She was raised by her father after her parents divorced when she was 5 years old. Later growing up in northern Virginia, Graham loved to ride horses and competed in equestrian events. Having attended New York University and graduating from Barnard College at Columbia University, Graham went on to earn a master of fine arts degree in acting from Southern Methodist University in 1992. After a stint in Chicago, she moved back to New York City. landing commercials and working other jobs to make ends meet.
She starred in a variety of TV series during the 1990s before landing the lead role on a new WB series called Gilmore Girls in 2000. The show was a smash, running for multiple seasons, with Graham also starring in big-screen projects like Bad Santa, Because I Said So and Evan Almighty. Embarking on a career as a producer as well, she went on to star in the ensemble TV series Parenthood.
Lauren Graham has been working behind the camera as well. Having worked as show producer during Gilmore Girls' final season, she also established Good Game Entertainment, her own production company. Adding to her list of accomplishments, Graham became a published author in 2013 with her debut novel Someday, Someday, Maybe, which received warm reviews and landed on The New York Times bestseller list.