Heather Joan Graham is an American actress, director and writer. After appearing in television commercials, her first starring role in a feature film came with the teen comedy License to Drive, followed by the critically acclaimed film Drugstore Cowboy, which gained her initial industry notice. Take a look below for 28 more fun and fascinating facts about Heather Graham.
1. Graham was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at St. Michaels Hospital, the older of two children.
2. Her family is of “three-quarters Irish” descent, with her father’s side from County Cork.
3. Her younger sister, Aimee Graham, is also an actress, and writer.
4. Her mother, Joan, is a teacher and author of children’s books and her father, James Graham, is a retired FBI agent.
5. She was raised Catholic, but is non-practicing.
6. Her family relocated repeatedly before moving to Agoura Hills, California, when she was 9 years old.
7. She was introduced to acting during a school production of The Wizard of Oz.
8. After high school, Graham enrolled in extension classes at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she studied English for two years.
9. Despite her parents’ objections, Graham withdrew from UCLA to pursue acting full-time.
10. Graham has been estranged from her parents in the past, supposedly due to their strict Irish Catholic beliefs and her rebellion as a teenager.
11. Regarding the media’s perception of her relationship with her parents, she stated: “I don’t really like to talk about my parents. Because I just feel that it gets misinterpreted in the press…”
12. She has been practicing transcendental meditation since 1991 after being introduced to it by David Lynch.
13. She also expressed her dislike of reality television, stating in a 2007 interview: “I think some of it, it seems strange – why do we all want to watch people be so miserable? Other people’s pain and misery – it seems kind of sad.”
14. Graham is considered a sex symbol. She was ranked at number 40 in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World list in 2000, number 95 in 2001 list, number 97 in the 2002 list, number #74 in the 2005 list and at number #98 in 2006 list.
15. In 2001 she was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People. In 2003 she posed for a photoshoot by photographer Sam Jones during which she was levitated several feet into the air by a magician who later also sawed her in half.
16. Also in 2003, Graham appeared on the cover of Time magazine for an article titled “The Science of Meditation”.
17. To promote Emily’s Reasons Why Not, she had posed for a Life Magazine cover story, printed weeks in advance of the assumed series schedule, referring to her as “TV’s sexiest star” which appeared in the January 27, 2006 issue.
18. Graham is often cast in sexual roles including those of Felicity Shagwell (Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me), porn stars Rollergirl (Boogie Nights) and Sharonna (The Guru), prostitute Mary Kelly (From Hell), porn director Margaret (About Cherry) and stripper Jade (The Hangover and The Hangover, Part III).
19. She stated she finds these types of roles and the issue of sexuality fascinating, and believes that “our culture sends out mixed messages to women about sex. Are women supposed to be sexually alive people, or are we supposed to be ‘good’ mothers who would never do those things?” and that she likes “the fact some of my roles maybe help people open their minds about the way they think about sex”.
20. In 2005, Graham became the spokeswoman and TV model for the Garnier brand of hair care products.
21. Besides her acting work, Graham is also an activist who serves as a public advocate for the NGO Children International.
22. She stated that what she likes about Children International is that “you are helping a child have a better life. It’s great for that child to know that someone who lives in another country cares about them”.
23. Graham works with the Cambodian Children’s Fund, also an NGO, which provides supplies and education, and campaigns to stop slavery. “There’s a lot of human trafficking in Cambodia,” Graham has said. “Women are dying because they don’t have $15 to give birth in a hospital. The [Children’s Fund] provides free education, clean water and healthcare for communities… We’re creating future leaders who will be able to help themselves.”
24. In 2007 she supported the climate change campaign Global Cool and appeared in Shekhar Kapur’s short film Global Cool alongside Sienna Miller.
25. Graham voiced the character of Antonia Bayle in the online role-playing game EverQuest 2.
26. She played Meredith Crown in At Any Price, which stars Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron and was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and later screened as an official selection at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals.
27. In 2012, she was a member of the jury of the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival.
28. In 2018 she co-starred in the David Cross dark comedy series Bliss, which was released by the BritBox streaming service. It stars Stephen Mangan as Andrew, a fraudulent travel writer, who is struggling to maintain long-term relationships with two partners, Kim (Graham) and Denise (Jo Hartley), who are not aware of one another.