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50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #19 Nancy Lee Grahn

NAME: Nancy Lee Grahn
RANK: 19
SOAP ROLES: Alexis Davis, GENERAL HOSPITAL (1996-present); Denise Fielding, MELROSE PLACE (1997); Julia Wainwright Capwell, SANTA BARBARA (1985-1993); Beverly Wilkes, ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1980-1982)

AWARDS:
2006 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Special Class Special
2005 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Favorite New Couple
2004 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
2003 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
2003 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actress
2001 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actress
2000 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Supporting Actress
2000 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1993 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress
1993 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Hottest Female Star
1991 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Super Couple: Daytime
1991 NDDA Award nomination for Best Actress
1991 Soap Opera Update MVP Award nomination for Outstanding Actress
1989 Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL:
Connie Passalacqua Hayman (Marlena De Lacroix): Her Julia on SANTA BARBARA was more than genius, actually. And she's still surviving Guza -- with dignity, too -- through Alexis' real and refreshing portrayal of genuine mother love.

Damon L. Jacobs: It is hard to describe an actress whose fearless spirit transcends words.  Let's start with the fact that Nancy Lee Grahn is the walking embodiment of commitment.  She commits to her character's story in ways many actors fall short.  She commits to her political causes in ways that put most activists to shame.  She commits to her fans with every heartfelt communication she sends out on Twitter or FaceBook in ways that are unusually loyal.  There is simply no keeping up with this force of nature we call Grahn.  From the first time I saw her as unlucky-in-love Julia on SANTA BARBARA in the summer of 1985, I was hooked.  She can elevate the tasteless violence and misogyny of GENERAL HOSPITAL to enjoyable levels of entertainment, a rare feat indeed.  She is unrivaled in her ability to use language to communicate emotions and fears so much deeper than what the written page will allow.  For that I freely admit that she was at the top of my own personal list, and I hope ABC will continue to recognize the virtuoso, the artist, the committed being that is Nancy Lee Grahn.

Roger Newcomb: I'm a fan of her acting as well as her activism. I first saw Grahn on SANTA BARBARA as Julia and she and Lane Davies (Mason) made up one of the smartest soap couples I can ever remember. The writing was terrific but Grahn could play both comedy and drama equally well and made any situation work. She has continued to impress me over the last 25 years and never seems to have an off day.

COMMENTS FROM CO-STARS/CO-WORKERS/INDUSTRY:
Wally Kurth: (worked with Grahn on GH) She brings out the best in you. She keeps you on your toes. She's usually never satisfied with the material or the amount of time to get it right, but with her, you know to bring your A game; or you will be toast. I miss working with her. She was always open to my ideas and good at adding her own unique take to the material. She's a good friend and I miss her big heart and wonderful need to do it different.

Kin Shriner: (worked with Grahn on GH) Very fun, very spirited. Trying to pin her down to a rehearsal is....you're lucky. Where Jess Walton wanted to rehearse a lot, Nancy didn't.

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