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A Conversation with Lee Grant

Join us for an evening with Lee Grant, whose talent, intelligence, grit and passion have made her one of the most respected and beloved figures in the entertainment world. Grant first gained acclaim as an award-winning star of stage and screen, then went on to have a distinguished three-decade career as a director, a remarkable achievement for a woman of her day. In 1989, Women in Film honored Grant with its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.  She received NYWIFT's Muse Award in 2004. 

Among Lee Grant’s numerous achievements: she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Shampoo and directed the Oscar-winning documentary Down and Out in America. She has appeared many times on Broadway and in such memorable films as Detective Story (for which she received her first Oscar nomination and the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival), In the Heat of the Night, Valley of the Dolls, The Landlord, Plaza Suite, Portnoy’s Complaint, Voyage of the Damned, Airport 77 and Defending Your Life. She also appeared on the television shows Peyton Place (for which she won an Emmy), The Neon Ceiling (her second Emmy win) and the innovative 1970s series Fay.

Grant directed Nobody’s Child (winner of a Director’s Guild Award), The Stronger, Tell Me a Riddle, What Sex Am I?, The Willmar 8, The Gun Deadlock, When Women Kill and many other documentaries, as well as more than 40 episodes of Intimate Portrait for Lifetime. 

Grant was born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City, the only child of upper-middle class Jewish immigrants. At the age of four, she performed on stage at the Met in the 1931 production of L’Oracolo. A precocious teenager, she was a student at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse and later a member of the fabled Actors Studio under the direction of Lee Strasberg. By the age of 24, Grant was a Broadway star, a Vogue “It Girl” and an Academy Award nominee for her role in Detective Story. It all came crashing down in the 1950s when, because of one courageous speech and her association with her leftist husband, she was put on the Hollywood blacklist, which prevented her from working in film and television. Grant was finally exonerated after twelve years and continues to reinvent herself to this day.

Grant recounts her fascinating story in her new memoir, I Said Yes to Everything. There will be a book signing directly following the event.


Film critic Jeffrey Lyons will be conducting the interview with Grant.
Jeffrey Lyons has enjoyed a career in television, radio and print media spanning 42 years. He has reviewed more than 15,000 movies, and 900 Broadway and off-Broadway plays; written or co-authored six books; and co-hosted three national movie review shows on PBS, MSNBC and NBC stations, interviewing nearly every movie star of the past four decades. He has received two honorary degrees, and lectured in venues all over the country including  the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On radio, he reviews movies and Broadway shows, and has conducted interviews with major stars for WCBS and CBS. He's now heard on WNYM radio in New York, is the critic for the Mutual Broadcasting System and CBC Radio Canada. Lyons Den Radio is his current nationally syndicated outlet.

In 2004, Lyons created and co-hosted Reel Talk. He also reviews movies with his son Ben Lyons who is correspondent and film critic for the syndicated TV series Extra


Produced by Terry Greenberg

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts