Who is Grace Zabriskie?
Grace Zabriskie is a former actress, who gained massive popularity portraying Sarah Palmer in “Twin Peaks”, and Lois Henrickson in the HBO series “Big Love”. She was born under the Zodiac sign Taurus on 17 May 1940, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, of Polish and Dutch descent. As of 2021, she is 81 years old and holds American nationality.
Early life and Family
Grace was born to Marion Grace Zabriskie, and Roger Tomas Caplinger, an owner of the gay bar Café Lafitte in Exile and an amateur actor. All of her grandparents were teachers. She spent most of her early life living in the French quarter of New Orleans with three siblings, including sister Lane Caplinger who worked as a typist in the District Attorney Jim Garrison’s office in New Orleans.
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From an early age, Grace has exuded potential and talent for performing, in an interview saying: “I have always been a writer, an actor and a visual artist. I acted in a few things as a child in New Orleans, but preferred painting sets to acting in high school plays.”
Regarding Grace’s education, after matriculating from high school, she enrolled at the State University of New Jersey, where she majored in French language and art, actually attending the University on and off for ten years, during which she also worked as a teacher at an academy for black teen dropouts.
Rise to Stardom
Grace launched her career relatively late, compared to other artists who usually kick off their careers in their teen years.
In an interview, she said that her parents hadn’t been quite supportive of her career choice, disclosing: “My father, who had been an actor himself, was advised by friends from L.A to keep me out of acting as long as possible, to make sure I had a normal life, growing up. I took no theater courses, but was commandeered by seniors for their senior directing project.”
During her young adulthood, she occasionally performed in plays in New Orleans. However, she always leaned toward her writing, and then later visual art. After she had had her children, she participated in several plays in Atlanta, and began landing commercial gigs, including voiceovers for various advertisements. In the interview she explained: “I am proudest of those years.
My ambition since earliest childhood was to be a visual artist, a writer and an actor as a ‘passionate amateur,’ but to earn my living, always, as a teacher. But then acting took over.”
Having acquired some experience appearing in commercials, she kicked off her acting career in 1978, appearing in the comedy movie “They Went That-A-Way &That-A-Way”, and the TV film “The Million Dollar Dixie Deliverance”. She landed her breakthrough role just a year after making her movie debut, portraying Linette Odum in the drama movie “Norma Rae”, after which she relocated to Los Angeles, as several agents interested in representing her reached out to her.
During her five-decade-spanning career, she has acquired more than 100 credits for various TV shows and movies. In the ‘80’s she appeared in several successful projects, including “The Private Eyes”, Galaxy of Terror”, and “An Officer and Gentleman”. Grace was equally active with her TV appearances, starring in series and made-for-TV movies including “CBS Afternoon Playhouse”, “East of Eden”, and “The Executioner’s Song”.
After starring in the drama movie “Nickel Mountain”, she portrayed various characters in “Body Rock”, “The Big Easy”, and “Rampage”. Additionally, she made several single-episode appearances in TV shows and TV movies, such as “Knot’s Landing”, “The Burning Bed”, and “ABC Afterschool Special”.
In 1985 she landed the recurring role of Theda Basset in the soap opera “Santa Barbara”, appearing in 14 episodes, followed by minor appearances in the series “Shadow Chasers”, “Hill Street Blues”, and “Falcon Crest”. In the following period she bounced from numerous movie roles, to TV appearances in such as “The Ryan White Story”, “Drugstore Cowboy”, and “Tales from The Crypt”.
In 1990 she scooped the role of Sarah Palmer in the mystery horror series “Twin Peaks”, classified by many as one of the most iconic and greatest TV series of all time. In addition to universal critical acclaim and popularity, the show garnered a devoted cult following.
Grace starred in the two seasons, appearing in 14 episodes that aired from 1990-1991. Two years later, she reprised her role in the follow-up movie “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me”.
Her other notable appearances include “Child’s Play 2”, “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”, and “Drop Zone”. After guest-starring in an episode of “Seinfeld”, she was cast in several TV movies, such as “Miracle Child”, “Children of the Dust”, and “Crazy For A kiss”. In 1996 she was cast as the recurring character Mrs Ross in the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld”, appearing in four episodes. She finished the decade appearing in the in the 1998 sci-fi movie “Armageddon” alongside Bruce Willis.
With the start of the new millennium, she shared the screen with Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie in the commercially successful action movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”.
Her next recurring role came in 2002 as Yellow Teeth in the sci-fi drama series “John Doe”, starring in six episodes. The following year she made a notable appearance in the super popular supernatural drama series “Charmed”, then in 2006, she booked the role as Lois Hendrickson in the drama series “Big Love”, appearing throughout its five-season run. Concurrently, she continued appearing in several movies, her most notable credits including “The Grudge”, “License to Wed”, and “The Judge”. In the following period, she mainly landed recurring roles in TV, shows such as “The Killing”, “Ray Donovan”, and “OutCast”.
Defying the myth about old age, she has continued starring in TV shows; in 2019, she appeared in the series “Hot Streets” and “Ballers”, while portraying Lena Sable in the supernatural horror movie “Polaroid”.
The following year, she made an appearance in the music video for the single ”Youth” by Grouplove, then in 2021, she switched from her usual performances to voice the character Joan in the adult animated drama “Cryptozoo”.
Grace tied the knot in 1963 with John Dunham, and they welcomed two daughters together, Helen and Marion Lane, who followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a painter. They often collaborate on projects.
What is her net worth?
Her estimated net worth is around $5 million, acquired through her lengthy acting career. She has appeared in several commercially successful movies, such as “Gone in 60 Second”, which grossed over $240 million at the box office.
Physical stats and Hobbies
Grace is 5ft 4ins tall (163cm), while her weight is around 145lbs (65kgs). Her natural hair is ginger, while her eyes are blue. Contrary to the popular practice of undergoing plastic surgery in Hollywood, especially for mature actors, Grace strongly opposes surgical modification, saying in an interview “I am an actress. That means I must convey states of being, emotions. Why would I cut the muscles that allow me to frown? I figure that people do get old, and until everyone in the world has their face lifted, somebody’s got to play the people who don’t. I’m here.”
It appears that Grace is not a fan of social media, and hence doesn’t use Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.