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Ruth Walker Episode: "Selfish"
2009 Ghost Whisperer Karen Westen Episode: "Endless Love"
2009 True Jackson, VP Sophie Girard Episode: "Back to School"
2009 CSI: NY Millie Taylor Episode: "Blacklist"
2010 The Forgotten Kerry Denver Episode: "My John"
2010 Drop Dead Diva Mrs. Thomas Episode: "Bad Girls"
2010 The Deep End Susan Oppenheim Unsold TV pilot
2010–2011 Hellcats Wanda Perkins 18 episodes
2011 Memphis Beat Chloe Archer Episode: "Ten Little Memphians"
2011 Necessary Roughness Anne Marie Episode: "Baggage Claim"
2011 Hawaii Five-0 Sharon Archer Episode: "Alaheo Pau'ole"
2013 Castle Margo Gower Episode: "Reality Star Struck"
2013 Rules of Engagement Joan Episode: "Cupcake"
2013 Major Crimes Anne Brand Episode: "Boys Will Be Boys"
2013 The Crazy Ones Hannah Sharples Episode: "Pilot"
2014–2015 Revenge Stevie Grayson 11 episodes
2015 Code Black Margaret O'Brien Episode: "Pre-Existing Conditions"
2016 Fresh Off The Boat Herself Episode: "The Taming of the Dads"
2018–2020 Criminal Minds Krystall Richards 4 episodes


  1. ^ Gail O'Grady Biography (1963-)
  2. ^ Dan Snierson, A Siren of Substance; Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994.
  3. ^ a b c "Gail O'Grady Biography". Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  4. ^ Dan Snierson, A Siren of Substance, Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994.
  5. ^ a b "Gail O'Grady Biography". 1963-01-23. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  6. ^ "Shows A-Z - more sex and the single mom on lifetime". Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  7. ^ "Trio gets 'Christmas' wish". The Hollywood Reporter. 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  8. ^ TV Exclusive: 'Desperate Housewives' Welcomes Gail O'Grady!
  9. ^ Matt Richenthal (2012-12-13). "Gail O'Grady to Play Wife of Wall Street on Castle". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  10. ^ Laurel Brown (2013-02-11). "'Castle' interview: Gail O'Grady talks about going full-'Housewives' in 'Reality Star Struck' - Zap2it". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  11. ^ "Revenge Casting Scoop: NYPD Blue Star to Play Conrad's First Wife With Secrets That Will Blow You Away | E! Online UK". Retrieved 2013-12-11.
  12. ^ Gail O'Grady,
  13. ^ MONITOR, Entertainment Weekly, April 14, 1995.
  14. ^

External links[edit]