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John Graysmark

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Also Known As: Died: October 10, 2010
Born: March 26, 1935 Cause of Death: Cancer
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession:

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Though she entered into acting at an early age, Sprague Grayden managed to receive a quality education while her parents made sure she stayed grounded throughout her youth. By the time she pursued acting as an adult, Grayden had blossomed into an assured performer, capable of playing a variety of unique characters on popular dramas. But it was Grayden's 2004 breakout role as Anita on HBO's "Six Feet Under" (2001-05) that led to a slew of subsequent roles on other shows - a pattern which ceased to slow down as her career path curved into the catastrophic remains of "Jericho" (2006-08). She went on to play the ill-fated Donna on the first season of the biker drama "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-14) and the estranged daughter of President Allison Wilson on "24" (Fox, 2001-2010). While she spent the bulk of her early career on television, Grayden branched out into features with starring turns in two installments of the wildly popular horror series, "Paranormal Activity 2" (2010) and "Paranormal Activity 3" (2011), which allowed the talented actress to gain a foothold with a wider audience.Born on July 21, 1980 in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA and raised by two public school teachers, Grayden was recruited by a...

Though she entered into acting at an early age, Sprague Grayden managed to receive a quality education while her parents made sure she stayed grounded throughout her youth. By the time she pursued acting as an adult, Grayden had blossomed into an assured performer, capable of playing a variety of unique characters on popular dramas. But it was Grayden's 2004 breakout role as Anita on HBO's "Six Feet Under" (2001-05) that led to a slew of subsequent roles on other shows - a pattern which ceased to slow down as her career path curved into the catastrophic remains of "Jericho" (2006-08). She went on to play the ill-fated Donna on the first season of the biker drama "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-14) and the estranged daughter of President Allison Wilson on "24" (Fox, 2001-2010). While she spent the bulk of her early career on television, Grayden branched out into features with starring turns in two installments of the wildly popular horror series, "Paranormal Activity 2" (2010) and "Paranormal Activity 3" (2011), which allowed the talented actress to gain a foothold with a wider audience.

Born on July 21, 1980 in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA and raised by two public school teachers, Grayden was recruited by a casting director friend of her parents to appear in commercials when she was just five years old. Her parents firmly set the rules, however, letting her appear in only a few spots per year. Grayden still had to attend school like all the other kids, but her interest in acting had been piqued. In 1989, Grayden received her official start with a brief appearance in the comedy film "Dad" (1989), playing a young version of Kathy Bates' character, Annie. Grayden soon advanced to stage acting in the 1990s, appearing at the Gloucester Stage Company in Israel Horovitz's "Strong-Man's Weak Child." Her increasing passion for acting prompted her to join the local Rebel Shakespeare Company and perform in several of The Bard's plays, all the while vigilantly focusing on her studies at Manchester High School. Into her final year, Grayden was struck by the untimely death of her younger brother, Ben, whose name was later lent to the family's locally-owned eatery, Ben Sprague's.

After graduation, Grayden moved to New York City to attend Barnard College in the late 1990s, where she rekindled her interest in acting while earning a degree in American studies. Meanwhile, she kept up her interest in drama by joining the off-Broadway theater company, Drama Dept. Grayden stayed in New York and hit the stage fulltime after college. In 2000, she appeared in the off-Broadway play "Hopscotch: The New York Sex Comedy," then moved on to various stage productions including Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love," Clifford Odets' "Waiting for Lefty," and the rotating-cast production of Eve Enseler's ongoing "The Vagina Monologues." Making the jump to television, she appeared in an episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 1999- ) in 2002, then quickly replaced Azura Skye on the Fox drama, "John Doe" (2002-03) after the original pilot was filmed. Grayden's waitress character, Karen Kawalski, was drawn into helping the series' titular "John Doe" discover his true identity.

In the fall of 2003, Grayden was tapped as the star of a pilot "Sixteen to Life," a comedy about a gruff father who moves in with his teenage daughter that was made for The WB, but was ultimately shelved. From there, she settled into a lengthy West Coast experience that continued with several high-profile series that courted her abilities. By the summer of 2004, she had a recurring role on "Six Feet Under" (HBO, 2001-05), making a dozen appearances during season four as Anita, friend and roommate of the wild and artsy Claire (Lauren Ambrose). The role opened several doors for Grayden, including one that led to a role on the popular teen drama "Joan of Arcadia" (CBS, 2003-05), playing Joan's new camp friend, Judith. With an already incredibly busy schedule, Grayden was then tapped by producer Steven Bochco for his short-lived war drama "Over There" (FX, 2005-06). On that series, Grayden played Terry Ryder, the wife of returned Iraq war Private Bo Ryder (Josh Henderson), determined to aid her husband's painful recovery.

After almost two years, Grayden's run of recurring roles had wound down by the end of 2005. But in early 2006, she headed back to the East Coast to appear in an episode of "CSI: NY" (CBS, 2004- ). Later that summer, she made a rare foray into films with the dark comedy, "Mini's First Time," turning up the volume as Kayla, best friend of a rebellious teen (Nikki Reed) scheming with her stepfather (Alec Baldwin) to rid themselves of her pesky mom (Carrie-Anne Moss). Back on television, Grayden landed on the surprisingly popular "Jericho" (2006-08), a tense drama focusing on the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust in a lone Kansas town. Grayden played Heather Lisinski, a decisive and mechanically-inclined schoolteacher trying to sort out her romance with the town's mysterious prodigal son, Jake Green (Skeet Ulrich). She went on to portray the reluctant wife of semi-reformed biker Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst) on "Sons of Anarchy" (FX, 2008-14), a woman whose husband is killed by a serial killer in an episode of "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ), and a recurring role as President Allison Wilson's estranged daughter on the seventh season of "24" (Fox, 2001-2010). Returning to the feature world, Grayden joined the popular horror thriller "Paranormal Activity 2" (2010) to play the sister of Katie (Katie Featherson), reprising her character for the hit sequel "Paranormal Activity 3" (2011). Though not technically a reprisal, her character returned in archival form for the fourth installment, "Paranormal Activity 4" (2012).

By Shawn Dwyer

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