Heather Joan Graham
Heather Joan Graham (born January 29, 1970, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American film and television actress from Agoura Hills, CA.
Her father, Jim, is a retired FBI agent and her mother, Joan, is a noted author of children's books. Graham has a younger sister, Aimee, who is also an aspiring actress and writer. The family followed a strict traditional Catholic upbringing of Irish descent. Heather has since estranged herself from the Catholic Church, saying it is: "made up of closed-minded men who believe a woman's sexuality is evil...Why do I have to do what all these men are saying?". Heather has practiced Hinduism and associated transcendental meditation since 1991.
Graham attended North Springfield Elementary School in Springfield, Virginia, before moving with her family to the Conejo Valley, near Los Angeles, California, where she attended Sumac Elementary School, A.E. Wright Middle School, and Agoura High School where she graduated in 1988.
Initially, Heather's parents were supportive of her budding acting career. However, her parents were concerned that she should not appear in any movie featuring sex or nudity. Breaking away from that mold, Heather appeared fully nude in several scenes in her breakout role in Boogie Nights. Heather is currently estranged from her parents, who are still devout Catholics.
In 1991, she appeared in the TV series Twin Peaks as Annie Blackburn, Agent Cooper's second-season love interest.
After high school, Graham enrolled in extension classes of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and she also met the actor James Woods. Their subsequent romantic involvement might have led to her being cast in the movie Diggstown (1992), which starred Woods. After two years had passed, Graham stopped taking classes at UCLA to pursue acting full time, over her parents' objections. She then moved to Hollywood, Calif., where she worked different jobs while continuing to establish herself as an actress.
As a supporting actress, Graham was cast in a number of parts that brought her critical notice, including Nadine in Drugstore Cowboy (1989). However, her breakthrough role was that of 1970s porn starlet Roller Girl in Boogie Nights (1997), for which she received several award nominations. Her first starring role was in 1999 with her lead role as Felicity Shagwell in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. She also appeared in the music video for "American Woman"- a song which Lenny Kravitz covered for the film's soundtrack. More recently, she starred as Mary Kelly in the film From Hell (2001), based on the story of Jack the Ripper.
Although Graham has been featured in mainstream films, she has also been cast in a number of independent films. Some of those films, like 2002's The Guru, have brought her critical praise. She also starred in the less successful Killing Me Softly.
Graham was named by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World 2001".
Graham also played herself on one episode of the TV series Sex and the City. She was given special guest-star status on several episodes of NBC-TV's Scrubs during its fourth season (2004–2005), and also appeared in a small role as a teacher in an episode of Fox's Arrested Development. In 2005, Graham became the spokeswoman and TV model for the Garnier brand of hair care products. Graham's print ad for Skyy vodka, which was photographed in 1993 (titled "#3, Entourage") is still appearing in national magazines today as well.
Graham's most recent project was starring in the ABC-TV comedy series Emily's Reasons Why Not, in 2006. However, ABC-TV announced that the show was canceled after its first airing on January 9, 2006. Because they print their covers weeks in advance, and they did not expect the quick cancellation, Life Magazine did a cover story on Graham two weeks later in their January 27, 2006 issue, and they referred to her as "TV’s sexiest star." Billboard ads also remained in place promoting the show weeks after the cancellation.