Dinah Beth Manoff is an American film, TV and stage actress and television director. She became very popularly for her voice work for the film ‘Everybody Rides the Carousal’. Then she went on to act in films like ‘Raid on Entebbe’ as Rachel Sager, ‘Ordinary People’ as Karen Aldrich etc. She debuted on television in the series ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ as Chairmaine and worked in 16 episodes of the 1979 television series ‘Soap’ as Elena Leftkowich. Dinah’s first feature film was the 1978 released ‘Grease’ where she acted as Marty. She won a Tony award for her performance in the film titled ‘I Ought to Be in Pictures’ produced by Broadway productions. She has acted in several movies like ‘Ordinary People’ as Karen Aldrich, ‘Backfire’ as Jil Tyson and ‘Child’s Play’ as Maggie Peterson and ‘Staying Together’ as Lois Cook.
Childhood& Early Life
Dinah was born on 25th January, 1958 in New York City, New York, USA to parents Lee Grant and Arnold Manoff. Her father is a screen writer and her mother is an actress, writer and director.
Her step father is Joseph Feury and he is a producer and her half brother is Tom Manoff who is a composer as well as a classical music critic for National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered’
She was raised in New York, Malibu and California and attended Santa Monica High School and later studied at the Actor’s Studio.
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Since 1975 she has appeared in many films like in American drama film ‘Ordinary People’ as Karen Aldrich, mystery thriller Backfire as ‘Jill Tyson’, ‘Child’s Play’ as Maggie Peterson ,in ensemble period comedy film Blood Hounds of Broadway as Maude Miligan etc.She appeared in her father’s directed movie titled ‘Staying Together’ as Lois Cook.
In 1990, Dinah played the role of Evelyn Whittacher in the comedy drama titled Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael with Winona Ryder and Jeff Daniels. In 2001 she acted as Denise in the drama film ‘The Amati girls’. This is the only film that was released theatrically and in this film Dinah Manoff and her father Lee Grant appeared together.
This was her first theatrical film in over 10 years and the previous one was‘Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael’. The film revolves around an Italian American family where after the demise of their father the four sisters try to instill a feeling that her mother’s life is still worth living.
In 2001 Dinah played the role of Marge in the English language drama film titled Zigs and this film received an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. In order to celebrate the poet Oscar Wilde’s birthday, Manoff herself read some of his works for the documentary ‘Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde’. Then 2009 she starred in the comedy film ‘Bart Got a Room’ and this film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won ‘Best of Fest’ awards at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.
Dinah’s first appearance on TV was in 1976 American sitcom as Charmaine in the ‘Sadie Hawkins Day’ episode. Then she appeared in 1976 in a 90 minutes American television weekly anthology titled ‘Vision’ as Gisalla Davis for the ‘The Great Cherub Knitwear Strike’ episode.
Then she appeared in television movie titled ‘Night Drive’ as the attendant’s girlfriend and in horror television film ‘The Possessed’ as Celia during 1977. From 1978 to 1979 she acted in several television series like Family as Mara in the episode ‘Sleeping Gypsy’, in the ABC sitcom Soap as Elaine Leftkowitz for the total 16 episodes. She also performed in television drama series ‘Lou Grant’ as Joanie Hume for the ‘Bomb’ episode.
Later she performed in a spin-off of Happy Days titled ‘Mork & Mindy’ sitcom as Kathy in ‘Mork’s Baby Blues’ episode. Then she played the role of Glennis in the television movie ‘A Matter of Sex’ and as Mary for ‘The Seduction of Gina’ both in 1984. In 1988- 1995 she played the role of Carol Weston for 170 episodes of the television series ‘Empty Nest’. She has also directed two episodes of this series.
Then she acted in two television movies titled ‘The Cover Girl and The Cop’ as Denise Danielovitch and ‘Babies’ as Laura in 1989. In 1990’Dinnah also performed in two episodes as Carol Weston in ‘The Golden Girls’ sitcom and also performed for two episodes as Carol Weston in sitcom Nurses. Other performances include ‘ Cybill’, ‘George and Leo’ and ‘Touched by an Angel’
In 1999 Dinah not only performed but also directed the episode ‘Prelude to a Kiss’ in the 1999 television sitcom ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’. Her latest work in television is playing the role of Aunt Marla for the television movie ‘A Carol Christmas’
Dinah first married French designer Jean-Marc Joubert in 1980, but the couple separated in 1985. In 1997, she married Arthur Mortell who is a motivational speaker. The couple has three children together.
The family faced a big tragedy when Dashiel, born in 1997, died in a car accident on January 7th, 2017 at the age of 19 years. This accident occurred on his way back to Washington State University.
As of July 2017, Dinah Manoff’s estimated net worth is $ 1.5 million.
She played the first victim to be murdered by Chucky in Child’s Play.
Her father was blacklisted for anti-American activities during the controversial days of McCarthyism.
She paid homage to her father by directing his written book ‘Telegram from Heaven’ at Hollywood Hutson theatre.
Manoff attended the Seattle International Film Festival in connection with Grease Sing-along in 2010. She had played Marty in the original 1978 released film Grease.