Nancy Lee GrahnLaugh BostonNovember 23, 2014 1:00 PM
425 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
Grahn was born inSkokie, Illinois. Her parents were both involved with their local community theater in Skokie. Grahn's first stage appearance was as a pony in a community production of Oklahoma! At Niles North High School, she played "Daisy Mae" opposite future Broadway actor Gregg Edelman in the school's production of Lil' Abner. As a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Grahn landed her first credited role, as Mimi in Guys and Dolls at the Goodman Rep Theater, 1973–74 season. Grahn subsequently went to New York City, where she studied acting with noted drama teachers Sandy Meisner and Bill Epsen. Here she had roles in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Barefoot in the Park. She also appeared in commercials and several industrial films; in an interview, Grahn recalled crossing paths with fellow future soap star Kim Zimmer at the production of several of those films. She also continued to perform in numerous plays, such as Father's Day and Two for the Seesaw, among others. Grahn has made a number of appearances in episodic prime time television, including Little House on the Prairie, Moonlighting, Murder, She Wrote, Magnum, P.I., Diagnosis: Murder, Perry Mason, The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider and Babylon 5 ("The War Prayer", 1994). She has also been seen in the recurring role of Denise Fielding on Melrose Place, as Connie Dahlgren on Murder One, and as Principal Russell on 7th Heaven.View More >
Grahn also has had several roles on daytime dramas. Her first television role was as Beverly Wilkes, Marco Dane's secretary on ABC's One Life to Live from 1980 to 1982. In 1985, she was cast as headstrong lawyer Julia Wainwright Capwell, on the now-defunct soap opera Santa Barbara. Julia was a departure from the traditional "damsel in distress" or vixen roles; she was an intelligent, uncompromising woman. Julia was paired with Mason Capwell, and the two had a Tracy/Hepburn-esque romance. Offscreen, Grahn was briefly involved with Mason's portrayer, actor Lane Davies; conflict over their storylines eventually led to Davies' departure from the series. Grahn's performance garnered her a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1989, an award which she shares with All My Children actress Debbi Morgan. She portrayed the role of Julia until the show's cancellation in 1993.
In 1996, she was cast as Alexis Davis, another headstrong lawyer, on General Hospital. She was nominated for several additional Daytime Emmys, winning in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category in 2012. In July 2010, Grahn re-signed with General Hospital for another four years on the show.