Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,187 covers and 55,435 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Kraft Recalls 36K Cases of Possibly Dangerous Cheese
- The Style Top 5: Reese Witherspoon Channels Elle Woods,
Steal the Styles from Wet Hot American Summer and More
- Bindi Irwin Gets a Glam Makeover, Opens Up About Her Love of Khaki and Her New Boyfriend: See the Photos!
- Watch: Law & Order Mashup in Honor of the Series' 25th Anniversary
- Exclusive Clip: How Robin Williams Championed Inspiring Film About Fighting Child Porn
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- December 02, 1996
- Vol. 46
- No. 23
Mother of Purl
Celebs Go Nuts Over Judy Graham's Knits
She would know. Ever since Graham knit Valerie Harper's hippie-style sweaters on Rhoda 20 years ago, costumers have been clamoring for her one-of-a-kind creations. Able to whip up anything from itsy-bitsy midriff-barers to Alps-worthy cardigans (original designs start at $350), Graham and her Los Angeles staff of eight have produced such distinctive pieces as Tom Hanks's striped socks in Forrest Gump and—cultural icon alert!—the oversize red-and-green-striped sweater worn by Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street. This year alone, Graham-wear can be seen on Friends, Melrose Place and 3rd Rock from the Sun. "They come to me, they tell me what they want, I do it," she says. "They ask, 'Can you make it shorter? Can you make it smaller?' I always say, 'Sure.' "
"You never get exactly what you want from a store," says 3rd Rock costume designer Melina Root, who hired Graham to make John Lithgow's trademark nubby cardigan. "She has such a great eye." Even offscreen, where Graham's handiwork is available at boutiques under her Topaz Knitwear label, the stars are sold. "I love her stuff," says Whoopi Goldberg, who kept the chenille duds she donned in The Associate. "I would wear them all the time if I could."
Raised in Indianapolis, Graham learned to knit from her mother, Flora, a homemaker, in high school (father Stanley was a businessman). "If you really loved a guy," she laughs, "you made him argyle socks." In 1970, after she and then husband Jerry Graham, a radio broadcaster, moved to Stock-bridge, Mass., with their two sons (Jefferson, now 40, is a journalist; Jez, 37, a keyboardist), she became part-owner of a crafts store. Impressed by her designs, a friend suggested she show them to New York City's Henri Bendel department store. She did—and left with her first order. "I'd been questioning what I wanted to do with my life," she says. "That was good for my ego."
After she and Jerry separated five years later, Graham moved to L.A., where a friend invited her—and her sweaters—to the set of Rhoda. The show's costumer snatched up her samples. "It's been word-of-mouth ever since," says Graham.
Now sharing a one-bedroom Hollywood Hills bungalow with longtime beau Michael Ansell, 48, a photographer, Graham lives frugally despite her income—which in a good year can total $250,000. "A Honda goes anywhere a Jaguar would," she says. As for her sweaters, she scans for them only in the movies and TV shows that she likes. Other times, such as during the occasional episode of Melrose Place, she admits sheepishly, "I'll watch for the costumes—but keep the sound off."
ELIZABETH LEONARD in Los Angeles
- Elizabeth Leonard.
August 01, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!