Lee Grant is a well-known theater, television, and film actress from the United States. She began her career in show business at a very young age and has studied at a variety of famous institutions, including the American Ballet Theatre and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. She quickly established herself as a theatrical actress, both on and off Broadway, earning critical acclaim for her portrayal of a shoplifter in the play ‘Detective Story.’ After achieving overnight fame in this part, she was cast in the film adaptation, where she made a strong impression and performed admirably in her first on-screen performance. Her career, however, took a downhill spiral once she was barred from radio, film, and the majority of television employment for 12 years owing to her political opinions. She featured on television on an irregular basis throughout this time period and also starred in a number of supporting roles in theatre. Throughout her career, she was cast in a number of popular films, including ‘In the Heat of the Night,’ ‘Judd, for the Defense,’ ‘The Landlord,’ ‘Voyage of the Damned,’ and ‘Shampoo,’ for which she received numerous nominations and also won an Academy Award. Apart from performing, she has also directed a number of television films, including ‘Seasons of the Heart’, ‘Say It, Fight It, and Cure It’, and ‘The Gun Deadlock’.
Childhood & Adolescence
Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City to Abraham W. Rosenthal and Wikia. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut at the age of four.
She began taking American Ballet courses when she was 11 years old. Additionally, she attended the ‘Art Students League of New York, the ‘Julliard School of Music’, ‘The High School of Music and Art’, and ‘George Washington High School’.
At the age of 14, she graduated from high school and enrolled in New York’s ‘Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre’ and later the ‘Actors Studio’.
Lee Grant’s Career
She established herself as a Broadway star as a teenager when she received ‘The Critics’ Circle Award’ in 1949 for her depiction of the shoplifter in ‘Detective Story.’ Two years later, she reprised the part in the film noir adaption of the same name.
From 1952 through 1964, she was blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities from radio, cinema, and the majority of television employment due to her refusal to testify against her husband. As a result, she squandered her peak years. She was removed from the blacklist in 1964. Throughout her blacklisting, she worked infrequently in the theater.
She made her true breakthrough in 1965–1966 when she appeared in the television series ‘Peyton Palace.’ She was cast in the role of ‘Stella Chernak and appeared in a total of 71 episodes throughout this time span. Additionally, she received a significant award for her performance.
She appears in a 1968 episode of ‘Mission Impossible’ as the wife of a US envoy who was working clandestinely to discredit a rogue diplomat. She appeared in ‘The Big Bounce’ and ‘Marooned’ the following year.
In 1970, she was cast as ‘Joyce Enders in Hal Ashby’s film ‘The Landlord,’ for which she received an Academy Award nomination for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role and was also nominated for two other significant accolades. She made her film debut the following year in ‘There Was a Crooked Man’.
1971 was a busy year for the actress, as she appeared in the hit television series ‘Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man’ as well as in the films The Neon Ceiling’, ‘The Last Generation’, and ‘Plaza Suite’.
In 1975, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as ‘Felicia Karpf’ in the smash film ‘Shampoo’.
In 1976, she took a sabbatical from performing to direct August Strindberg’s stage piece ‘The Stronger.’ The same year, she participated in one of her critically acclaimed flicks, ‘Voyage of the Damned.’
In 1980, she directed her debut comedy-drama film, ‘Tell Me a Riddle,’ which starred Melvyn Douglas and Lila Kedrova as a Jewish couple.
Throughout the 1980s, she acted in a series of low-budget to mid-budget films, including ‘Little Miss Marker,’ ‘Visiting Hours,’ ‘Constance,’ ‘Teachers,’ and ‘The Big Town.’ She also directed several documentaries and feature films during this time period, including ‘The Wilmar 8’, ‘A Matter of Sex’, ‘Nobody’s Child’, ‘Staying Together’, and ‘No Place Like Home’.
In 1992, she starred as ‘Dora Cohn in the made-for-television film ‘Citizen Cohn.’ This role got her a nomination for a Primetime Emmy.
Between 1997 and 1999, she directed the television films ‘Say It, Fight It, Cure It’ and ‘Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America’.
She directed the television film ‘The Loretta Claiborne Story’ in 2000 and appeared in ‘The Amati Girls’ and ‘Dr. T & the Women’. The following year, she starred in only one film, ‘Mulholland Drive.’
Between 2000 and 2004, she directed 43 episodes of the historical television series ‘Intimate Portrait,’ featuring Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood, and Jackie Kennedy.
She made her final television appearances in 2005, appearing in the documentary ‘The Needs of Kim Stanley’ and the Henry Jaglom feature ‘Going Shopping’.
Her Significant Works
She starred in ‘Peyton Palace’, an American prime-time soap opera, from 1965 to 1966, earning her a ‘Primetime Emmy Award for her work. The series proved incredibly popular and produced a sequel dubbed ‘Return to Peyton Palace’. Her portrayal of ‘Stella Chernak’ received widespread acclaim and is often regarded as her biggest performance, as she starred in a total of 71 episodes.
In 1975, she was cast in ‘Shampoo,’ a satirical romantic comedy film that became a sleeper smash upon its release. The film is widely regarded as one of Grant’s best throughout her career, having grossed a total of $49,407,734 at the box office and earning her an Academy Award nomination. The picture went on to be the fourth highest grossing film of the year and was later inducted into the ‘AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs list.
Awards and Accomplishments
In 1951, she won the Cannes Film Festival’s ‘Best Actress Award’ for her portrayal of a shoplifter in ‘Detective Story’.
In 1966, she received a Primetime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama’ for her performance in ‘Peyton Palace’.
In 1971, for ‘The Neon Ceiling,’ she won a Primetime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.
In 1975, she won an Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for her performance in ‘Shampoo’.
In 1986, her television picture ‘Nobody’s Child’ garnered her a DGA Award.
She received the ‘Women in Film Crystal Award’ in 1988 for her contributions to the film industry.
Personal History and Legacies
In 1951, she married writer Arnold Manoff and divorced him nine years later. She is married to him and has two children with him: Dinah and Tom Manoff.
In 1962, she married Joseph Feury, with whom she is still married.
Estimated Net worth
Lee Grant is a $15 million dollar American actress and film director. Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in October 1926 in Manhattan, New York.
This prominent American theater, television, and film actress declined to play ‘Dorothy’ in ‘The Golden Girls’ because she was opposed to playing a grandmother.