Lee Grant


Actor, Director
Lee Grant

About

Also Known As
Lyova Haskell Rosenthal
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
October 31, 1925

Biography

An attractive brunette with angular features, Lee Grant began her career as a child performer with NYC's Metropolitan Opera. By age 11, she had become a member of the American Ballet Theatre. After music studies at Juilliard, she won a scholarship to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse and switched her focus to acting. Grant understudied the role of Ado Annie in a touring production of "Ok...

Family & Companions

Arnold Manoff
Husband
Has been married four times and divorced three times.
Arnold Manoff
Husband
Playwright. Divorced in 1964; died in 1965; blacklisted in the 1950s.
Joseph Feury
Husband
Was married three times.
Joseph Feury
Husband
Producer, former dancer.

Notes

"A long, long time ago I was kid, and I realized that you are what you do. It's a very sick thing because it means that when you're not working, you're not being; it's not a healthy way to live." --Lee Grant in VENICE, April 1996

She was interviewed for the American Movie Classics documentary "Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial" (1996).

Biography

An attractive brunette with angular features, Lee Grant began her career as a child performer with NYC's Metropolitan Opera. By age 11, she had become a member of the American Ballet Theatre. After music studies at Juilliard, she won a scholarship to attend the Neighborhood Playhouse and switched her focus to acting. Grant understudied the role of Ado Annie in a touring production of "Oklahoma!" before landing her breakthrough stage role as a young shoplifter in Sidney Kingsley's "Detective Story" in 1949. Hollywood soon beckoned and she recreated the role in William Wyler's 1951 superb film version. Grant won the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress prize and earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for the role. Seemingly on the verge of a brilliant career, the actress found herself the victim of the blacklist when her husband, playwright Arnold Manoff was named before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Grant herself refused to testify and the film offers over the next decade were sporadic.

Returning to Manhattan, Grant found work in TV (e.g., the daytime soap "Search for Tomorrow") and on stage (i.e., "A Hole in the Head" 1957; "Two for the Seesaw" 1959). After earning an OBIE Award for her work in Genet's "The Maids" in 1963, her small screen career began to pick up. In 1965, Grant joined the cast of the primetime soap "Peyton Place" as Stella Chernak and picked up an Emmy for her work. She earned a second statuette for her performance as a runaway wife and mother who ends up at a truck stop in California in "The Neon Ceiling" (NBC, 1971).

By the time she had earned her second Emmy, Grant's feature career had been rejuvenated with her stellar work as the widow of a murder victim in Norman Jewison's Oscar-winning "In the Heat of the Night" (1967). That same year, she essayed a neurotic in the campy "Valley of the Dolls." In "The Landlord" (1970), she was the society matron mother of Beau Bridges and her comic portrayal earned her a second Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Grant then played the mother of all Jewish mothers, Sophie Portnoy, in Ernest Lehman's film version of Philip Roth's novel "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972). Hal Ashby's "Shampoo" (1975) finally brought her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award as a Beverly Hills matron having an affair with her hairdresser. The following year, Grant received a fourth nomination for her deeply moving portrayal of a Jewish refugee in "Voyage of the Damned."

Her subsequent screen roles have been of varying quality, although Grant always brings a professionalism and degree of excellence to even the smallest role. After striking out as a sitcom lead in the underrated "Fay" (NBC, 1975), she delivered a fine portrayal of First Lady Grace Coolidge in "Backstairs at the White House" (NBC, 1979), was the domineering mother of actress Frances Farmer in "Will There Really Be a Morning?" (CBS, 1983) and excelled as Dora Cohn, mother of "Roy Cohn" (HBO, 1992). On the big screen, Grant lent her substantial abilities to "Teachers" (1984) as a hard-nosed school superintendent, "Defending Your Life" (1991), as an elegant prosecutor sparring with adversary Rip Torn, and "It's My Party" (1996), as the mother of man suffering from complications from AIDS.

While Grant has continued to act in features and on TV, she has concentrated more on her directing career since the 80s. After studying at the American Film Institute, she made the short "The Stronger" (1976) which eventually aired on Arts & Entertainment's "Shortstories" in 1988. Grant made her feature debut with "Tell Me a Riddle" (1980), an earnest, well-acted story of an elderly couple facing death. She has excelled in the documentary format, beginning with "The Wilmar 8" (1981), about strike by female bank employees in the Midwest. (Grant later directed a fictionalized account entitled "A Matter of Sex" for NBC in 1984). She steered Marlo Thomas to an Emmy in the fact-based "Nobody's Child" (CBS, 1986) and earned praise for helming "No Place Like Home" (CBS, 1989), a stark look at the effects of unemployment. A number of her documentaries have been screen as part of HBO's "America Undercover" series, including the Oscar-winning "Down and Out in America" (1985), about the unemployed, "What Sex Am I?" (1985), about transsexuals and transvestites, "Battered" (1989), about victims of domestic violence, and "Women on Trial" (1992), about mothers who turn to the courts to protect their children. In 1997, she produced, directed and hosted the well-received "Say It, Fight It, Cure It" (Lifetime) which focused on breast cancer survivors and their families.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Loretta Claiborne Story (2000)
Director
Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light (2000)
Director
Following Her Heart (1994)
Director
Reunion (1994)
Director
Seasons of the Heart (1994)
Director
No Place Like Home (1989)
Director
Staying Together (1989)
Director
Nobody's Child (1986)
Director
A Matter of Sex (1984)
Director
Tell Me a Riddle (1980)
Director
The Willmar 8 (1980)
Director
The Stronger (1976)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Louise Bonner
The Amati Girls (2001)
Aunt Splendora
Dr. T and the Women (2000)
Doctor Harper
It's My Party (1996)
The Substance of Fire (1996)
Stephen Verona: Self Portrait (1995)
Under Heat (1993)
Citizen Cohn (1992)
In My Daughter's Name (1992)
Fatal Love (1992)
Defending Your Life (1991)
She Said No (1990)
Hijacking Of The Achille Lauro (1989)
Marilyn Klinghoffer
Calling the Shots (1988)
Herself
Hello Actors Studio (1987)
Herself
The Big Town (1987)
Arriving Tuesday (1986)
Constance (1984)
Mrs Barr
Trial Run (1984)
Mrs Jones
Teachers (1984)
Will There Really Be a Morning? (1983)
Visiting Hours (1982)
Thou Shalt Not Kill (1982)
Maxine Lochman
Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981)
For Ladies Only (1981)
The Million Dollar Face (1981)
Evalyna
Little Miss Marker (1980)
Judge
The Willmar 8 (1980)
Narration
You Can't Go Home Again (1979)
Esther Jack
When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979)
The Mafu Cage (1978)
Ellen Carpenter
The Swarm (1978)
Damien - Omen II (1978)
The Spell (1977)
Marion Matchett
Airport '77 (1977)
Perilous Voyage (1976)
Voyage Of The Damned (1976)
Shampoo (1975)
Felicia
The Internecine Project (1974)
Jean Robertson
Partners in Crime (1973)
What Are Best Friends For? (1973)
Adele Ross
Portnoy's Complaint (1972)
Sophie Portnoy
Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972)
Ellie Schuster
Plaza Suite (1971)
Norma Hubley
The Neon Ceiling (1971)
Ransom for a Dead Man (1971)
The Landlord (1970)
Mrs. Enders
There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970)
Mrs. Bullard
Marooned (1969)
Celia Pruett
Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1969)
Fritzie Braddock
The Big Bounce (1969)
Joanne
Valley of the Dolls (1967)
Miriam
Divorce American Style (1967)
Dede Murphy
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Mrs. Leslie Colbert
Terror in the City (1966)
Suzy
The Balcony (1963)
Carmen
An Affair of the Skin (1963)
Katherine McCleod
Middle of the Night (1959)
Marilyn
Storm Fear (1956)
Edna Rogers
Detective Story (1951)
Shoplifter

Writer (Feature Film)

The Stronger (1976)
Screenwriter
The Stronger (1976)
Adaptation

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

Over 18, ... and Ready! (1969)
Production Manager

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Calling the Shots (1988)
Other
Hello Actors Studio (1987)
Other

Director (Special)

A Father... A Son... Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2005)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Bo Derek (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Bea Arthur (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Linda Lavin (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Mo'Nique (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Vicki Lawrence (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Rosanna Arquette (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Isabel Sanford (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Angie Dickinson (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Eve Ensler (2003)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Doris Roberts (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Kathy Ireland (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Suzanne Pleshette (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Jane Kaczmarek (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Barbara Eden (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Elizabeth Taylor (2002)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Sela Ward (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Jasmine Guy (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Betsey Johnson (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Rita Moreno (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Tippi Hedren (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Sharon Gless (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Genie Francis (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Lela Rochon Fuqua (2001)
Director
The Gun Deadlock (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Kim Fields (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Diane Sawyer (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Kelly Ripa (2001)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Kim Cattrall (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Holly Robinson Peete (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Marlo Thomas (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Linda Dano (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Tipper Gore (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Swoosie Kurtz (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Park Overall (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Teri Garr (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Jamie Lee Curtis (2000)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Mia Farrow (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Jane Alexander (1999)
Director
Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Laura Dern (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Lauren Bacall (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Margot Kidder (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Betty Friedan (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Jessica Tandy (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug (1999)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Gloria Steinem (1998)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Cyndi Lauper (1998)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Vanessa Redgrave (1998)
Director
Intimate Portrait: Christine Lahti (1998)
Director
Say It, Fight It, Cure It (1997)
Director
Women on Trial (1992)
Director
Battered (1989)
Director
What Sex Am I? (1985)
Director
Down and Out in America (1985)
Director
Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale (1985)
Director
When Women Kill (1984)
Director
The Shape of Things (1973)
Director

Cast (Special)

The John Garfield Story (2003)
Featuring
Intimate Portrait: Lee Grant (2001)
Hidden Values: The Movies of the '50s (2001)
The Omen Legacy (2001)
Hollywood, D.C.: A Tale of Two Cities (2000)
Intimate Portrait: Marlo Thomas (2000)
Intimate Portrait: Swoosie Kurtz (2000)
Narrator
Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America (1999)
Narrator
Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug (1999)
Narrator
The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998)
Performer
Say It, Fight It, Cure It (1997)
Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial (1996)
Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval (1995)
Narrator
In Censors We Trust (1993)
Earth and the American Dream (1993)
Voice
The Wild West (1993)
Voice
Confronting Evil (1992)
Narration
Women on Trial (1992)
Narrator
Street Scenes: New York on Film (1992)
AFI Salute to Sidney Poitier (1992)
Performer
Miracle on 44th Street: A Portrait of the Actors Studio (1991)
Sanford Meisner: The Theater's Best Kept Secret (1990)
Battered (1989)
Narration
Down and Out in America (1985)
Narration
Harry Belafonte: Don't Stop The Carnival (1985)
What Sex Am I? (1985)
Narrator
When Women Kill (1984)
Narration
Plaza Suite (1982)
Claire Hubley (Story 3), Karen Nash (Story 1), Muriel Tate (Story 2)
Once Upon a Time... Is Now the Story of Princess Grace (1977)
Host
The Seagull (1975)
Irina Arkadina
The Shape of Things (1973)
The Ted Bessell Show (1973)
Diane Harper; Ted'S Wife
Three For the Girls (1973)
Wife (Story 1)
The Wonderful World of Aggravation (1972)
Robert Young and the Family (1971)
Saturday's Children (1962)
Florrie Sands
Justice (1953)
Wife

Writer (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Mia Farrow (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Jessica Tandy (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Jane Alexander (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Margot Kidder (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Lauren Bacall (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Cyndi Lauper (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Gloria Steinem (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Vanessa Redgrave (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Christine Lahti (1998)
Writer
What Sex Am I? (1985)
Writer

Producer (Special)

A Father... A Son... Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2005)
Producer
Intimate Portrait: Florence Griffith Joyner (2000)
Executive Producer
Intimate Portrait: Star Jones (1999)
Co-Executive Producer
Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America (1999)
Producer
Say It, Fight It, Cure It (1997)
Producer
Women on Trial (1992)
Producer
Battered (1989)
Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

Intimate Portrait: Mia Farrow (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Jessica Tandy (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Jane Alexander (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Bella Abzug (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Margot Kidder (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Lauren Bacall (1999)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Cyndi Lauper (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Gloria Steinem (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Vanessa Redgrave (1998)
Writer
Intimate Portrait: Christine Lahti (1998)
Writer
What Sex Am I? (1985)
Writer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Mussolini: The Untold Story (1985)
Rachele Mussolini
Bare Essence (1982)
Backstairs at the White House (1979)

Life Events

1933

First stage performance at Metropolitan Opera

1938

Made member of American Ballet

1944

Professional stage debut as understudy for the character of Ado Annie in the touring production of "Oklahoma!" (date approximate)

1948

Broadway acting debut in "Joy to the World"

1949

Breakthrough stage role, "Detective Story"

1951

Made feature acting debut reprising her stage role in "Detective Story"; earned first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress

1953

Played Rose Peabody on the CBS daytime drama "Search for Tomorrow"

1959

Played Gittle Mosca in the Broadway production "Two for the Seesaw"

1963

Won acclaim for her stage performance in the Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet's "The Maids"

1965

Joined the cast of the primetime soap "Peyton Place" (ABC), played Stella Chernik; won Emmy Award

1967

Had prominent role as the wife of murder victim in "In the Heat of the Night"; role revitalized her film career

1970

Earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination opposite Beau Bridges in "The Landlord"

1971

Co-starred with Peter Falk on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"

1971

Played one of the female leads in "Plaza Suite," adapted from Neil Simon's play

1971

Won second Emmy for her performance in the TV-movie "The Neon Ceiling" (NBC)

1972

Played Mother Portnoy in Ernest Lehman's film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel "Portnoy's Complaint"

1973

Co-starred in the busted CBS pilot "The Ted Bessell Show"

1973

TV directing debut, "The Shape of Things" (CBS)

1975

Starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom "Fay"

1975

Won Best Supporting Actress Oscar as a Beverly Hills matron in "Shampoo"

1976

Directed the short film "The Stronger"

1976

Earned fourth Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress as a mentally unstable Jewish refugee in "Voyage of the Damned"

1980

Feature film directing debut, "Tell Me a Riddle"

1981

Narrated and directed the acclaimed documentary "The Wilmar 8"

1982

Co-starred opposite Jerry Orbach in the HBO adaptation of Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"

1984

Adapted her documentary "The Wilmar 8" as NBC TV-movie "A Matter of Sex"

1984

Narrated and directed the HBO documentary "When Women Kill"; aired as part of "America Undercover"

1985

Directed and narrated the documentary "Down and Out in America" (1985), the first pay-cable TV film to win an Academy Award; the film became eligible after a theatrical run in 1986

1986

First television collaboration with Marlo Thomas, the CBS biopic "Nobody's Child"; Thomas won an Emmy and Grant received the Directors Guild of America Award

1989

Produced, directed and narrated "Battered" (HBO), aired on "America Undercover"

1989

Helmed "No Place Like Home," starring Christine Lahti for CBS

1992

Played the mother of Roy Cohn (James Woods) in the HBO biopic "Citizen Cohn"

1994

Reteamed with Marlo Thomas for the CBS TV-movie "Reunion"

1996

Played Eric Roberts' mother in "It's My Party"

1997

Produced, directed and hosted "Say It, Fight It, Cure It," a Lifetime documentary about breast cancer; included interviews with survivors and members of their families

1999

Directed various episodes of the Lifetime biographical series "Intimate Portrait"

2000

Appeared in the ensemble cast of Robert Altman's "Dr T and the Women"

2001

Cast in David Lynch's noir drama "Mulholland Dr."

2005

Co-starred with Victoria Foyt, Rob Morrow and Bruce Davison in "Going Shopping," directed by Henry Jaglom

2005

Directed the HBO documentary "... A Father... A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

2006

Executive produced the HBO documentary "Baghdad ER"

Photo Collections

Marooned - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Marooned (1969), starring Gregory Peck, David Janssen, and Gene Hackman. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Landlord, The (1970) - Great Costume! The bustling costume-party scene from Hal Ashby's The Landlord, 1970, featuring Lee Grant, Beau Bridges, Marki Bey, Susan Anspach, Robert Klein (in black-face!) and Walter Brooke, photographed by Gordon Willis.
Landlord, The (1970) - I Never Eat Lunch Society mom Joyce (Lee Grant) gets lubricated by fortune-teller and tenant Marge (Pearl Bailey) on a visit to her son's Brooklyn apartment building, in editor-turned-director Hal Ashby's debut film The Landlord, 1970.
Landlord, The (1970) - Open, How Do We LIve? Opening with emphasis on Beau Bridges, the title character, addressing the camera, in the little-noticed but well-regarded satire/melodrama about urban race relations, and the first feature by whiz-kid editor Hal Ashby, who was given the directing assignment by his mentor Norman Jewison who stepped aside to produce, The Landlord, 1970.
Shampoo (1975) - I'm A Star At the Beverly Hills salon where he works for Norman (Jay Robinson), hairdresser George (co-writer and producer Warren Beatty), aiming to start his own salon, juggles wealthy client/girlfriend Felicia (Lee Grant) and actual girlfriend Jill (Goldie Hawn), who may have an offer to work abroad, in Shampoo, 1975.
Marooned (1969) - Have You Given Up Hope? Having confirmed that the astronauts are stuck in orbit, NASA chief Keith (Gregory Peck) instructs mission control officer Dougherty (David Jansen) to manage the wives (Lee Grant, Nancy Kovack, Mariette Hartley) before he takes on the press, John Sturges directing, in Marooned, 1969.
Divorce American Style (1967) - Since When Do Men Grow Up? Lionel (Joe Flynn), buddy of not-yet divorced Richard (Dick Van Dyke), has been explaining the utility of prostitution, thus taking him to meet Lee Grant, as Dede, her complete performance here, in Bud Yorkin and Norman Lear's Divorce American Style, 1967.
Valley Of The Dolls (1967) - All Cats Are Gray New Manhattan pals, singer Neely (Patty Duke) and agency secretary Anne (Barbara Parkins), with showbiz boyfriends (Martin Milner, Paul Burke), catch singer Tony (Scotti), managed by his sister (Lee Grant) and diverted by their low-talent knockout friend Jennifer (Sharon Tate), in Valley Of The Dolls, 1967.
Shampoo (1975) - Open, She's Not A Girl Director Hal Ashby working in the dark, co-writer and producer Warren Beatty and Lee Grant (in her academy award-winning role) his subjects, in the famous opening to Shampoo, 1975, also starring Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn.
Middle Of The Night (1959) - Don't Kick Him In The Shins Scene in which we finally meet the mother (Glenda Farrell) and young sister (Jan Norris), along with friend Marilyn (Lee Grant), of divorcee` Betty (Kim Novak), who's marrying her boss Jerry (Fredric March), in Middle Of The Night, 1959, written by Paddy Chayefsky.
Detective Story (1951) - Just Supply The Finger Bert Freed as workaday detective Dakis and Lee Grant the shoplifter, in her Academy Award-nominated performance in the role she also played on Broadway, opening William Wyler's film from the Sidney Kingsley play, Detective Story, 1951, starring Kirk Douglas and Eleanor Parker.
Detective Story (1951) - Baby Farm Grist Mill Hard-headed New York detective McLeod (Kirk Douglas) just leaving when accused baby-selling doctor Schneider (George MacReady) arrives, with lawyer Sims (Warner Anderson) in tow, Lieutenant Monahan (Horace McMahon), making sure the case is solid, in William Wyler's Detective Story, 1951.

Trailer

Family

A W Rosenthal
Father
Has a second son.
A W Rosenthal
Father
Realtor, educator.
Witia Rosenthal
Mother
Mother of Cheryl.
Witia Rosenthal
Mother
Teacher.
Dinah Manoff
Daughter
Had three sons; survived him.
Dinah Manoff
Daughter
Actor.

Companions

Arnold Manoff
Husband
Has been married four times and divorced three times.
Arnold Manoff
Husband
Playwright. Divorced in 1964; died in 1965; blacklisted in the 1950s.
Joseph Feury
Husband
Was married three times.
Joseph Feury
Husband
Producer, former dancer.

Bibliography

Notes

"A long, long time ago I was kid, and I realized that you are what you do. It's a very sick thing because it means that when you're not working, you're not being; it's not a healthy way to live." --Lee Grant in VENICE, April 1996

She was interviewed for the American Movie Classics documentary "Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial" (1996).

When asked by Anthony Duignan-Cabrera of PEOPLE "What has been the most lasting effect of the HUAC ordeal for you?"Grant replied: "The fear thet you could open your mouth and destroy somebody was so unbearable, I still get blocked on names. I'll see someone that I've known all my life, and I won't know the person's name. I have such a problem that when I'm in a play, I have to write characters' names on my hands so I can remember them." --PEOPLE, February 26, 1996