"George!! WESLEY!!!!!."
PICTURES
Click on each thumbnail for for a larger image.
 
 LINKS
Ilene Graff Official Site
http://www.ilenegraff.com
is now open!!
Ilene Graff Official Site! Click HERE!
Ilene Graff has just launched her official site on her own domain. Check out the site for the most accurate, most up to date information about her.

You can order her just released LULLABYE Album directly from 
her site!

Filmography:Internet Movie Database
Ilene Graff
Information Page
Find out what she has been up to lately.
See Ilene in Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, where she plays Chief of Nurses Dinah Culbert
Available from Amazon on VHS or DVD on August 28, 2001. Pre-order from Amazon today!
SOUTH PACIFIC
MARSHA OWENS
played by Ilene Graff

MARSHA OWENS is the family's mom who had to struggle, often hilariously, to raise a family while finishing a law degree. Ilene has displayed on several episodes her startingly beautiful singing voice, a talent that the producers wisely made use of. In a couple of episodes she sung rousing numbers in duets with recurring guest Robert Goulet. 

The real reason the George and Marsha Owens decided to hire a housekeeper was so that she could concentrate on getting back to studying law, which she has always wanted to do. But with the coming of the kids, she's had to set aside that dream for a moment to raise them.  Through the course of 6 seasons, we can steadily track her progress from being a simple housewife, to serious law student, to full fledged lawyer.   It was a bumpy road though. She almost didn't become one after being discouraged by the difficulties of being a housewife and a student at the same time. It was a good thing Mr. Belvedere was around to set her straight.


 THE ACTRESS, SINGER AND PERFORMER


Ilene Graff, who plays the lawyer-housewife-mother in Mr. Belvedere, is a familiar figure on the Broadway stage. However, Ilene has put her Broadway career behind her-- "at least for 10 years" -- concentrating on broadening her character on Mr. Belvedere, eyeing additional film and television work, and returning to her musical roots.

"This is what I was born to do. I've never wanted to do anything else since I was old enough to make a rational decision", says the Brooklyn-born performer. " A five-year run for Mr. Belvedere is fullfilling an immediate dream of having the opportunity to work on the same thing, making it better and affording me the chance to sing again with a hopefully a somewhat more established name."

Music has always been a part of Graff's life. Her father is singer-arranger Jerry Graff, a featured singer with top vocal groups such as the Pied Pipers and The Beachcombers. Her mom, Judy, who died in 1988 of cancer, was a piano teacher. Though her mom's passing has left a void in Ilene's life, she has filled it somewhat by becoming the national spokesperson for the AMC Cancer Reasearch Center in Denver.

As a teenager, Graff worked as a studio singer doing background work and commercials. She attended Ithaca College in upstate New York, graduating in 1970 and immediately getting a job in the hot broadway musical "Promises, Promises", as a pit singer and understudy for the lead.

Graff returned to Broadway for two years as the first "Sandy" in "Grease" and then created the role of "Cleo" in "I love My Wife". It was during Grease that she met her future husband, musical director Ben Lanzarone. It was her husband who sparked the move to the West Coast.

Graff immediately started doing television pilots. "I felt strength in this area because I knew how to work fast to get a laugh. I knew there was room for me. It's just taken longer than anticipated to find the right one. " smiles Graff.

Though her television credits are many, including guest roles in "Three's Company" and "Remington Steele", Graff laughs when asked to compare stage and television.  "We're led to believe that Broadway is the toughest place to get a job. 'A Chorus Line' has done that. Well there's no comparison. It's much harder here (TV). The competition is greater and it takes a lot of adjusting. The hardest part is the time between jobs, even if you work steady."

Ilene Graff has another career...raising her five year old daughter, Nikka (who must be around 14 today). It just might be her toughest.

Ilene has since appeared in movies like Ladybugs and Abandoned and Deceived and is reportedly currently performing in musical plays. 

March 1999

One of Ilene's and her husband's most favorite activities nowadays is to participate in the annual Cedar Rapids telethon coinciding with the one in Des Moines.  Last  year, 1999, she spent her birthday (Feb 28) helping to raise $45 million for the Variety Club Children's Charity where she got to sing many of her husband's hits.

February 2000

Ilene is currently doing a play called "I Ought To Be In Pictures" with 
Richard Kline ("Three's Comany"), touring from The Norris Theater in 
Rolling Hills Estates, and continues on weekends in Santa Barbara
at the LObero and then the University of Judaism in Bel Air.

Back to the
MAIN CAST PAGE
front page  cast  newshistory  production episode-guide music mailing-list

 
 
  1