Grant in Fay, 1975
|Born||Lyova Haskell Rosenthal
October 31, 1926
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress and director|
|Years active||1949–2007, 2013|
|Spouse(s)||Arnold Manoff (1951-1960; divorced; 2 children)
Joseph Feury (né Fioretti; 1962-present)
|Children||Dinah Manoff and Tom Manoff|
Lee Grant (born October 31, 1926)is a celebrated American stage, film and television actress, and film director. From 1952 through 1964 she was blacklisted from radio, film, and most television work, but continued working sporadically in the theatre during this time. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Felicia Karpf in Shampoo (1975). At the age of 25 she won the Best Actress Award at the 1952 Cannes Film Festival for her role as the shoplifter in the 1951 film version of Detective Story. Ms. Grant also won the 1964 Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress for her performance as Solange in Jean Genet's The Maids. She's been nominated for the Emmy Award seven times between 1966 through 1993, and took the prize twice. As a documentary film maker, she received the 1986 Directors Guild of America Award, as well as the 1986 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in Manhattan in 1926, the daughter of Witia (née Haskell), an actress and teacher, and Abraham W. Rosenthal, a realtor and educator. Her father was born in New York, to Polish Jewish immigrants, and her mother was a Russian Jewish immigrant. The family resided at 706 Riverside Drive in the Hamilton Heights area of Manhattan.
Grant graduated from high school at the age of fourteen, receiving a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, and studied under Sanford Meisner. She subsequently enrolled in Actors Studio in New York.
Grant established herself as a dramatic method actress on and off Broadway, earning praise for her role as a shoplifter in Detective Story, in 1949. She made her film debut two years later in the film version (Detective Story), receiving her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination, and winning the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. She was a regular on the CBS soap opera, Search for Tomorrow in the early 1950s.
She was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to testify against her husband, the playwright Arnold Manoff, father of her daughter, actress [[Dinah Manoff], but refused to testify; she also gave an impassioned eulogy at the memorial service for actor J. Edward Bromberg whose career (and some would say life) was cut short by the blacklist. Shortly thereafter, her name and the remarks appeared in Red Channels, starting a twelve year period during which she found that she was banned from work in television and movies and had to support herself in theater and teaching acting classes. Composer Burt Bacharach, who considered Grant "a brilliant actress," notes that "she suffered for her political beliefs for a long time because that was such a terrible period in the history of our country."
Her first major achievement, after House Committee on Un-American Activities officially cleared her, was in the 1960s television series Peyton Place, as Stella Chernak, for which she won an Emmy in 1966. In 1967, Grant appeared in an episode of Mission Impossible, portraying the wife of a U.S. diplomat who goes undercover to discredit a rogue diplomat. That same year she played the distraught widow of the murder victim in the Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night.
She received subsequent Academy Award nominations for the dramas The Landlord (1970) and Voyage of the Damned (1976). Her acting range extended into comedy equally well, notably in several roles as an overbearing mother. In Plaza Suite (1971), a comedy directed by Arthur Hiller and written by Neil Simon, she played the harassed mother of a bride, with Walter Matthau as the father. The film was followed by another comedy role as the mother in Portnoy's Complaint (1972).
She won an Oscar for the comedy Shampoo (1975), for Best Supporting Actress. The film received mixed reviews but was considered "Columbia's biggest hit in the studio's 50 year history." Actor Bruce Dern, who played alongside her in The Big Town (1987), recalls working with her: "Lee Grant is a fabulous actress. Anytime she works it's a blessing you have her in your movie."
Grant is the only Hollywood actress of her generation to successfully move into directing. She directed the stage play, The Stronger in 1976, written by August Strindberg. In 1980 she directed her first film, Tell Me a Riddle, a story about an aging Jewish couple. She also directed several documentary films, including Down and Out in America (1986) which won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. That same year she directed Nobody's Child, a TV movie, starring Marlo Thomas, "in the performance of her career," about a woman confined to a mental institution for 20 years. For her direction, Grant became the first female director to win the Directors Guild of America Award.
In recent years she directed a series of Intimate Portrait episodes for Lifetime Television, that celebrated a diverse range of accomplished women. Admiring her directing and acting skill, actress Sissy Spacek agreed to act in Hard Promises "only to work with Grant," although she was later replaced as its director.
In March 1971, Grant appeared in the Columbo episode "Ransom for a Dead Man"', and was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress - Miniseries or a Movie. Having been nominated for two performances in the same acting category, she received the award for her other Emmy-nominated performance in the television film, The Neon Ceiling. The only other nominee was Colleen Dewhurst; in Grant's acceptance speech, she wryly noted "I must thank Colleen Dewhurst since it takes two of me to equal one of her."
During the 1975-76 television season, Grant starred in the NBC sitcom Fay, which, to her chagrin, was canceled after eight episodes. She made a guest apearance on Empty Nest, in which her daughter Dinah Manoff co-starred. In 1988, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry.
In 1992, she played Dora Cohn, the mother of Roy Cohn, in the biographical made for TV film Citizen Cohn, which garnered her yet another Primetime Emmy Award nomination. In 2001, Lee Grant portrayed Louise Bonner in David Lynch's critically acclaimed Mullholland Drive. From 2004-2007, Carlin Glynn, Stephen Lang, and Grant served as co-artistic directors for the Actors Studio.
In 2013, she returned to the stage, after a nearly 30-year-absence, to star in The Gin Game, part of a benefit for improvement programs at Island Music Guild. Grant plays Fonsia Dorsey opposite Frank Buxton as Weller Martin and her daughter Dinah Manoff directs the production.
|1975||For the Use of the Hall||TV film|
|1976||The Stronger||short subject|
|1980||Tell Me a Riddle|
|1981||The Willmar 8||documentary|
|1984||A Matter of Sex||TV film|
|1985||What Sex Am I?||documentary|
|ABC Afterschool Special||Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale (TV episode)|
|1986||Nobody's Child||TV film - DGA Award|
|Down and Out in America||documentary (also narrator)|
|No Place Like Home||TV film|
|1994||When Women Kill||documentary|
|Seasons of the Heart||TV film|
|Following Her Heart||TV film|
|1997||Say It, Fight It, Cure It||TV film|
|1999||Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America||TV film|
|2000||American Masters||Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light|
|The Loretta Claiborne Story||TV film|
|2001||The Gun Deadlock||TV dilm|
|2000–2004||Intimate Portrait||43 episodes|
|2005||... A Father... A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood||TV film|
- https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-21987-69985-53?cc=1923888 accessed 8/22/14
- Unterburger, Amy L. ed. International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers - 3: Actors and Actresses 3rd ed., St. James Press (1997) pp. 498-499
- Lee Grant profile at FilmReference.com
- Gray, Spalding. Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue, Random House (2005) p. 154
- Best Actress Award (Cannes Film Festival)
- Bacharach, Burt. Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music, HarperCollins (2013)
- Ford, Elizabeth. The Makeover in Movies: Before and After in Hollywood Films, 1941-2002, McFarland (2004) p. 198
- Dern, Bruce. Things I've Said, But Probably Shouldn't Have: An Unrepentant Memoir, Wiley (2007) p. 231
- Jarboe, Jan. "Sissy Spacek's Long Walk Home", Texas Monthly, Feb. 1991 p. 126
- Women in Film website
- Michael C. Moore (August 12, 2013). "Theater: High-powered cast deals this 'Gin Game'". Kitsap A&E. Retrieved 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lee Grant.|
- Lee Grant at the Internet Movie Database
- Lee Grant at the Internet Broadway Database
- Lee Grant at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Lee Grant at the University of Wisconsin's Actors Studio audio collection
- Lee Grant interview video at the Archive of American Television
- "Lee Grant Interviewed by Scott Feinberg".
- "Lee Grant on Valley of the Dolls, Being on the Hollywood Blacklist, and More".
|Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
With: Carlin Glynn
and Stephen Lang