Jillian Kesner-Graver

Jillian Kesner-Graver (August 9, 1949 – December 5, 2007) was an American actress and historian who worked with her husband, Gary Graver, to preserve the work and legacy of director Orson Welles. She was best known as an actress for playing Fonzie's girlfriend, Lorraine, on Happy Days.[1]

Jillian Kesner-Graver
Jillian Kesner, Michael Cavanaugh making Operation Cobra.jpg
Jillian Kesner with Michael Cavanaugh filming Inferno in 1996
Jillian Kesner

August 9, 1949
Portsmouth, Virginia, U.S.
DiedDecember 5, 2007(2007-12-05) (aged 58)
Irvine, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, film historian
Years active1976-2006
(m. 1981; died 2006)

Early lifeEdit

Kesner-Graver was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. Her father was in the United States Navy and she spent much of her childhood in Denver, Colorado. She first moved to Los Angeles in 1959 where she worked as a model before getting into television and movie acting.[2]


Kesner-Graver was best known for playing Fonzie's girlfriend, Lorraine, on Happy Days. She was credited as Jillian Kesner on Happy Days, as well as her other television and movie roles. She appeared in a large number of "B-rated" films throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Her credits included Raw Force, Starhops and Jaded. She developed a large following among fans of B-level action films.[1]

She appeared on a number of television shows, including Three's Company, The Rockford Files and Mork & Mindy. She met her husband, director and cinematographer, Gary Graver, on the set of the film The Student Body in 1976.[1]


Jillian Kesner-Graver died on December 5, 2007 in Irvine, California of complications from a staph infection, which she contracted after having been diagnosed with leukemia. She was 58 years old.[2]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Student Body Carrie
1978 Starhops Angel
1980 Ang agila at ang falcon
1981 Firecracker Susanne Carter aka Naked Fist in Australia
1982 Raw Force Cookie Winchell aka Kung Fu Cannibals
Trick or Treats Andrea
1987 Moon in Scorpio Claire
Evil Town Dorothy
1989 Jaded Sara
Beverly Hills Vamp Claudia
1992 Roots of Evil Brenda
1996 Subliminal Seduction Cherl Made for TV Movie
1997 Operation Cobra Jasmine aka Inferno


Year Title Role Notes
1975 S.W.A.T. Miss California Guest star
1976 The Blue Knight Lady in swimsuit Guest star
Happy Days Patty Petrolunga Guest star
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries Paula Clark Guest star
Happy Days Lorraine Guest star
1979 Co-ed Fever Melba Main cast
The Rockford Files Lily Showalter Guest star
The Ropers Linda Graham Guest star
1981 Three's Company The sister Guest star
1982 Mork & Mindy Judi Guest star
1983 T.J. Hooker Crystal Guest star


  1. ^ a b c Jillian Kesner-Graver on IMDb
  2. ^ a b Death of Jillian Kesner-Graver, variety.com; accessed August 4, 2015.

External linksEdit