Polly Draper is an American actress, producer, director, and writer. She first garnered attention with her performance in ABC’s TV drama ‘Thirtysomething’. She achieved further success with the Nickelodeon musical comedy ‘The Naked Brothers Band’ which she created and produced; she won a Writers Guild of America Award for the same. Born in Gary, Indiana, to a Peace Corps administrator mother and a venture capitalist father, Draper grew up in Arlington and Palo Alto alongside her two siblings, including Tim Draper, a renowned venture capitalist. Following her graduation from Yale University and Yale School of Drama, the actress initially started her career with stage productions and eventually landed roles in films as well as television. Besides a WGA, she has also won many awards at various festivals including the Grand Prize at the San Antonio Film Festival and the Bronze Gryphon award for her contributions to the American entertainment industry. On a personal note, Draper is a married woman and has two children.
Polly Draper started her acting career with the off-Broadway production of ‘Split’ which premiered in 1980. From 1987 to 1991, she played Ellyn Warren on ABC’s drama ‘Thirtysomething’. Soon after the show ended, the actress had roles in the NBC television movie ‘Heartbeat’ and in the off-Broadway play ‘Four Dogs and a Bone’. In 1998, she guest-starred in ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ and also featured as Laura in her screenwriting debut ‘The Tic Code’. The film, based on the story of a single mother and her relationship a jazz musician with Tourette syndrome, won numerous awards.
Following guest appearances in the dramas ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’ and ‘Monk’ in 2002, Draper starred in and provided lead vocals for the play ‘Getting into Heaven’. She next played the role of Nina in the Broadway production ‘Brooklyn Boy’. After this, she appeared in a Lifetime TV movie special titled ‘Too Young to Marry’. In 2007, Draper served as the writer, executive producer, creator and director of Nickelodeon’s musical series ‘The Naked Brothers Band’.
In 2010, she had a recurring role in the Showtime drama ‘The Big C’. That year, she also directed her son’s play titled ‘What Would Woody Do?’ at The Flea Theater. A year later, Draper wrote and appeared in an episode of the sci-fi drama ‘Bar Karma’. She next starred in the production of ‘My Brilliant Divorce’ at the Bay Street Theater. In 2013, she appeared in the drama ‘Golden Boy’ as well as in the psychological thriller flick ‘Side Effects’. This was followed by her role in ‘Obvious Child’, a romantic comedy about a stand-up comedian who spends a night with a man after breaking up with her boyfriend and eventually gets pregnant. After this, Draper played Sally in the movie ‘Stella's Last Weekend,’ which was released in 2018.
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Family & Personal Life
Polly Draper was born on June 15, 1955, in Gary, Indiana, USA, to William Henry Draper III and Phyllis. Her mother, a Peace Corps administrator, was a close friend of Barbara Bush and her father is a venture capitalist as well a member of United Nations Development Program. Her grandfather William Henry Draper Jr. was a banker and diplomat. Draper has two siblings, Rebecca and Tim, who is also a venture capitalist. The actress graduated from Yale University in 1977 and later received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale School of Drama.
Talking about her love life, Draper was married to screenwriter and producer Kevin Wade from 1983 to 1990. She later married musician Michael Wolff with whom she has two sons, Alex and Nat.