Jennifer Grey is an American actress who rose to popularity in the 1980’s. She hailed from a family that was associated to entertainment in various forms like acting, arts and music and took up similar interests while at school. Jennifer Grey began her career through commercials, however soon afterwards she began receiving offers for minor roles in movies. During the 1980’s she rose to fame with some of the best performances in her career like, ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’. However, a vehicle accident in 1987 and the associated shock forced her to take a break from a career during the time. Jennifer Grey returned to the entertainment industry shortly afterwards and has exhibited her skills on multiple platforms and has been part of commercials, television series, television movies, feature films and voice acting. She has also participated and judged television dance competitions.
Childhood & Early Life
Jennifer Grey was born on 26 March 1960 in New York City to actress and singer Jo Wilder and acclaimed actor Joel Grey. She has a brother James Katz who grew up to become a chef.
Jennifer Grey studied acting and dancing from Dalton School in Manhattan and graduated in 1978. Later she enrolled at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse in Manhattan to take up training in acting for two years.
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Jennifer Grey began her career at the age of 17 through a commercial advertisement for soft drink brand Dr. Pepper.
In 1984, she made her film debut with a minor role in ‘Reckless’. This was followed by a small role in the movie ‘The Cotton Club’. She also starred in war film Red Dawn’ that was released the same year. In 1985 Jennifer Grey appeared in the movie ‘American Flyers’.
In the year 1986, Jennifer Grey portrayed the character of Jeanie Bueller in the comedy movie, ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off,’ a movie that received much appreciation and recognition from the critics. Her next movie was a milestone in her career and brought her into the limelight. She starred in drama film ‘Dirty Dancing’ in 1987, opposite actor Patrick Swayze. This limited budget film is considered a classic as it is known to be the first to sell one million copies on video. Her performance earned her a nomination for the prestigious Golden Globe Award that year.
In 1988, she lent her voice for the English version of science fiction and fantasy film ‘Gandahar’. The following year she starred in the feature film titled ‘Bloodhounds of Broadway’, that is based on author Damon Runyon’s stories. During the years 1990 and 1991, Jennifer Grey played characters in television movies like ‘Murder in Mississippi’ alongside Tom Hulce and Blair Underwood, ‘Criminal Justice’, ‘If the Shoe Fits’ and ‘Eyes of a Witness’.
Jennifer Grey has made appearances in several popular television shows like ‘Friends’ (1995), ‘Fallen Angels’ (1995), ‘It's Like, You Know...’ (1999), ‘John from Cincinnati’ (2007), ‘Phineas and Ferb’ (2009), ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ (2009) and ‘House’ (2010).
In 1995, she acted in television movie ‘The West Side Waltz’ followed by feature film performances ‘Portraits of a Killer’ and ‘Lover’s Knot’ the next year. In 1998 she got the opportunity to be part of television movies ‘Outrage’ and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’.
In 2000, she portrayed the role of an airline employee in ‘Bounce’. In 2006, she acted in television movie ‘Road to Christmas’, starring along with her husband Clark Gregg. Jennifer Grey appeared in martial arts movie ‘Red Belt’ in 2008 and independent drama film ‘Keith’.
In 2010, Jennifer Grey participated in the eleventh season of the dancing competition show ‘Dancing with the Stars’. She was the winner of that season. The following year she has played the role of a replacement judge for the ninth season of the dance competition ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
She lent her voice for the English adaptation of Japanese animation drama film ‘The Wind Rises’ in 2013. The following year she was part of movies that received positive reviews from critics; paranormal romance feature film‘In Your Eyes’, and comedy ‘Red Oaks’.
Jennifer Grey’s most notable works include her roles in ‘Ferris Bueller's Day Off’ and ‘Dirty Dancing’, as the performances in these movies immediately made her a star in the industry.
Awards & Achievements
She has won the eleventh season of dancing reality show ‘Dancing with the stars’ in 2010.
Personal Life & Legacy
Jennifer Grey is believed to have had a relationship with actor Matthew Broderick around the late 1980’s. Even though they chose to keep it private, the relationship came into light when the couple met with an accident while at a vacation in Ireland in 1987. She has also been in relationships with American actor and producer Johnny Depp and journalist George Stephanopoulos.
Jennifer Grey married director, screenwriter and actor Clark Gregg on 21 July 2001. The couple has a daughter named Stella born on 3 December 2001.
During the 1990’s she is known to have undergone two rhinoplasty surgeries after which she stated that even closest friends were unable to recognise her.
In 2010, Jennifer Grey is said to have undergone physical examinations where the doctor found a cancerous nodule on her thyroid. However, it was removed before it spread and she stated that she was cancer-free.