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Polly Draper

Polly Draper

Actress, director, writer, producer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Actress, director, writer, producer
Countries United States of America
Occupations Screenwriter Film director Actor Film producer Stage actor Television actor
Gender female
Birth 15 June 1955 (Gary, Lake County, Indiana, U.S.A.)
Star sign Gemini
Father: William Henry Draper III
Siblings: Timothy C. Draper
Spouse: Kevin WadeMichael Wolff
Children: Nat WolffAlex Wolff
Height: 1.7399 m
Education Yale University, Yale School of Drama
The details

Polly Carey Draper (born June 15, 1955) is an American actress, writer, producer, and director. Draper has received several awards, including a Writers Guild of America Award (WGA), and is noted for speaking in a "trademark throaty voice." She first gained recognition for her role in the ABC primetime television drama Thirtysomething (1987–91).

Draper co-starred in her screenwriting debut The Tic Code (1998) and Off-Broadway in her play Getting Into Heaven (2003). In mid-2004, she wrote her directing debut The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie and created and produced the Nickelodeon musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band (2007–09), which won her a WGA for Children's Script: Long Form or Special. Draper also wrote, directed, and co-starred in Stella's Last Weekend (2018).

Personal life

Draper was born in Gary, Indiana, to Phyllis (née Culbertson), a Peace Corps administrator, and William Henry Draper III, a venture capitalist and civic leader of the United Nations Development Programme. She is the sister of venture capitalist Tim Draper and Rebecca Draper, and granddaughter to banker and diplomat William Henry Draper Jr.

Draper grew up in Palo Alto and Arlington, California. She earned her B.A.A. from Yale University (1977) and her Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama (1980).

Following a seven-year marriage with playwright Kevin Wade, Draper married musician Michael Wolff after meeting him in 1989 when making a cameo appearance on the syndicated late-night talk show Arsenio Hall, where Wolff served as the bandleader. Wolff's life with Tourette syndrome influenced The Tic Code; he provided the score. She and Wolff have two sons, Nat and Alex; the latter three played the father and sons in The Naked Brothers Band series and film, which also included Draper's niece, Jesse, as the band's babysitter. More recently, she starred with her sons as their mother in the film, Stella's Last Weekend (2018).

Draper is a member of the Democratic Party, and voted for Democratic Presidential candidates John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008. Her late grandfather, William Henry Draper Jr., was a member of the Republican Party.


Draper began her acting career appearing Off-Broadway, including a role in Split (1980). She later starred as Ellyn Warren in the ABC television drama Thirtysomething, and in 1993, as Adrian in the NBC television movie adaptation of Danielle Steel's Heartbeat.

She starred in the off-Broadway production of Four Dogs and a Bone (1993), and also made appearances on TV shows, such as The Larry Sanders Show (1998); Monk; and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, both in 2002; as well as in the Lifetime TV movie special Too Young to Marry (2007).

Draper played Laura in her screenwriting debut The Tic Code. In 2003, she starred in, provided lead vocals and lyrics for her playwriting Getting Into Heaven (2003) at The Flea Theater; the music was also composed and performed by her husband. She played Nina in the Broadway production of Brooklyn Boy in 2005. By 2007, Draper served as creator, writer, executive producer, and director of the Nickelodeon musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band. The series was adapted by the pilot episode The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, which she wrote and directed as an independent film in mid-2004.

In 2010, she appeared with a recurring guest role in the Showtime comedic television drama The Big C. Draper directed her youngest son's play What Would Woody Do? (2010) at The Flea Theater. In 2011, she also wrote and starred in an episode of the Current TV science fiction series Bar Karma and appeared in the play My Brilliant Divorce (2012) at the Bay Street Theater. Since then, she appeared in the film Side Effects and in the CBS television drama Golden Boy, both in 2013. In 2014, Draper appeared in the film Obvious Child.

Draper also portrayed Sally in her film, Stella's Last Weekend that is set to release in 2018.


Draper's work on Thirtysomething earned her an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In addition, her starring role in the Off-Broadway production of Four Dogs and a Bone (1993) won her a New York Magazine award for Best Broadway Actress. Draper's portrayal in her screenwriting The Tic Code (1998) won her the Bronze Gryphon award for Best Actress at the Giffoni Film Festival.

The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie earned her the Audience Award for a Family Feature Film at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2005. She received two Writers Guild Award nominations for The Naked Brothers Band TV series (2007–09). The first one, in 2007, Draper was nominated in the section of Children's Episodic Shows & Specials for the episode "Nat is a Stand Up Guy". She also won the Children's Script: Long Form or Special category for the TV movie "Polar Bears" in 2009.

In August 2018, Stella's Last Weekend won Draper the Grand Prize at the San Antonio Film Festival.

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