Heather Graham. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and posessing a certain
bodacious je ne sais quoi, Heather Graham has had one of the more
inspiring career trajectories of the 1990s. After debuting in
the 1988 License To Drive, which featured the Two Coreys and little
else, Graham worked in relative obscurity for years before hitting
it big in a string of successful films, including Swingers, Boogie
Nights and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Originally hailing from the Midwest, Graham was born in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin on January 29, 1970. The oldest of two girls (younger
sister Aimee is also an actress), Graham led a fairly itinerant
childhood thanks to her father's job with the FBI. A quiet, unpopular
girl by her own account, Graham became interested in acting at
a young age. She had her first role as Dorothy in a school production
of The Wizard of Oz, and remained active in the theatre throughout
high school, winning the title of "Most Talented" from
her peers. After high school, Graham packed up and headed to Los
Angeles, where she discovered that talented as she may have been,
it was no guarantee of employment. She worked a variety of odd
jobs, including a stint as an usher at the Hollywood Bowl, before
making her 1988 film debut in License to Drive as the object of
Corey Haim's desire. The following year, Graham's career began
to travel in a more auspicious direction when she was cast as
a doomed drug addict in Gus Van Sant's critically acclaimed Drugstore
Cowboy. Despite winning raves for her performance, Graham eluded
stardom, as her subsequent film roles were largely incidental.
However, she did win a recurring role on the long-running TV miniseries
Twin Peaks in 1990, and the following year starred in the widely
celebrated made-for-TV movie O Pioneers!.
In 1992, Graham had a supporting role in Diggstown, the most
notable effect of which was a relationship with co-star James
Woods, who was twice her age. After appearing in a few more films
of varying quality (Six Degrees of Separation (1993) being at
one end of the spectrum, 1994's Don't Do It, which paired her
with Drugstore boyfriend James LeGros at the other), the actress
finally got a break with the 1996 hit Swingers, appearing in a
small but memorable role as the girl of Jon Favreau's dreams.
The part marked the beginning of an upswing in Graham's career:
the following year she had a bit part in the movie-within-a-movie
in Scream 2, which led to her inclusion on a Rolling Stone cover
featuring the movie's assorted Hot Young Things, and also had
her breakthrough role in Boogie Nights. As Rollergirl, an under-dressed,
over-sexed coke-snorting young porn actress, Graham made an indelible
impression on audiences everywhere. 1997 continued to be the best
year of the actress' career thus far: she also starred in Gregg
Araki's Nowhere, in which she did little except have copious amounts
of sex with the similarly golden-tressed Ryan Phillippe, and Two
Girls and a Guy, a critically acclaimed piece that featured her
as one of the title's two girls opposite Robert Downey Jr.'s guy.
Unfortunately, Graham's first big-budget undertaking, the 1998
sci-fi film Lost in Space, was swallowed in a deep pit of critical
and commercial quicksand. The actress more than rebounded the
following year, however, earning top billing in two films, the
Steve Martin comedy Bowfinger and the eagerly-awaited Austin Powers
sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The same year Graham
earned the 1999 ShoWest convention's "Female Star of Tomorrow"
title, further assuring what looked like a very bright future
for the young actress.
Playing Dorothy in her grade school's theatrical production of
"The Wizard of Oz" whetted Heather's desire to be an
actress. So at Agoura High School, Heather took drama classes
and appeared in the school's theatrical productions. While there,
she impressed many of her schoolmates with her talent.
After high school, she headed out to Hollywood. She started doing
TV, and landed her first movie role as Mercedes, Les' (Corey Haim)
love interest, in the 1988 indie flick "License to Drive."
She followed that with "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989).
Heather then enrolled in UCLA with a major in English. However,
after two years, she could no longer resist the lure of showbiz
and dropped out of school to pursue acting again. She got roles
in notable movies such as "Six Degrees of Separation"
(1993) and "Swingers" (1996) before "Boogie Nights"
(1997) came along. In this movie about the porn industry, she
played the dim-witted, but sexy Rollergirl. The movie got people
talking - and looking too. Her next big movie was "Lost in
Space" (1998) where she played Judy Robinson. The movie was
a disappointment at the box office but it was Heather's first
big budget movie. She plays opposite Mike Myers in the runaway
hit "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999) as
Felicity Shagwell. In her personal life, Graham is romantically
involved with actor Ed Burns. Though she's abandoned her Catholic
roots, she regularly practices Transcendental Meditation, and
in addition to her film work, has a modeling contract with Emanuel
Ungaro. Not that Graham needs the additional income - she's poised
to make the most of her 15 minutes of fame. She nabbed a starring
role in one of summer 1999's most wildly anticipated sequels,
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, and hot on its heels will
come the Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy starrer Bowfinger, a Hollywood
satire penned by Martin.
Killing Me Softly (2001)
Say It Isn't So (2001)
Sidewalks of New York (2001)
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
Kiss and Tell (1999)
Two Girls and a Guy (1998)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Scream 2 (1997)
Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (1996)
Desert Winds (1995)
Don't Do It! (1995)
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1994)
The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)