American Dreams- Biography:
Gail O'Grady / Helen Pryor

Character Name: Helen Pryor (2002- )

Birth Date: January 23, 1963

Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA




Marital Status: 'Steven Fenton' (1995 - 1996) (divorced)
'Severin Wunderman' (1987 - 1987) (divorced)
'Unknown' (1981 - 1983) (divorced)

Flimography: Click here! to read about her other roles

Trivia: Appeared in classic 80's Pepsi commercial with Michael J. Fox where she is his apartment neighbor, she asks for a Pepsi, and when he finds none in his 'fridge, he leaps down the fire escape and runs across a busy street in the rain to get one from a machine.

(1996) Chosen by People (USA) magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world

About the character:

About the actor: Gail O'Grady is best known for her role as Donna Abandando on the critically acclaimed series "NYPD Blue." O'Grady was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Dramatic Series for the role in 1994, 1995 and 1996. In addition, she has appeared as a guest star on many hit television series including "Designing Women, " "Cheers" and "Anything But Love." O'Grady has also starred in numerous mini-series and movies-of-the-week including "Medusa's Child, " "Call for Help, " "Three Faces of Karen, " "Nothing Lasts Forever, " "Trial by Fire, " "Tailhook" and "Billionaire Boys Club." Her film credits include "Tricks, " "Walking Across Egypt, " "That Old Feeling, " "Celtic Pride, " "The Josephine Baker Story, " "Nobody's Perfect, " "Blackout, " "She's Having a Baby" and "Three Amigos." (mini-biography by DANIEL)


As the loving wife and devoted mother of the conservative Catholic family at the center of “American Dreams,” Gail O’Grady says she hopes to bring to the role the multi-layered intelligence and subtlety that earned her three Emmy nominations, one for each of the three seasons she starred as “NYPD Blue's” Donna Abandando.

“The moment I read the script I knew this was the project I’ve been waiting for,” says O'Grady. “I’m exploring this character just as she stands at a place in her life and in society where she is awakening to the idea that she has choices. That awakening is the most frightening and exhilarating time I can imagine.”

O’Grady left the acclaimed police drama at the end of her third season and worked with all the major networks, starring in made-for-television movies and miniseries. She received critical praise for her leading role in "Tailhook," the TV movie based on the life of U.S. Navy Lt. Paula Coughlin, who successfully sued the Tailhook association of Navy airmen for sexual harassment. More recently, she took on a multi-episode arc as a guest star on “Ally McBeal” as the ex-wife of Ally’s true love, Robert Downey, Jr.

O’Grady’s feature-film career has given her the opportunity to work with some of the most respected of directors, including John Landis, John Hughes and Carl Reiner. She starred with Ellen Burstyn and Jonathan Taylor Thomas in "Walking Across Egypt," a drama based on the Clyde Egerton bestseller.

Originally from the Midwest, O’Grady now lives in Los Angeles, where she shares her home with her beloved dogs.