Genuine, intelligent and independent are just a few of the words that can describe Nancy Lee Grahn. The seasoned actress, who arrived at General Hospital in 1996, plays strong and savvy Alexis Davis, a brilliant attorney whose sense of humor has recently come to the forefront. Alexis works to balance life and love, as her relationship with Ned Ashton takes one surprising turn after another.
Grahn grew up in Skokie, Illinois, and makes frequent return trips to visit family members. It was in a Skokie community theater production of Oklahoma that Nancy landed her first role, "the pony on the left that pulled the surrey with the fringe on top." But as Nancy matured, so did her roles.
While attending the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, Nancy had the great fortune to study with Sandy Meisner and Bill Epsen. Nancy went on to land roles in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Guys and Dolls, Two for the Seesaw and Barefoot in the Park at various repertory theaters across the country, including the Goodman Repertory theater in Chicago and Michigan's Meadowbrook theater.
After she decided to move to Los Angeles, Nancy's television career began to blossom. Her first role was that of Beverly Wilks, Marco Dane's secretary, on the daytime drama, One Life to Live. She went on to win guest-starring roles on such shows as Magnum, P.I., Murder, She Wrote, Babylon V and Diagnosis Murder, among others. She has also played recurring roles on Aaron Spelling's Models Inc. and Melrose Place, as well as Stephen Bochco's Murder One.
She is currently portraying Principal Russell on the drama, 7th Heaven. But the role dearest to Nancy's heart was that of Julia Wainwright on the daytime drama, Santa Barbara, for which she won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in 1989.
As much joy as Nancy receives from her work, it pales in comparison to the joy she receives from her daughter, Katherine Grace. She refers to it as "heaven on a stick." Her presence in Nancy's life has cemented her belief in the connection between heaven and earth.
The versatile Nancy has also written two plays, chaired the Media Access Awards to promote portrayal of disability in the media, volunteered at Van Nuys Child Abuse Clinic, and toured college campuses promoting specific women's issues. She has also made the talk show circuit with her father, a recovering alcoholic, and discussed alcoholism and its impact on the family. Nancy can be very politically active when inspired and still publicly supports President Clinton. She founded Daytime for Choice in 1989, consisting of the support of 99% of the daytime community.
As a single working mother, Nancy no longer has any spare time when not working. Her every moment is blissfully filled to the brim with daughter Kate. She believes her purpose in life is to be happy and is grateful to be just that.