Lauren Helen Graham (born March 16, 1967) is an American actress and novelist. She is best known for playing Lorelai Gilmore on the WB drama series Gilmore Girls and as Sarah Braverman on the NBC series Parenthood.
Lauren Graham was born on March 16, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her mother, Donna Grant, was a fashion buyer, and her father, Lawrence Graham, is a candy industry lobbyist who has been president of the National Confectioners Association. Graham was raised in her father's Catholic faith (her maternal grandfather was a Baptist minister); she is of Irish, English, and Scottish ancestry. When Graham's father worked for the Agency for International Development in Vietnam, Lauren lived for a few years in Japan (her mother also grew up there, as the daughter of a missionary). Graham was five years old when her parents divorced and she moved to Alexandria, Virginia with her father, who became a congressional staffer, while her mother left to pursue an artistic career, and lived in London until her death at age 61. Graham has a half-sister and a half-brother from her father's second marriage and a British half-sister, Shade Grant, from her mother's second marriage, who works at a talent agency.
As a girl, Graham rode horses competitively, but soon switched to acting, honing her talent at Langley High School, where she took part in the drill team and graduated in 1984. She earned her actor's Equity Card in 1988 after two years in summer stock at the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan. Graham graduated from Barnard College in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. After moving to Texas in 1992, Graham earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting Performance from Southern Methodist University.
After completing her education, Graham moved back to New York City where she earned her living as a waitress and tutor teaching SAT test prep for The Princeton Review. While she aspired to become an actress, she made publicity appearances wearing the costume of Striker, the dog mascot of the US-based 1994 FIFA World Cup. In 1995, she relocated to Hollywood. She appeared in various commercials for products such as Dimetapp and Lean Cuisine and hosted free preview weekends on The Movie Channel.
In addition to her many guest starring and co-starring roles on prime-time television, Graham starred in four failed sitcoms, including Townies (with Molly Ringwald and Jenna Elfman), the short-lived sitcom Lush Life (with Lori Petty and Karyn Parsons), and M.Y.O.B, which was burned off by NBC in the summer months before the premiere of Gilmore Girls. Between 1996 and 1997, Graham became a regular guest star on several hit NBC shows. She played a graduate student who caught the eye of Dick on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Richard's overly-optimistic girlfriend on Caroline in the City, and Jerry's speed-dial ranking girlfriend on Seinfeld. She played a Hollywood producer who had a love interest in Rey Curtis in a three-part episode of Law & Order, where she acted opposite Scott Cohen, who would later play one of Graham's love interests, Max Medina, on Gilmore Girls. She also portrayed an antagonizing but friendship-starved efficiency expert on Newsradio.
2000–08:Gilmore Girls and film roles
In 2000, Graham landed her breakthrough role as Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. For her work she received a nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series (Drama) at the 2001 Golden Globe Awards. Beginning with Season 7 episode "To Whom It May Concern" and continuing throughout the rest of the season, Graham served as a producer on Gilmore Girls. TV Guide reported that she received the position in an attempt to persuade her to sign for an eighth season.
Graham returned to her guest-starring roots when she portrayed herself in two episodes of NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Graham has also appeared in the second season of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, co-hosted by Dave Foley of Newsradio. After winning her preliminary match, she came in second to another former Newsradio star, Maura Tierney, in the championship game.
Graham's film roles encompass several NYU student films and multiple major studio releases, including Sweet November, Bad Santa, The Pacifier, Because I Said So, and Evan Almighty.
Graham has said that she enjoys playing in short films, and acting in the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She has performed in numerous short films, including the 15-minute-long Gnome. In 2007, Graham signed a seven-figure development deal with NBC in one of the year's richest TV talent pacts. Graham has also worked as the voice-over announcer in national advertising for Kellogg's various Special K products in 2007, and for American Express ads in 2008 introducing the Plum Card, which is targeted towards small and growing businesses.
2009–present: Broadway debut, Parenthood and book deal
Graham made her Broadway debut as Miss Adelaide in the revival of Guys and Dolls, which began preview performances at the Nederlander Theatre on February 5, 2009 and opened on March 1, 2009. Initial reviews for this performance have been mixed, but generally regard her fresh take on the character as a success. The production closed June 14, playing 113 shows and 28 previews.
It was announced in January 2009 that Graham would star in the comedy pilot, The Bridget Show (previously Let It Go) for ABC playing a talk show host and self-help guru who fails to follow her own advice during a breakup. However, the pilot was not given a series order. On October 9, 2009, it was announced that Graham would replace Maura Tierney in the television series Parenthood as single mother Sarah Braverman. Tierney left the show to seek treatment for cancer. The series debuted on NBC the following year, and was later renewed for a total of six seasons.
In June 2010, it was confirmed that Graham would star in the upcoming Scream 4, but she left the project on June 30, 2010. In July 2012, Graham was a guest judge in the first episode of Season 10 of the reality television series Project Runway.
Graham's debut novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel (2013), a work based on a fictionalization of her experiences in the New York acting scene in the mid-1990s, was released via hardcover, e-book and author-read audiobook formats on April 30, 2013 by the Ballantine Books imprint of Random House. In May 2013, the book entered the New York Times best seller list. Graham signed a deal with Warner Bros. Television and Ellen DeGeneres' production company A Very Good Production to adapt it into a TV series. She will write the script for The CW. Her second book Talking as Fast as I Can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) was released on November 29, 2016.
In 1999, Graham was roommates with actress Connie Britton. Graham allegedly dated (but according to her recent collection of essays, they were only good friends who almost dated) actor Matthew Perry, whom she met in 2002.
She has been in a relationship with her Parenthood co-star Peter Krause since 2010. Graham owns an apartment in Manhattan and a house in Los Angeles. Graham remains involved with her Catholic faith by occasionally attending Mass. She is a registered Democrat.
|1998||Confessions of a Sexist Pig||Tracy|
|1998||One True Thing||Jules|
|1999||Dill Scallion||Kristie Sue|
|2002||Third Wheel, TheThe Third Wheel||Woman at Party||Uncredited|
|2004||Seeing Other People||Claire|
|2005||Life Coach, TheThe Life Coach||Dr. Sue Pegasus|
|2005||Amateurs, TheThe Amateurs||Peggy|
|2005||Pacifier, TheThe Pacifier||Principal Claire Fletcher|
|2007||Because I Said So||Dr. Maggie Wilder-Decker|
|2007||Evan Almighty||Joan Baxter|
|2008||Birds of America||Betty Tanager|
|2008||Flash of Genius||Phyllis Kearns|
|2009||Answer Man, TheThe Answer Man||Elizabeth|
|2009||Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs||Fran Lockwood (voice)|
|2010||It's Kind of a Funny Story||Lynn Gilner|
|2014||A Merry Friggin' Christmas||Luann Mitchler|
|2016||Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life||Jules Khatchadorian|
|1995–1996||Caroline in the City||Shelly||5 episodes|
|1996||3rd Rock from the Sun||Laurie Harris||Episode: "Dick's First Birthday"|
|Good Company||Liz Gibson||Main role: 6 episodes|
|Townies||Denise Garibaldi Callahan||Main role: 15 episodes|
|1997||Law & Order||Lisa Lundquist||3 episodes|
|Seinfeld||Valerie||Episode: "The Millennium"|
|1998||Conrad Bloom||Molly Davenport||Main role: 15 episodes|
|2000||M.Y.O.B.||Opal Marie Brown||4 episodes|
|2000–2007||Gilmore Girls||Lorelai Gilmore||Main role: 153 episodes |
Also producer (Season 7)
|2001||Chasing Destiny||Jessy James||TV movie|
|2002||Family Guy||Mother Maggie (voice)||Episode: "Road to Europe"|
|2006||Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip||Studio 60 Host (uncredited)||Episodes: "The Long Lead Story", "The Wrap Party"|
|2009||Bridget Show, TheThe Bridget Show||Bridget O'Shea||Unsold TV pilot|
|2010–2015||Parenthood||Sarah Braverman||Main role: 101 episodes|
|2011||Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson||Geoff Peterson (voice)||Episode: "8.62"|
|2012||Go On||Amy||Episode: "Dinner Takes All"|
|Project Runway||Herself||Guest judge; episode: "A Times Square Anniversary Party"|
|2014||Web Therapy||Grace Tiverton||Episodes: "Smile Through the Pain", "In Angus We Trust"|
|2015||The Late Late Show||Guest Host||February 19 episode as part of |
show's three-month guest host interregnum
|The Odd Couple||Gaby Madison||Recurring role|
|Repeat After Me||Herself||1 episode|
|2016||Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life||Lorelai Gilmore||Main role: 4 episodes|
Awards and nominations
|2001||Family Television Awards||Actress||Gilmore Girls||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|2002||Golden Globe Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association Award||Individual Achievement in Drama||Nominated|
|2003||Satellite Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|2004||Satellite Awards||Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Nominated|
|2005||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Female Television Star||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical||Gilmore Girls||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Parental Units||Won|
|2006||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Parental Units||Won|
|Television Critics Association Award||Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy||Nominated|
|2010||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Parental Units||Parenthood||Nominated|
|2013||Prism Awards||Performance for a Drama Episode||Nominated|