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.
Film critic Jeffrey Lyons will be conducting the interview with Grant.
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
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.
Last updated: Jan. 23, 2015