I’ll confess a weakness for beautiful blondes, especially ones who play a mean game of cards and if they’re famous Hollywood stars, so much the better. Heather Graham…I’m all yours.
If you don’t know who Heather Graham (that’s Heather Joan Graham to give her her full name) is then I can only assume you’ve been hid under a very large rock for the past 15 years. First things first, Heather’s day job is that of a jobbing actress. She first spun onto the silver screen in Swingers (1996) playing the love interest to Jon Favreau. Favreau has gone on to find fame behind the lens, directing both Iron Man films but Heather thankfully stayed front and centre, for all to see.
But besides the thespian skills Graham knows how to enjoy herself when she clocks off; she has a cat called Mittens, she enjoys yoga (so she’s limber) she has a penchant for cooking and she adores playing poker, “For years I’ve had friends over to my house for poker sessions or I’ll go to poker clubs. I love playing cards.” We should thank the (classic) move The Hangover for Heather’s interest in cards, the beautiful blonde caught the poker bug when she spent some time in Vegas during filming for the 2009 comedy smash. It’s better news for us as Heather didn’t always know a good thing when she saw it. Ms Graham turned down the female lead in the poker film Rounders eleven years earlier because of scheduling conflicts. Poker is a game of time and patience and Heather has made up for lost time by hitting the tables with a vengeance. Hardly surprising for an actress who has played an “adult movie star” twice (first in Boogie Nights (1997) and again in The Guru (2002) ) she’s not shy when it comes to the darker side of the great game; “Poker is pretty vicious and dark. It can bring out an ugly side of me, one that’s pretty competitive”
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the young Ms Graham got into acting when she had her first role, as Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz (her local Agoura High school’s production, not the Warmer Bros. classic) through that and other roles she was voted “Most Talented” by classmates. Lovely Heather has rarely been away from our screens for long and she enjoyed a stint as Dr. Molly Clock (completed with those all so sexy, starched white doctors coats) in the hit TV show Scrubs. So while Heather isn’t playing cards to pay the rent, she’s still savvy enough not turn a profit at poker, “I hardly ever lose money. I don’t play for huge stakes – I’m too cautious for that. But I’ve often won hundreds of dollars.” Heather comes from sensible stock, her father is an FBI agent and her mother is a schoolteacher and author, so Heather’s in no danger of fluffing her lines in her role as poker shark at the table. She’s also wise enough to adhere to the, Bard’s warning on booze, ““It provokes the desire but it takes away the performance;”Heather says she always plays sober.
With beauty and brains, and the appetite for success that propelled Heather up the Hollywood tree should serve as a warning to anyone looking to tackle her on the table, but also might provide a clue how to beat her; “My weakness is a tendency to get too competitive, which means I lose my edge.” And what an edge it is too.
Amazing as it sounds, the gorgeous Graham has never married, although she can has enjoyed relationships with several actors, including James Woods, Matt Dillon, Edward Burns, Kyle MacLachlan, Elias Koteas, and Matthew Perry, plus musicians Adam Ant, Elijah Allman, and Jason Falkner, not to mention directors such as Stephen Hopkins, Chris Weitz, and Yaniv Raz. Sooner or later she’ll add “Poker Players” to her little black book. So keep on the tables and wait for her to turn up. You might not get a date, but it’ll be a pleasure just to share a table with her. The divine Ms Graham says, “I love poker and I love telling dirty jokes.”
That means she’s welcome at my card school anytime.