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Hollywood star who propelled her sons to stardom



Polly Draper is an award-winning American actress, writer, producer and director. She is notable for speaking in a trademark throaty voice and gained fame after starring in the ABC drama television series, Thirtysomething (1987–1991).

Draper did not just succeed in her career, but she became known as the “Hollywood supermom” as she succeeded in propelling her two sons to stardom.

Polly Draper biography

Polly Draper smile

Polly Carey Draper was born on June 15, 1955, in Gary, Indiana, United States of America. However, she grew up in Chicago, Illinois; Palo Alto, California; and Arlington, Texas, respectively.

Draper attended Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977. In 1980, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama.

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Polly Draper career

Polly Draper in a movie

Draper began her acting career when she appeared in Off-Broadway productions such as Split in 1980 and Four Dogs and a Bone (1993). Her breakthrough came after she played “Ellyn Warren” in the ABC drama television series, Thirtysomething. Her performance in Thirtysomething earned her an Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series”. In 1993, she played “Adrian” in the NBC television movie adaptation of Danielle Steel’s Heartbeat.

Draper has since featured in other films and TV shows, including  The Larry Sanders Show (1998), Monk (2002), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2002) and Too Young to Marry  (2007). In 2005, she played “Nina” in the Broadway production of Brooklyn Boy.

Draper made her screenwriting debut in The Tic Code (1999)where she played “Laura Caraday”. She also made her directing debut in The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, which she also created and wrote. Draper created the Nickelodeon musical comedy series, The Naked Brothers Band (2007–2009), which won a WGA for “Children’s Script: Long Form or Special”.  The Naked Brothers Band won the Audience Award for a “Family Feature Film” at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2005. She also received two Writers Guild Award nominations for the same TV Show.

She also wrote, directed, and co-starred in the film Stella’s Last Weekend (2018) which earned her the Grand Prize at the San Antonio Film Festival.

Apart from acting and directing, Draper is actively involved in American politics. She is a member of the Democratic Party, unlike her father and late grandfather who were members of the Republican Party.

Polly Draper movies

Below are some of the movies that Draper has been involved in:

  • Seven Minutes in Heaven (1985)
  • Heartbeat (1993)
  • Broken Promises (1993)
  • A Million Juan (1994)
  • The Innocent (1994)
  • Gold Digger: Secret of Bear Mountain (1995)
  • Always Say Goodbye (1996)
  • Home Song (1996)
  • Hudson River Blues (1997)
  • The Tic Code (1998)
  • Dinner Rush (2000)
  • Hitman’s Journal (2001)
  • Second Best (2004)
  • Shooting Livien (2005)
  • A Perfect Fit (2005)
  • The Naked Brothers Band (2005)
  • Battle of the Bands Part 2 (2007)
  • Too Young to Marry (2007)
  • Mystery Girl (2008)
  • Sidekicks (2008)
  • Operation Mojo (2008)
  • Naked Idol (2009)
  • Our Idiot Brother (2011)
  • Side Effects (2013)
  • Obvious Child (2014)
  • Addiction: A 60’s Love Story (2015)
  • Demolition (2015)
  • Jane Wants A Boyfriend (2015)
  • Stella’s Last Weekend (2018)
  • Shiva Baby (2020)
  • Little Brother (2023)

ALSO READ: Dani Kind: Canadian star who directed, starred in hit TV series, ‘Workin’ Moms’

Polly Draper’s net worth

Draper reportedly has an estimated net worth of $5 million.

Polly Draper family

Polly Draper with her family

Draper comes from a prominent family in the U.S. She has English, German, some Scottish and Portuguese, and distant Welsh, Jersey (Channel Islander) and French, ancestry. Draper is the daughter of Phyllis (née Culbertson), a Peace Corps administrator, and William Henry Draper III, a former CEO of the United Nations Development Programme and president and chairman of the US Export-Import Bank. Her grandfather was the banker and diplomat, William Henry Draper Jr.

Draper has two siblings –  Tim Draper and Rebecca Draper. It is worth noting that Tim Draper is a venture capitalist and founder of Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Draper University, Draper Venture Network, Draper Associates and Draper Goren Holm.

Polly Draper married American screenwriter and television producer, Kevin Wade, in 1983 but they divorced in 1990.

She later married musician Michael Wolff in 1991. Wolff suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome, a sickness that inspired The Tic Code’s score. The couple has two sons: Alex Wolff (born in 1997) and Nat Wolf  (born in 1994). Both sons were the stars of The Naked Brothers Band. Draper also directed her youngest son’s play What Would Woody Do? (2010) at The Flea Theater.

Polly Draper age

Draper is 68 years old as of 2023.

Polly Draper Instagram

Polly Draper has a private Instagram account, with only 63 followers as of the time of writing this piece.

ALSO READ: Dianne Kay: A look at the legacy of a hero in Hollywood

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