Maggie Grace Bio: Early Life, Family, Education, Early Career

On September 21, 1983, Maggie Grace was born Margaret Grace Denig to Worthington, Ohio jewelers Valinn and Rick Denig. Grace attended Worthington Christian Schools through ninth grade and briefly attended Thomas Worthington High School, where she began acting in plays outside of community theater. One such role was in a production of The Crucible. Grace spent many summers attending theater productions in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

After Grace’s parents divorced when she was 16, she dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles with her mother. Her siblings, Ian Denig and Marissa Palatas, remained behind with their father. Grace snagged an agent within a week of moving and began taking acting classes. Despite her speedy success, Grace and her mother had to live frugally. They moved often due to a lack of financial stability, often seeking out short-term rentals rather than purchasing a home.

Grace’s first role was in the 2001 web series Rachel’s Room, created by Dawson’s Creek executive producer Paul Stupin. Grace also starred on the TV show Septuplets, which was canceled before the first episode aired. Her breakout role came in the TV movie Murder In Greenwich. She was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special – Leading Young Actress category. Though Grace ultimately lost, the role garnered her a name in Hollywood and led to a number of television appearances.

Maggie Grace Bio: ‘Lost’

Grace had small roles on the television programs CSI: Miami, Miracles, Cold Case and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit before getting a starring credit. She made a name for herself on TV by landing the role of rich girl Shannon Rutherford on Lost. She lived in Hawaii during the first season and has since appeared in a ten-episode arc on Californication, as well as in the pilot for The Following.

Grace’s performance in Lost earned her a nomination for a Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Breakout Performance, which she ultimately lost to Eva Longoria. In 2006 Grace shared a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble In A Drama Series with the other Lost cast members. She has appeared in two spoofs of the show, for NFL Monday Night Football and Nobody’s Watching.

Grace has gone on to star in multiple television series, including Californication and Susanna in 2013 and Fear of the Walking Dead in 2018. In addition to television, she has appeared in dozens of films, including Twelve Mile Road, The Fog, The Jane Austen Book Club, Suburban Girl, Taken (1 & 2), Malice In Wonderland, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (1 & 2) and Lockout.

Maggie Grace Bio: Exclusive Interview on ‘Lockout’

In her film Lockout, Grace played Emilie Warnock, daughter of the U.S. President. Lockout was one of Grace’s first action-packed roles, which meant she had a lot to learn. “I think both Guy [Pearce] and I felt really lucky to be able to get to Belgrade a little bit early, and get to prep and feel really comfortable with all of the stunts — the work up on the wires especially — and iron out some stuff with a few key scenes that we really wanted to talk about and get up on their feet,” Grace told uInterview exclusively. “I was excited to get some lessons on the side, just in case. Maybe we’ll choreograph an extra action scene; you never know. It’s really fun stuff. And great, I think, as a chick to learn really empowering kickboxing and things like that. It definitely makes you feel better in life, too.”

Grace told uInterview that she’s not accustomed to action films just yet. “I grew up watching some of the ‘biggies,’” she told uInterview exclusively, “but in terms of really even understanding some of the homage moments in the film and things like that, people have to catch me up. I just saw Die Hard like a year ago.”

In late 2012, Grace made her Broadway debut in the play Picnic with costar Sebastian Stan.

Maggie Grace Bio: Personal Life and Dating History

Grace has dated a few Hollywood men since making a name for herself in the industry. She dated Lost costar Ian Somerhalder after both had left the show, as well as TOMS founder and The Amazing Race contestant Blake Mycoskie. She is also speculated to have dated Newsroom actor David Harbour.

Grace has said that her mother is one of her biggest inspirations and best friends. She is a self-proclaimed Anglophile, an admirer of many British poets as well as William Shakespeare, and has written to a penpal in the U.K.’s Lake District from the age of eight.

Grace has joked that she is notoriously clumsy. The tall actress said that in addition to tripping over her own legs, she has also been called “Maggie Graceless” by former castmates. Grace plays in a Los Angeles kickball league with her friends and has a cat named Roo, who she adopted on the set of Lost with Somerhalder.

Updated by Jen Curran, May 2019

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