Topher Grace

Also Credited As:

Christopher John Grace
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Biography

While most actors struggle for years to make it in the business, Topher Grace practically fell into stardom when he captured the attention of television producers Bonnie and Terry Turner while performing in a high school play. Despite lacking ambition to become an actor - he was in school plays to get girls - Grace was surprised to find himself a year later auditioning for "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Even more surprising, he was cast to …
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Job Title

Actor, Producer, Writer

Born

Christopher John Grace on July 12, 1978 in New York City, New York, USA

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About

While most actors struggle for years to make it in the business, Topher Grace practically fell into stardom when he captured the attention of television producers Bonnie and Terry Turner while performing in a high school play. Despite lacking ambition to become an actor - he was in school plays to get girls - Grace was surprised to find himself a year later auditioning for "That '70s Show" (Fox, 1998-2006). Even more surprising, he was cast to play the lead role of Eric Foreman, a teenager in 1970s suburban Wisconsin trying to break free from his innocent boy-next-door reputation. Grace lent an endearing, Everyman charm to the role during the show's unexpected eight season run, establishing himself as a bright, charismatic and consummately prepared actor who throughout his career avoided cashing in on his small screen popularity in order to concentrate on low-profile features of more consequence. That was, until he nailed the role of a certain web-slinging superhero's arch nemesis, Venom, in the highly anticipated sequel, "Spiderman 3" (2007). By the time he appeared with an all-star cast in the acclaimed TV movie, "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), Grace was well established as an actor known for the quality and versatility for his performances.

Topher Grace was born on July 12, 1978 in Darien, CT. His mother, Pat, was the assistant to the schoolmaster of the New Canaan Country School and his father, John, worked as an executive on Madison Avenue, allowing Grace and his sister, Jennifer, to grow up in a comfortable suburban setting. He attended high school at the Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH where he was classmates with Lindsay Turner, daughter of producers Bonnie and Terry. It was during his performance in a production of "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum" that Grace was discovered by the Turners, who had been in the audience to see their daughter. At the time, Grace was considering attending the University of Southern California - the Turners approached him and told Grace to call them when he was in Los Angeles. Though skeptical at first, Grace followed through, calling the producers during his first year at USC. After winning the lead in "The '70s Show," Grace dropped out of school and never looked back.

During the show's long run, Grace made a memorable film debut as a supporting player in the ensemble cast of director Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning "Traffic" (2000). Playing a privileged, but callow drug user who helps lure the daughter (Erika Christensen) of Washington, D.C.'s new drug czar (Michael Douglas) into a bottomless pit of addiction, Grace more than held his own in scenes with veteran Douglas. The actor reunited with Soderbergh to make a cameo in the director's vibrant rehash of "Ocean's Eleven" (2001), playing a young TV actor much like himself, whose amateur poker skills are tested by two con men (George Clooney and Brad Pitt). After a brief turn amid the female-centric cast of "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003) and a return for the sequel "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), Grace took on a prominent supporting role in the '50s-esque romp "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" (2004), playing Pete, the torch-carrying best friend of Rosalee (Kate Bosworth), who must contend for her heart against a smitten Hollywood heartthrob (Josh Duhamel).

Though offered numerous high-profile teenybopper roles throughout his tenure on "That '70s Show," Grace routinely refused such opportunities because he felt that they would limit his career. He did, however, find meatier parts in low-budget fare like "P.S." (2004), a romantic drama in which he played a prospective Ivy League graduate student who eerily resembles the late and former boyfriend of a thirty-something admissions officer (Laura Linney). Within hours of meeting, the two embark on a quick romance despite both possibly having ulterior motives.

Grace had an impressive turn in writer-director Paul Weitz's comedy of manners, "In Good Company" (2004), playing an ambitious, successful but emotionally unsatisfied corporate climber who becomes enamored of the family life of his middle-aged subordinate (Dennis Quaid). In 2006, "That 70s Show" wound down to an end, giving Grace a much needed break from the grind of television, not to mention a healthy bank account and a chance to show new colors on the big screen. Making the huge jump to big budget star, Grace saw a serious rise in profile when he was cast as the parasitic Venom in "Spider-Man 3," director Sam Raimi's highly-anticipated and possibly final sequel to the phenomenal comic book franchise. Sticking with features, Grace was part of the large ensemble cast for Garry Marshall's romantic comedy misfire "Valentine's Day" (2010) before playing a doctor in a ragtag group stranded on an alien planet who are hunted down by a race of "Predators" (2010). He returned to television for the critically acclaimed cable movie "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), a compelling drama from director Curtis Hanson that chronicled the 2008 financial meltdown that brought the global economy to its knees. Grace played Jim Wilkinson, a former public relations employee working for the administration of President George W. Bush.