Shalom Life | August 29, 2014

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles - Kat Graham

‘Vampire Diaries’ star, Kat Graham, takes the stage on the first day of our special feature “Top 20 Under 40: Los Angeles”

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: August 13th, 2012 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Top 20 Under 40 Los Angeles - Kat Graham

In celebration of Shalom Life’s new Los Angeles office, we have decided to take our popular “Top 20 Under 40” series on the road.

Over the next 20 days, Shalom Life will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to chefs, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Los Angeles home.

Top 20 Under 40 - Kat Graham

Age: 22

Kat Graham, best known for the role of Bonnie Bennet on CW’s The Vampire Diaries, is what many refer to as a “triple threat”.

While speaking with Shalom Life, Graham explains that from a very young age, she knew performance was her calling.

“I insisted on having different looks for my head shot photo shoot. I was 5,” she recalls.

Born in Geneva, Switzerland, this actress, singer, and dancer, began performing at the age of 6. Although she didn’t catch her big TV break until landing a gig as the host of Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers, Graham was seen in countless commercials and TV shows including Barbie, K-Mart, Pop-Tarts, Old Navy, Grounded For Life, and Lizzie McGuire.

At the age of 15, Graham impressed choreographer Fatima Robinson with her ferocious dancing skills. The teenager was asked to perform as a background dancer for lil’ Bow Wow at the BET Awards. Following this first appearance, Graham continued to dance alongside famous hip-hop acts including Missy Elliott, Pharrell, and Jamie Foxx. She has also been featured in music videos for Akon, Usher, Christina Millian, John Legend, B2K, and many more.

In 2007, Graham emerged from the background and into the spotlight after being featured on will.i.am’s album Songs About Girls. She joined The Black Eyed Peas tour as an opening act, and later released her debut single entitled Sassy.

In 2012, Graham released her first EP Against The Wall, stars on the CW network’s most popular drama The Vampire Diaries, and continues to impress critics and fans internationally with her work ethic, drive, passion, and unique talent.

Graham is not only a good performer; she is a good person as well. An ardent vegan and philanthropist, Graham supports The Water Project, UNICEF (specifically disaster relief and ‘The Tap Project’), and Dosomething.org.

Finally, Graham is proud of her Jewish heritage and believes her upbringing shaped who she is today.

“I grew up with an incredible Jewish upbringing. Every holiday, every prayer was apart of me. The way I treat people, my tolerance, my compassion, that comes from my upbringing. Knowing where I came from. A Jewish upbringing is what made me so solid in my career and in my family life.”

Click over to Page 2 to learn some fun facts about Kat Graham!

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