May 12, 1962
Lakeland, Florida, United States
While she had numerous stage and small screen credits, April Grace was still a relatively fresh face when writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson tapped her to play a cool television reporter in his sprawling drama "Magnolia" (1999). Sharing most of her scenes with Tom Cruise, who played the subject of her interview--a foul-mouthed, sex guru, the actress provided strong counterpoint. Her character was clearly competent, knowing how to establish a rapport with her subject and when to ask the tough questions. While Cruise earned a great deal of attention for his performance, a great deal of its success lay in Grace's understated work opposite him.The attractive Grace first garnered notice in the early 1990s when she landed a recurring role as the transporter chief on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (syndicated). Interspersing acclaimed and award-winning stage work in L.A. with her film and TV roles, the actress slowly rose from bit parts in major studio films (as in 1994's "Angie") to more prominent characters in independent films (as in "Headless Body in Topless Bar" 1995). Grace also had a recurring role on CBS' "Chicago Hope" as the sister of Vondie Curtis Hall's Dr. Hancock. In 2001, she was seen as TV reporter determined to become a household name in ABC's summer series "The Beast," set in the world of a 24-hour cable news station.
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