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Lauren Helen Graham (born March 16, 1967) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for playing Lorelai Gilmore on the WB Network dramedy series Gilmore Girls and Sarah Braverman on Parenthood.

Early life[]

Graham was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the daughter of Donna Grant, a fashion buyer, and Lawrence Graham, a candy industry lobbyist[1] who is the current president for National Confectioners Association. She is of Irish descent and was raised Catholic.[2] Graham's parents divorced when she was five, and Graham moved to Washington, D.C., where her father became a congressional staffer. She traveled extensively with her father while growing up. While she was close with her dad, she recalls, “I think he thought I was an oddball, because I was very driven and ambitious.”[3]

At a young age, Graham rode horses competitively, but soon switched to acting.[3] Graham discovered acting while in elementary school and further honed her talent at Langley High School, where she took part in the drill team.[4] Graham took to acting in community theatre and other small productions. 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. After moving to Texas in 1992, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Acting Performance from Southern Methodist University.


After completing her education, Graham moved back to New York City where she became a waitress and aspiring actress, including her first paid work doing publicity appearances wearing the costume of Striker, the dog mascot of the US-based 1994 FIFA World Cup.[5] In 1995, she relocated to Hollywood, California. 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 three failed sitcoms, including Townies (with Molly Ringwald and Jenna Elfman) and the short-lived sitcom Lush Life (with Lori Petty and Karyn Parsons). 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 dim-witted 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 a villainous efficiency expert on Newsradio.

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.[6][7]

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 on 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.[8] 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.[9]

Graham has also worked as the voice-over announcer in national advertising for Kellogg's various Special K products, and in American Express ads introducing the Plum Card, which is targeted towards small and growing businesses.[10]

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.[11][12]

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.[13][14]

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.[15] The series debuted on NBC the following year, and was later renewed for a second season.[16]

In June 2010, it was confirmed that Graham would star in the upcoming Scream 4,[17] but she left the project on June 30, 2010.[18]

Personal life[]

Graham is currently in a relationship with her Parenthood co-star, Peter Krause, whom she began dating in 2010. She and Krause play brother and sister on the show.[19] Graham previously dated Friends star, Matthew Perry, as well as Tate Donovan and Mark Blucas.


Year Title Role Notes
1995-96 Caroline in the City Shelly 5 episodes
1996 3rd Rock from the Sun Laurie Harris Episode: "Dick's First Birthday"
1996 Good Company Liz Gibson TV series
1996 Townies Denise Garibaldi Callahan 15 episodes
1997 Nightwatch Marie
1997 Law & Order Lisa Lundquist 3 episodes
1997 Seinfeld Valerie Episode: "The Millennium"
1997 NewsRadio Andrea 4 episodes
1998 Confessions of a Sexist Pig Tracy
1998 One True Thing Jules
1998 Conrad Bloom Molly Davenport 7 episodes
1999 Dill Scallion Kristie Sue
2000 M.Y.O.B. Opal Marie Brown Episode: "Bad Seed"
Episode: "Boys in the Band"
2000–2007 Gilmore Girls Lorelai Gilmore 154 episodes
2001 Sweet November Angelica
2001 Chasing Destiny Jessy James TV movie
2002 Family Guy Mother Maggie (voice) Episode: "Road to Europe"
2002 The Third Wheel Woman at Party (uncredited)
2003 Bad Santa Sue
2004 Seeing Other People Claire
2005 Lucky 13 Abbey
2005 The Life Coach Dr. Sue Pegasus
2005 The Amateurs Peggy
2005 The Pacifier Principal Claire Fletcher
2005 Gnome Amanda Short film
2006 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Studio 60 Host (Self) (uncredited) Episode: "The Long Lead Story"
Episode: "The Wrap Party"
2007 Because I Said So Maggie
2007 Evan Almighty Joan Baxter
2008 Birds of America Betty Tanager
2008 Flash of Genius Phyllis Kearns
2009 The Bridget Show Bridget O'Shea ABC Pilot - not picked up
2009 The Answer Man Elizabeth
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Fran Lockwood (voice)
2010 It's Kind of a Funny Story Lynn
2010–2015 Parenthood Sarah Braverman 103 episodes
2012 Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Geoff Peterson (voice) Episode: "8.62"
2012 Go On Amy Episode: "Dinner Takes All"
2012 Project Runway Herself
2014 Web Therapy Grace Tiverton
2014 A Merry Friggin' Christmas Luann Mitchler
2015 The Late Late Show Guest Host
2015 The Odd Couple Recurring
2015 Repeat After Me Herself
2015 Max Pamela Wincott
2016 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Jules Khatchadorian
2016 Joshy Katee

Awards and nominations[]

Year Award Result Category Series
2001 Family Television Awards Won Actress Gilmore Girls
(Tied with Jane Kaczmarek for Malcolm in the Middle)
2002 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama Gilmore Girls
2005 People's Choice Awards Nominated Favorite Female Television Star
2002 Satellite Award Nominated Best Performance by an Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Gilmore Girls
2003 Nominated Gilmore Girls
2004 Nominated Gilmore Girls
2005 Nominated Best Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical Gilmore Girls
Outstanding Actress in a Series, Comedy or Musical
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Gilmore Girls
2002 Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Gilmore Girls
2005 Teen Choice Award Won Choice TV Parental Units Gilmore Girls
2006 Won Choice TV Parental Units Gilmore Girls
2010 Nominated Choice TV Parental Units Parenthood
2002 Television Critics Association Award Nominated Individual Achievement in Drama Gilmore Girls
2006 Nominated Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy Gilmore Girls


  1. Lauren Graham Biography (1967-)
  2. Template:Cite news
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  4. Lee, Luaine. Graham's 'Gilmore Girls' success took a while to build, Scripps Howard News Service, February 1, 2005. Accessed July 13, 2008.
  5. : Recent News
  6. Template:Citation/make link. Template:Citation/make link. Retrieved 2007-01-29. 
  7. Template:Citation/make link. Template:Citation/make link. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  8. O'Neil, Tom. Transcript: Our Emmy chat with 'Gilmore Girls' star Lauren Graham, LA Times, June 13, 2007. Accessed July 13, 2008.
  9. Adalian, Josef. Lauren Graham inks NBC deal, Variety, September 17, 2007. Accessed July 13, 2008.
  10. Elliott, Stuart. Q & A with Stuart Elliott, The New York Times, June 2, 2008. Accessed July 13, 2008.
  11. "Gilmore Girls" Star Graham Cast in Guys and Dolls Revival
  12. Adelaide's New Lament: Broadway's Guys and Dolls to Close June 14
  13. Template:Citation/make link. Template:Citation/make link. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  14. Template:Cite news Template:Dead link
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  19. "Lauren Graham Finds Relationship with Peter Krause 'So Easy' ", Dahvi Shira,September 09, 2010 People

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