Melinda McGraw

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Melinda McGraw
Born (1963-10-25) October 25, 1963 (age 55)
Years active1988–present
Steve Pierson (m. 2000)

Melinda McGraw (born 1963) is an American actress. She has starred in movies such as Albino Alligator (1996), Wrongfully Accused (1998), and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000), and is also known for her television performances on The Commish, The X-Files, NCIS, The West Wing, and Mad Men.[1]

Early life[edit]

McGraw was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, to American parents.[2]

The youngest of three daughters, she grew up in Cambridge and Dover in the Boston area. Her father served as a diplomat for the Agency of International Development before becoming an executive with a major hotel in Boston. She attended the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge and got her start in acting with the Boston Children's Theater.[citation needed]

After attending Bennington College, McGraw was accepted to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London (one of only seven women admitted in her year).[2] Theatrical performances in the West End and elsewhere in Britain followed, among them Don Carlos, The Foreigner and Twelfth Night. She returned to the U.S. in 1990.[citation needed]


McGraw's first major on-screen role was as Detective Cydavia "Cyd" Madison on The Commish (1992–1994). While on the set, she met actor Nicholas Lea and the pair dated for a few years. McGraw later earned recognition for her role as Melissa Scully, Dana Scully's ill-fated sister, in four episodes of The X-Files ("One Breath", "The Blessing Way", "Paper Clip", and "Christmas Carol"). Coincidentally, Alex Krycek, the recurring antagonist responsible for Melissa's death, was played by Nicholas Lea.

McGraw has starred in The Pursuit of Happiness (1995), Soul Man (1997–1998), Living in Captivity (1998), Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) (2002), and Center of the Universe (2004). Notable guest appearances include Quantum Leap, Night Court, Seinfeld, Cybill, The Larry Sanders Show, Mad About You, The District, The Practice, and Inconceivable. She has been featured in four episodes of Desperate Housewives as Annabel Foster and was cast in Neighbors, an ABC pilot for 2005-06 that was not picked up.

In 2006, McGraw played Jane Braun, campaign advisor to Presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, in several episodes of The West Wing and appeared in an episode of Bones. She played U.S. Attorney Valerie Por in Close to Home and Hartley Green in Saving Grace in 2007, as well as Annette Barron in two episodes of Journeyman.

McGraw appeared in 2008's The Dark Knight (the sequel to Batman Begins) as Lieutenant Gordon's wife, Barbara. She guest-starred in the Law & Order: SVU episode "Crush" as Samantha Copeland. She had a recurring role as seductive adulteress Bobbie Barrett in the 2008 season of AMC's Mad Men. McGraw co-starred with Kelsey Grammer on the ABC sitcom Hank before its cancellation on November 11, 2009.[2] She enjoyed a recurring role as Erin, Scott Bakula's love interest, on the TNT original series Men of a Certain Age in 2010–11. In 2011 and 2012, she made guest appearances in the 9th season of NCIS in the episodes "Devil's Triangle", "Devil's Trifecta" and "Devil's Triad" as Diane Sterling, an ex-wife of both Leroy Jethro Gibbs and Tobias Fornell.[3] In season 12 of the series, her character's arc was closed when she was murdered in the episode "Check". In 2013 she appeared in ABC series Scandal.[1][4]

Personal life[edit]

McGraw is married to composer/recording artist Steve Pierson, and they have a daughter Lucy. They all belong to Pierson's band Jambo, which performs roots music for children.[5][6]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 Albino Alligator Jenny Ferguson
1998 Wrongfully Accused Cass Lake
2000 Nutty Professor II: The Klumps Leanne Guilford
2008 The Dark Knight Barbara Gordon
2009 Weather Girl Virginia
2010 Skateland Debbie Wheeler
2011 Meeting Spencer Didi Ravenal
2014 The Stockwells Carol Short
2017 Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town Mrs. Percy


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Rockliffe WPC Heather Ackroyd "Top Man"
1988 American Playhouse Dixie "The Big Knife"
1990 Quantum Leap Laura Downey "A Little Miracle"
1991 Night Court Wendy "To Sleep, No More"
1992 Seinfeld Angela "The Good Samaritan"
1992 The Human Factor Rebecca Travis Main role
1992–94 The Commish Cyd Madison Regular role
1994–97 The X-Files Melissa Scully "One Breath", "The Blessing Way", "Paper Clip", "Christmas Carol"
1995 The Pursuit of Happiness Mackenzie 'Mac' Rutledge Main role
1996 Cybill Lana "Cybill, Get Your Gun"
1997 The Larry Sanders Show Alex "Larry's New Love"
1997 House of Frankenstein Det. Maggie Delbo TV miniseries
1998 Mad About You Cheryl Gendelman "Good Old Reliable Nathan"
1998 Millennium Dr. Stoller "The Pest House"
1998 Living in Captivity Becca Marek Main role
2001 Ally McBeal Nancy Gower "Lost and Found"
2001–02 The District Vicky Montgomery Recurring role
2002 Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) Lindsay Urich Main role
2003 Skins Zelda Ziti "Amber Synn", "Blowback"
2003 The Practice Marcie Bartos "Goodbye"
2003 It's All Relative Kate O'Neil "Thanks, But No Thanks"
2004–05 Center of the Universe Lily Barnett Main role
2005 Desperate Housewives Annabel Foster "Fear No More", "Sunday in the Park with George", "Goodbye for Now"
2005 Inconceivable Suzanne Cohen Recurring role
2006 The West Wing Jane Braun Recurring role
2006 Bones Gayle Seaver "The Truth in the Lye"
2007 Close to Home Valerie Por "Eminent Domain"
2007 Saving Grace Hartley Green "Would You Want Me to Tell You?"
2007 Journeyman Annette Barron "The Hanged Man", "Perfidia"
2008 Gotham Tonight Barbara Gordon "Billionaire Without a Cause", "Top Cop"
2008 Mad Men Bobbie Barrett Recurring role
2008 CSI: Miami Beth Campbell "Wrecking Crew"
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Mrs. Griffin "Miscarriage of Justice"
2009 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Samantha Copeland "Crush"
2009–10 Hank Tilly Pryor Main role
2010 Medium Sondra Hahn-Barker "Sal"
2010 Legally Mad Sylvie TV film
2010 Pleading Guilty Elise Malloy TV pilot
2010–11 Men of a Certain Age Erin Riley Main role (season 2)
2011 Have a Little Faith Janine TV film
2011–19 NCIS Diane Sterling Recurring role
2012 Harry's Law Amanda Recurring role
2012 Fairly Legal Judge Victoria Connors "Teenage Wasteland"
2012 Hawaii Five-0 Patricia Slater "Ohuna"
2013 Ben and Kate Vera Everson "Girl Problems", "Bake Off", "Ethics 101"
2013 Scandal Debora Clarkson "Snake in the Garden"
2013 Lauren Cynthia "2.4", "2.11", "2.12"
2013 Family Tools Beverly "Book Club Romance"
2014 Glee Clara Banks "Old Dog, New Tricks"
2014 Delirium Lydia TV film
2014 Crisis Julia Devore Recurring role
2014–15 State of Affairs Sen. Kyle Green Recurring role
2015 Proof Sasha Turing "Private Matters", "Reborn", "Tsunami: Part Two"
2016–present Outcast Patricia MacCready Supporting role
2018 The Crossing Eve a.k.a. Greta Pryor
2018 NCIS: New Orleans Gina Powell "In the Blood"


  1. ^ a b Laura Prudom (February 28, 2013). "Melinda McGraw To Visit 'Scandal' And More Casting News". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Melinda McGraw biography". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Catriona Wightman (September 29, 2011). "Melinda McGraw signs for 'NCIS' role". Digital Spy. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Michael Ausiello (February 27, 2013). "Scandal Exclusive: Mad Men Minx Is Hollis' Wife". TV Line. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  5. ^ Arnold, Chuck; Tauber, Michelle (July 22, 2013). "Picks and Pans: Music". People. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  6. ^ Berick, Michael (March 29, 2013). "Steve Pierson: Life Is A Jambo". Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2014.

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