Maxine Gray (Tyne Daly) is the mother of Amy, Peter and Vincent Gray. She is also a social worker for the Department of Children & Families. Maxine retired briefly from her job as a social worker, but later returns.
Maxine is an opinionated, strong-willed, (sometimes stubborn) woman. As a social worker, Maxine does whatever it takes to help the families and children she works with, even it means bending the law. She is usually at odds with her boss, Sean Potter.
Her relationship with Amy isn't always easy since they both have a tendency to be stubborn. Maxine was engaged to a successful businessman, Jared Duff, but Jared dies of a heart attack in China 48 hours before their wedding. Maxine suffers two heart attacks in the 6th season and undergoes open heart surgery, but after making some lifestyle changes, she recovers well.
Maxine took in an abused, gay foster teenager named Eric Black before Sean Potter becomes his foster father. In the 4th season, Eric kills a young man named Jason Lobdel, who was stalking both Amy and Lauren. He is charged with murder, but is later acquited. Eric later runs away with his boyfriend, Mark, to Canada.
Later on in the series, Maxine grows acquainted to a landscape designer, Ignacio Messina, and in the series finale, Ignacio proposes to Maxine after divorcing his first wife.
- Edward Gray (husband; deceased)
- Ignacio Messina (husband)
- Peter Gray (oldest son)
- Amy Gray (daughter)
- Vincent Gray (youngest son)
- Lauren Cassidy (granddaughter)
- Gillian Gray (daughter-in-law)
- Ned Gray (adopted grandson)
- Walt Gray (grandson)
- Kyle McCarty (nephew)
- Richard McCarty (brother)
- Jared Duff (1st fiance; dies in China of a heart attack 48 hours before their marriage)
- Ignacio Messina (2nd fiance who proposes marriage in the series finale)