Topher Grace was born Christopher Paul Grace
in New York City, New York to John Grace (a
Connecticut-based business executive) and Patricia (an
office worker and assistant to the schoolmaster of the
New Canaan Country School in New Canaan, Connecticut);
he has a sister, Jenny. Grace grew up in Darien,
Connecticut, where he knew actress Kate Bosworth and was
sometimes babysat by actress ChloŽ Sevigny, who also
later appeared with him in high school stage plays. He
chose to go by the name Topher in high school, after
becoming frustrated with his full name being abbreviated
Topher Grace attended the Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, where he was noticed by the producer of That '70s Show (whose daughter also attended the school) while playing the leading role of Pseudolus in a local stage production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Topher Grace was cast as Eric Forman on Fox's That '70s Show, which debuted in 1998. The sitcom was successful and Grace became well known amid television watchers; he played the role until 2005, after which he left the series in order to pursue feature film work. The series was renewed for another season despite his absence.
Topher Grace briefly attended college at the University of Southern California, but left during his freshman year to concentrate on his television work and to pursue a career in film. He played a minor role as a prep school drug addict in director Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000), as well as had uncredited cameos in Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven (2001) and Ocean's Twelve (2004). He also appeared in director Mike Newell's Mona Lisa Smile (2003).
In 2004, Topher Grace had the starring role in two major feature films; he played the leading roles in the Robert Luketic directed Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! and the Paul Weitz dramedy, In Good Company, in which he played an ambitious but troubled corporate executive. In the same year, Grace also starred the film, P.S., which received only a limited theatrical release.
Topher Grace's work in P.S. and In Good Company was recognized by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures in the category of "Breakthrough Performance by an Actor".
In 2005, Topher Grace hosted Saturday Night Live. He has recently been cast in Spider-Man 3, directed by Sam Raimi. He is rumored to be portraying Eddie Brock (aka the malevolent symbiote Venom), a fan-favorite Spider-Man villain. This is a sharp contrast to his usual nice-guy image (see That '70s Show). However, there is no official confirmation as to who Grace is portraying in the film.