American Dreams

Gail O'Grady

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Helen Pryor

As the loving wife and devoted mother of the conservative Catholic family at the center of "American Dreams," Gail O'Grady says she hopes to bring to the role the multi-layered intelligence and subtlety that earned her three Emmy Award nominations, one for each of the three seasons she starred as "NYPD Blue's" Donna Abandando.

"The moment I read the script I knew this was the project I've been waiting for," says O'Grady. "I'm exploring this character just as she stands at a place in her life and in society where she is awakening to the idea that she has choices. That awakening is the most frightening and exhilarating time I can imagine."

O'Grady left the acclaimed police drama at the end of her third season and worked with all the major networks, starring in made-for-television movies and miniseries. She received critical praise for her leading role in "Tailhook," the TV movie based on the life of U.S. Navy Lt. Paula Coughlin, who successfully sued the Tailhook association of Navy airmen for sexual harassment. More recently, she took on a multi-episode arc as a guest star on "Ally McBeal" as the ex-wife of Ally's true love, Robert Downey, Jr.

O'Grady's feature-film career has given her the opportunity to work with some of the most respected of directors, including John Landis, John Hughes and Carl Reiner. She starred with Ellen Burstyn and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in "Walking Across Egypt," a drama based on the Clyde Egerton bestseller.

Originally from the Midwest, O'Grady now lives in Los Angeles, where she shares her home with her beloved dogs.

Photos: Eike Schroter, Chris Haston, Paul Drinkwater

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Last modified on Sunday, 12-Sep-2010 23:22:24 CDT.