After a 20-year career as a professional opera singer, Mary Beth Peil launched an acting career that earned her a Tony nomination and landed her the role as Grams on Dawson's Creek. She is a clasically trained singer who appeared on Broadway in a revival of "The King and I",
Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, Peil majored in opera at Northwestern University and headed to New York after graduation. She began working steadily and soon was under contract with the Metropolitan Opera National Company, performing in operas across the country.
The turning point in Peil's career came with a role in the musical Kiss Me Kate. The regional production in Minnesota was a major breakthrough and inspired her to pursue the path of acting.
She appeared on Broadway with Yul Brynner in The King and I as Anna, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in 1985. She has also been honored with several Obie Awards for off-Broadway performances in Paul Rudnick's The Naked Truth, A.R. Gurney's A Cheever Evening and Craig Lucas' Missing Persons. Peil worked with Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek a few years ago playing his mother in the off-Broadway play Finding the Sun, which was written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee.
On the big screen, Peil has appeared with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in The Odd Couple II. She has also appeared in Reckless and Jersey Girl.