Lee Grant Biography

Lee Grant is a renowned American stage, television, and film actress who began her journey in showbiz at a young age. She honed her skills at esteemed institutions like the American Ballet Theatre and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. With her exceptional talent, Grant made a name for herself in the theater world, earning critical acclaim for her portrayal of a shoplifter in the play ‘Detective Story’. This success led to her breakthrough in the film adaptation of the same play, where she delivered a remarkable performance in her first onscreen role. Unfortunately, her career took a downturn when she was blacklisted for 12 years due to her political beliefs, resulting in limited opportunities in radio, film, and television. Despite this setback, Grant made sporadic appearances on television and took on supporting roles in theater. Throughout her career, she starred in notable films such as ‘In the Heat of the Night’, ‘Judd, for the Defense’, ‘The Landlord’, ‘Voyage of the Damned’, and ‘Shampoo’, which earned her numerous nominations and an esteemed Academy Award. In addition to her acting prowess, Grant also ventured into directing, helming TV films like ‘Seasons of the Heart’, ‘Say It, Fight It, and Cure It’, and ‘The Gun Deadlock’.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Lyova Haskell Rosenthal
  • Age: 98 Years, 98 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Arnold Manoff, Joseph Feury
    • Father: Abraham W. Rosenthal
    • Mother: Witia Rosenthal
    • Children: Dinah Manoff
  • Jewish Actresses
  • Actresses
  • Height: 5’4″ (163 cm), 5’4″ Females
  • Ancestry: Russian American, Polish American
  • U.S. State: New Yorkers

Childhood & Early Life

Lee Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal to Abraham W. Rosenthal and Witia in New York City. When she was four-years-old, she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera. When she was 11 years old, she took American Ballet classes. She also had the privilege to study at the ‘Art Students League of New York’, ‘Julliard School of Music’, ‘The High School of Music & Art’ and ‘George Washington High School’. She graduated from high school at the age of 14 and attended the ‘Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre’ and later, the ‘Actors Studio’, in New York.


When she was a teenager, she established herself as a Broadway star when she won ‘The Critics’ Circle Award’ for her portrayal of the shoplifter in ‘The Detective Story’, in 1949. She reprised the role for the film noir adaptation of the same, two years later. From 1952 to 1964 she was blacklisted from radio, film and most of the television work by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as she refused to testify against her husband. As a result her prime years were wasted. In 1964, she was removed from the blacklist. During the period she was blacklisted she worked sporadically in the theater.

She got her real breakthrough when she starred in the television series, ‘Peyton Palace’ from 1965 to 1966. She was cast as ‘Stella Chernak’ for the role and she appeared in a total of 71 episodes in this period. She also won a prestigious honor for her performance.

In 1968, she appeared in an episode of ‘Mission Impossible’, playing the role of the wife of a US ambassador who was clandestine to disgrace a scoundrel ambassador. The following year, she appeared in ‘The Big Bounce’ and ‘Marooned’. She was cast as ‘Joyce Enders’ for the Hal Ashby film, ‘The Landlord’, in 1970 for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ and was also nominated for two other important awards. The same year, she appeared in ‘There Was a Crooked Man’. 1971 was an extremely busy year for the actress when she appeared in the hit television series, ‘Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man’, and in the movies: ‘The Neon Ceiling’, ‘The Last Generation’ and ‘Plaza Suite’. In 1975, she won an Oscars for Best Supporting Actress for her role as ‘Felicia Karpf’ in the blockbuster film, ‘Shampoo’. In 1976, she took a break from acting and directed the stage play, ‘The Stronger’, which was written by August Strindberg. She also appeared in one of her critically-acclaimed films, ‘Voyage of the Damned’ the same year. In 1980, she directed her first comedy-drama film, ‘Tell Me a Riddle’, which was the story about a Jewish couple starring Melvyn Douglas and Lila Kedrova.

Through the 1980s she appeared in a string of small-budget to average films including, ‘Little Miss Marker’, ‘Visiting Hours’, ‘Constance’, ‘Teachers’ and The Big Town’. During this time, she also directed several documentary films and films including ‘The Wilmar 8’, ‘A Matter of Sex’, ‘Nobody’s Child’, ‘Staying Together’ and ‘No Place Like Home’. She appeared in the made-for-TV movie, ‘Citizen Cohn’ where she played the role of ‘Dora Cohn’, in 1992. This role earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination. The period from 1997 to 1999 marked the period of direction for her when she directed the TV film, ‘Say It, Fight It, Cure It’ and ‘Confronting the Crisis: Childcare in America’. In 2000, she directed the TV film, ‘The Loretta Claiborne Story’ and was seen in the movies ‘The Amati Girls’ and ‘Dr. T & the Women’. The next year, she appeared in only one movie, ‘Mulholland Drive’. From 2000 to 2004, she directed 43 episodes of ‘Intimate Portrait’ a biographical television series, starring Grace Kelly, Natalie Wood and Jackie Kennedy. In 2005, she appeared in the last of her television appearances in the documentary, ‘The Needs of Kim Stanley’ and the Henry Jaglom film, ‘Going Shopping’.

Major Works

From 1965 to 1966, she starred in the American prime-time soap opera, ‘Peyton Palace’, which earned her a ‘Primetime Emmy Award’ for her performance. One of the highest-rated television shows at the time, the series became extremely popular and spawned a sequel to the show titled, ‘Return to Peyton Palace’. Her role as ‘Stella Chernak’ was critically-acclaimed and is largely considered her major work as she appeared in a total of 71 episodes. In 1975, she was cast in the satirical rom-com film, ‘Shampoo’, which became a sleeper-hit at the time of its release. The movie is considered one of Grant’s best during her career, which went on to collect a total of $49,407,734 at the box-office and also earned her a prestigious Academy Award. The movie went on to become the fourth most successful film that year and was later inducted into the list of ‘AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs’.

Awards & Achievements

In 1951, she won the ‘Best Actress Award’ at the Cannes Film Festival for her role as the shoplifter in ‘Detective Story’. She won a Primetime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Drama’ for ‘Peyton Palace’, in 1966. In 1971, she won a Primetime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role’ for ‘The Neon Ceiling’. In 1975, she was honored with an Academy Award for ‘Best Supporting Actress’ for ‘Shampoo’. Her TV film, ‘Nobody’s Child’ earned her a DGA Award, in 1986. In 1988, she was presented the ‘Women in Film Crystal Award’ for her contributions to film.

Personal Life & Legacy

She married playwright, Arnold Manoff in 1951 and divorced him nine years later. She has two children with him; Dinah and Tom Manoff. She later married Joseph Feury in 1962, with whom she currently lives.


This popular American stage, television and film refused to play the role of ‘Dorothy’ for ‘The Golden Girls’ because she did not want to play the role of a grandmother.

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