What the Hell Happened to Jennifer Grey?

Jennifer Grey - It's Like, You Know - 1999-2001

Jennifer Grey – It’s Like, You Know – 1999-2000

It’s Like, You Know… was created by former Seinfeld writer, Peter Mehlman.  According to Melman, he made a terrible mistake by allowing his show to air on ABC.  It’s Like You Know was produced by DreamWorks Television which was run by Jeffrey Katzenberg who had once been the protege of Disney CEO Michael Eisner.  Eisner and Katzenberg hated each other and Melman believes ABC treated the show poorly as a result.

Melman explained how Grey came to be involved:

I just loved the idea of having a real character that everybody knew. A real history. And Jennifer Grey, I was friends with, and she had a juicy enough past considering who she had dated, Dirty Dancing, and the nose job, and she was totally game to go along with it all. So she was kind of perfect. I told her if anything bothers you at all, just tell me and we’ll take it out. I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable about anything, but she was totally game for everything.

Unfortunately, the show didn’t last long at ABC.  It started as a midseason replacement much to Melman’s chagrin.  Although it got picked up for a second season, ABC pulled the plug on It’s Like, You Know… with 6 episodes from season 2 unaired.  At the time, ABC was enjoying success with the reality show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire so they weren’t interested in a low-rated sitcom.  Melman believes if he had taken the show to Fox instead, it would have had a long and successful run.

Jennifer Grey - Bounce - 2000

Jennifer Grey – Bounce – 2000

After It’s Like, You Know… was cancelled, Grey had a supporting role in the big screen drama, Bounce.

Ben Affleck starred as an ad exec whose return flight is delayed by a snowstorm.  At the airport, he meets a writer played by Tony Goldwyn who is trying to get home to his family.  Affleck being the sweet guy he is (I think he may be Batman), offers Goldwyn his seat on the plane.  Grey appeared as Affleck’s friend who happened to work for the airline.  Tragically, the flight Affleck was supposed to be on crashes.  Gwyneth Paltrow costarred as Goldwyn’s widow.  Wracked with guilt, Affleck feels he must make amends.

Bounce received mixed reviews from critics.  It opened in fifth place at the box office behind The 6th Day.  Both films opened behind Charlie’s Angels which was in its third week in theaters.  Ultimately, Bounce grossed roughly $36 million dollars in the US which was about what it cost to make.

Jennifer Grey - Tales From the Crypt - Ritual - 2002

Jennifer Grey – Tales From the Crypt – Ritual – 2002

In 2002, Grey starred opposite Craig Sheffer and Tim Curry in the horror flick, Ritual.

Grey played a doctor who has recently had her medical license revoked.  With few job prospects, she travels to Jamaica to care for a young man who suffers from encephalitis.  Naturally she begins to develop feelings for her patient as all good doctors do.  Eventually, she begins to suspect that she and her patient are being targeted by a voodoo cult.

Originally, Ritual was intended to be the third installment in the Tales From the Crypt movie series.  But when the second movie, Bordello of Blood, bombed at the box office, plans for the third film were scrapped at Universal.  Miramax later purchased the rights to the movie from Universal and released it without the Tales From the Crypt name.

It turns out that the name wasn’t the problem.  Ritual was panned by the few critics who bothered reviewing it.  It was released in theaters in some foreign countries, but never received a theatrical release in the US.  When it was finally released on video, the Tales From the Crypt brand was restored.

Jennifer Grey and Clark Gregg - 2001

Jennifer Grey and Clark Gregg – 2001

After that, Grey took a substantial break from work.  In 2001, she married actor Clark Gregg, aka Agent Coulson from the Marvel movies and Agents of SHIELD TV show.  They tied the knot in July and welcomed a baby girl into their family in December.  So Grey took a few years to focus on her family.

Jennifer Grey - The Road to Christmas - 2006

Jennifer Grey – The Road to Christmas – 2006

Grey returned to acting in the 2006 Lifetime movie, The Road to Christmas.  Grey starred as a fashion photographer who gets stranded on her way to her holiday wedding in Aspen.  She ends up hitching a ride from a teacher played by her real life hubby, Clark Gregg.  It’s a Lifetime Christmas movie so I probably don’t have to draw you a picture.  It turns out Gregg is a serial killer and Grey has to fight for her life over the holidays.  No, wait.  That’s not right.

Jennifer Grey - John From Cincinnati - 2007

Jennifer Grey – John From Cincinnati – 2007

In 2007, Grey appeared in three episodes of the HBO series, John From Cincinnati.  The show focused on a family of surfers which is disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young man who hails from the ‘Nati.  The show starred Bruce Greenwood, Rebecca De Mornay, Brian Van Holt, Ed O’Neill, Luke Perry and Luis Guzman.  Grey appeared as the fiancee of a lawyer played by Willie Garson.

Next: Dancing With the Stars and Red Oaks


Posted on September 9, 2015, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 66 Comments.

  1. I think the most surprising thing to me is that she’s married to Clark Gregg. I had no idea! I kept expecting the update that they divorced or something, so I’m happy to see they are still together.

    As for her career, she probably is just about the only person in Hollywood history to become arguably better looking after plastic surgery but have their career hurt by it. Anyway, I’m glad to see she is still working. While it is a lot of lower profile projects, it is good to see that she hasn’t sunk to doing nothing but a steady stream of absolute dreck like some WTHH stars have done.


    • She is still married to Gregg and I’m expecting to see her on Agents of SHIELD sooner rather than later. Make it happen, Marvel!

      Grey’s career didn’t turn out the way she expected. But it’s not bad at all. I’m definitely looking forward to Red Oaks. The reviews for the pilot episode were quite good.

      I suspect that some of her frustration with her career comes from the idea that had things gone differently (no accident, no nose job) she would have been a big star. And I question that. The truth is, unless she followed up Dirty Dancing with another big hit, I don’t think her career would have been all that different. She probably would have made a few more movies, but how many of them would have been memorable? Obviously, we’ll never know what might have been there. But I’m guessing her nose job didn’t cost her as many big roles as she probably thinks it did.

      I am very glad that Grey got the medical attention she needed and is apparently in good health today. Nothing is more important than that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Not a big fan of Dirty Dancing or how crazy popular it was then. On board with Ebert’s review. 🙂 And even though I eat up every fluff romcom out there, never viewed the whole movie from start to finish. It was just too cheesy even for RB. Decent soundtrack, though, in fact better than a similar style soundtrack/hit song from Flashdance, the movie from which I’m convinced DD was inspired by.
        (She’s A) Maniac….. would the parens have gotten a Grammy?
        Still, after some life threatening setbacks, agreed totally that regained health is infinitely more important than trying to be A list somebody. I also don’t think she would have had much longevity anyway, as an A list actress, regardless. Her role in Ferris was minor, I remember Mia Sara getting more attention. Swayze’s comments about how Grey excelled at being this “in the moment” actress, you can see that on screen, but she also isn’t an actress with great range. She’s fun and quirky. It works well on TV, where I didn’t know she has continued to work more or less steadily.
        Lebeau you are not the only one who didn’t even realize that was Grey on “Friends.”
        Agreed, plastic surgery likely didn’t keep her from getting roles, although oddly it may have compromised her unique-ness after DD. There’s a reason she was unrecognizable: she changed her whole face. She’s had that nose done several times, I would guess, and a lot of other facial work too. Don’t get me wrong: it was very good quality work, She has one hell of a good surgeon.
        And, true to form, there is always that moment in a WTHH article when I am reminded of That Movie I Always Meant to See But Forgot To. In this case, it’s “Cotton Club.” I’ve wanted to see this one for the musical sequences/mood alone!
        Back on the list it goes!!


        • I wouldn’t necessarily say that Flashdance inspired Dirty Dancing. From what I read, the only inspiration that the creative team took from Flashdance was that they they didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of casting actors who couldn’t dance and relying on stand-ins. Writer Eleanor Bergstein based Dirty Dancing on her own experiences. Her previous screenplay, It’s My Turn, had included an erotic dance scene which was ultimately cut. So Bergstein said she set out to make dirty dancing integral to her next script so that it could not be excised. Flashdance definitely raised the profile of dance movies in the 80s. But I don’t think Dirty Dancing was in any way a clone or rip-off of the earlier movie.

          I remember seeing Dirty Dancing at the theater very late in its run. The summer was almost over and I was shooting a TV show with some friends. When we were done, one of the guys insisted that we all go see Dirty Dancing with him. He had seen it dozens of times over the summer and none of us had bothered. He worked at the theater, so he promised to get us all in for free. That sealed the deal. Free movie? Don’t care what it is, I was in. When he got us the tickets, the cashier sighed “Again?” Apparently he really had seen it a lot.

          I had no interest in seeing the movie and no expectations of enjoying it. But I was still young enough to get totally caught up in it. I didn’t even see it as cheesy – which it obviously is. I didn’t fall in love with it like my friend did, but yeah I liked Dirty Dancing. I really didn’t watch it again for years and years. I don’t know if I have ever sat down and rewatched it from start to finish and I’m not about to do so any time soon. Because as you said, it’s a gooey cheesefest.

          I remember my mom getting into the Dirty Dancing craze. I don’t think she saw the movie because they never saw movies. But she watched the TV show once and bought both of the soundtracks. It was weird to me that so many women my mom’s age were so into Dirty Dancing and Patrick Swayze.

          There is definitely a lesson to be learned from Grey’s plastic surgery. Even she admits she lost what made her distinctive in the first place. After that, she was another pretty face.

          I watched some of The Cotton Club for this. But I still haven’t sat down and watched the whole thing. It is also on my list of things to do. I’ll be sure to do it before WTHH to Diane Lane.


        • My mom loved Dirty Dancing. Partly because of the fact that Patrick Swayze was one of her celeb crushes. Partly because she was a fan of chick flicky stuff. So I watched it with her a lot of times when I was 10-12. My cousin also loved it and I remember dancing to the soundtrack to it at her house around Christmas 1988.

          DD is far from great cinema. But I prefer it over stuff like High School Musical or a lot of the bubblegum stuff that’s out there these days. A lot of those 80s pop movies (DD, Flashdance, Footloose, Karate Kid etc) have more edge than their VH1 staple status would indicate. A lot of people remember the musical montages. It’s easy to forget about things like the abortion subplot in Dirty Dancing.

          Of those movies I mentioned above, two have been remade, one hasn’t been but will likely be at some point and one is supposedly in the process of being remade. That last one is of course Dirty dancing. A while back, after watching the Footloose remake (which was unnecessary but not embarrassing), I reflected that if I ended up directing that Dirty dancing remake, here’s how I’d do it.

          1: I would set it in 1988-89. That would enable me to fit in “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes”.

          2: The story would involve a teenage girl who moves with her father and brothers and sisters to New York after her mother dies. Remembering that the original began with The Four Seasons playing on the soundtrack. This would begin the same way. The girl’s musical knowledge is mainly oldies because that what she listens to because her father likes it.

          3: At her new high school she meets a black boy and he introduces her to hip-hop dancing. Here’s where the dirty dancing comes in. Of course her father does not approve of her romance with him. From there, we follow the basic plot of the original.

          Of course, I would much rather script and direct original movies. But if I were in the position where I had to helm the DD remake, that’s how I would do it. Craft it in a way that’s respectful to the spirit of it yet still enable me to make it my own and put my own stamp on it.


        • Dirty Dancing was lightning in a bottle. You can’t recreate it. Mostly, the movie worked because of the chemistry. It also had the right songs at the right time. The odds of those elements all coming together again are slim whether you call it Dirty Dancing or not. That’s why I think you’re better off leaving it alone and trying to make your own dance movie if that’s what you want to do. But more and more, that is not the thinking in Hollywood. They want a recognizable name as a form of insurance.


        • “Dirty Dancing was lightning in a bottle. You can’t recreate it.”

          A point that could be made about any number of successful films that have spawned cycles of increasingly lousy sequels.


        • It’s true. Doesn’t stop Hollywood from trying.


      • Yeah it was lightning in a bottle. I’d much rather come up with something original. But if I were in the position where the only movie I could make was the Dirty Dancing remake that’s how I would do it. At the same time, I would argue that the failure of the Fame and Footloose remakes should show why remaking 80s movies isn’t that successful. Most people who go to movies have at least some familiarity with the originals. They aren’t in a foreign language or in black and white.

        In actuality I do have an idea for a dance movie that’s original. It’s kind of a cross between Save The Last Dance and They Shoot Horses Don’t They, set in 2008 against the backdrop of the economic crash.


        • Gotcha.

          That’s a tough one. If I HAD to make a Dirty Dancing remake, I don’t know what I would do. I’d want to keep it in the same time frame, but I’m not sure young people today would be able to relate. My main concern would be finding the right lead couple; dancers who could act and had amazing chemistry. If you can pull that off, I think you win. The script for Dirty Dancing almost didn’t matter.


        • And I found out the planned Dirty dancing remake has been cancelled. Hallelujah for now although I’m sure it will come back at some point. If I were naive I’d say maybe the money that would’ve gone to it can go to something original. But I’m not naive about Hollywood.


      • 15 Actors Who Live In The Shadows Of Their Parents


        In the 1980s, Jennifer Grey was one of the biggest up-and-coming stars on the planet. She shot onto the scene with roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Red Dawn, but it wasn’t until 1987 when the actress rose to super stardom alongside Patrick Swayze in 1987’s Dirty Dancing, a film that became one of the biggest hits of the decade.

        However, Jennifer’s star began to fade shortly after Dirty Dancing. While the actress has worked steadily since then, she’s never fully been able to step out of the shadow of her father Joel Grey.

        With a career spanning five decades, Joel is most widely known for his work in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret, for which the actor took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

        While both father and daughter remain working well into their careers, Jennifer’s ’80s highlights still pale a bit in comparison to the acclaimed works of her father.


  2. Another great article!

    “Don’t act like you haven’t seen it because I know you have.”

    I’m in my mid 20s and literally just watched this movie for the first time a couple of days ago because a coworker was giving me crap about not having seen it. It’s not really my type of movie, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, though I doubt I’ll be rewatching it.

    I wasn’t really familiar with Jennifer Grey before reading this article. I knew Broderick caused a fatal car crash in Ireland and his passenger was an actress, but I never put two and two together with who was with him.

    And since everybody else is weighing in on it: I may be in the minority, but I have to say I like her pre-nose surgery better, She had a great surgeon and she looks more conventionally attractive now, but I thought she was still cute beforehand. (Confession: I’m half-Jewish and anytime nose jobs come up, all I can think of is the discussion about it in A Serous Man: “Nobody in this house is getting a nose job!”)


    • Thanks, Zella. Glad you enjoyed it

      I’m with you. I thought Grey was cuter and more memorable with her original nose.

      Honestly, for someone in their 20’s, I wouldn’t necessarily expect you to have seen Dirty Dancing. It’s not Citizen Kane or anything. Like you say, it’s a charming movie that’s more entertaining than you expect it to be largely due to the chemistry between Grey and Swayze. But there are probably a thousand movies I would recommend seeing before tracking down Dirty Dancing.

      Watching the clips for this article was enough of a nostalgia trip for me. I don’t need to actually go back and rewatch the whole thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I found her more attractive with her natural nose as well. I like strong, unique features, and while the surgically altered one doesn’t look bad per se, it doesn’t really seem to fit her face. Her natural nose also set her apart; without it, she’s just kind of generically attractive in a bland sort of way, good looking but not enough to compete with more striking contemporaries. Different looks can work in an actress’s favor when she has the confidence to embrace them and the talent to back them up. In general, dramatically changing your appearance once you’re already known in Hollywood is just a bad idea; plastic surgery for actors is helpful ONLY to maintain the same look as you age. The face people know is the one they pay to see. So far, well-known actresses who’ve had procedures that noticeably changed their features have all experienced a career nose-dive (no pun intended).


  3. I can’t actually claim to have seen Dirty Dancing. It would be more accurate to say that it was on in the room while I was busy with something else. HEY-Yo!!

    “(I had) The Time of My Life” was one of those 80s songs that was initially kind of fun and catchy, but quickly wore out its welcome with me. I can remember constantly being forced to change the radio station because it was getting played yet again.

    Grey’s nose job was not something I was aware of until she was playing herself in a TV sitcom. I will register my vote along with you and Zela that she was cuter before (though she is still a very attractive lady).

    There aren’t really any Marvel characters she’s particularly suited for…Squirrel Girl maybe?


    • For Agents of SHEILD, I’m thinking dance instructor and long lost love of Agent Coulson. She can be killed off as needed.

      I had you pegged for a Dirty Dancing fan. Swayze posters on the wall and everything. I feel like I don’t know you at all!!


      Liked by 1 person

  4. And lebeau wins Best Double Entendre for September with the following:

    “Dirty Dancing had legs.”


    Good article, as always.


  5. Ah, “Dirtty Dancing”. Yeah, I owned the soundtrack for years before losing it in a move (not a dirty dance); I was all about Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes” (though I may like his “Make me Lose Control” better) and Patrick Swayze’s “She’s Like The Wind”. But long before that, in my 4th grade class, was this girl named Jen who talked nonstop about “Dirty Dancing” (haven’t viewed it in it’s entirety since it aired constantly on HBO in 1988).
    In the case of Jennifer Grey, I’m glad she had the health and life saving surgeries. I’ve never had much use for “Dancing With The Stars”, but it’s amazing how taking that physical for that show was exactly what she needed in her life.
    I think it’s true that Matthew Modine has never really moved the meter as an actor, but I sure do like “Vision Quest” (just viewed a bit of it earlier; now I can’t get Madonna’s song “Gambler” out of my head).
    Hey Lebeau, I have two questions: for Siskel & Ebert clips, do you use the website I love that site; according to my stats, I viewed 446 videos on the site (whoa). Last question: you’re still mulling over a Diane lane write-up then?
    Speaking of articles, I really have to finish up the Ally Sheedy (I’m deep in there, but not quite done).


    • I found this Siskel and Ebert clip floating around on the internet in an unusual place. I don’t remember where.

      Diane Lane will show up here eventually. Probably not soon, but eventually. Until then, she makes a lot of cameo appearances in other people’s articles.


      • Apparently she does, and it kinda cracks me up. She’s like this website’s National Anthem when it comes to “What The hell Happened To…” articles. In truth though, she’s worked with a lot of performers. Heck, my neighbors recently had a yard sale (not much success I guess), so they gave me their VHS collection they tried to sell. Along with a “Star Wars” trilogy set (it’s the gold one, not the 1995 awesome blue one. No matter, SOMEONE should’ve bought it) I received the “Lonesome Dove” collection. Including Diane Lane, Robert Duvall, and Tommy Lee Jones, that mini-series is loaded with performers.



    I think part of her appeal to both audiences and Hollywood alike in the mid to late 80s was the fact she looked like a younger, cuter and, ultimately, sexier version of Barbara Streisand. Once she lost that nose, that subconscious familiarity disappeared as well.


    • Wow, I never thought of Jennifer Grey as a sexier Barbara Streisand back in the 1980’s, but now that it is mentioned, yeah, I can kind of see it.


  7. Hello,
    she seems like a nice person, I think that persona has also kept her, not on the A-List, but always in fame’s orbit. Like Julia Louis-Dreyfus, she might eventually find a future in sit-coms. And I also agree that she would probably never have become as a big a star as she might have hoped. But maybe she could have been someone like Jamie Lee-Curtis.


    • Julia L-D is a good example. She is a comedy standout with a unique screen presence, and it’s worked exceptionally well on TV. Hell she was great on SNL before that.


  8. I too doubt how much Grey could have capitalized on her sudden fame post-Dirty Dancing even without the accident and nose job. Keep in mind that despite being 27 when she filmed Dirty Dancing she had to that point spent her career portraying teenage girls. Fast approaching 30 by that point she simply could not have continued playing teens for much longer, and her youthful cuteness may have prevented her from being accepted in more adult, mature roles in films anyway. Grey’s prospects may have been limited regardless, but again we will never know for sure, she could have surprised in something if given the chance.


  9. ICYMI: @JenniferGrey is high on more than just life in this exclusive preview of #RedOaks


  10. Jennifer Grey just revealed a major Dirty Dancing secret:


  11. ABC is poised to remake Dirty Dancing, starring Abigail Breslin

    ABC is close to greenlighting a three-hour TV movie based on the 1987 classic Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey film. Scream Queens vet Breslin is set to play Baby, but the project is contingent on the casting of the male lead.


    • Giving allowances for commercial breaks, that would be about 2 hours & 20 minutes. That a lot of dirty dancing. Well, it could be someone’s time of their life, though I think that length is overdoing it.


  12. No talent killed Jennifer Grey’s career. Anyody could have played the bitchy sister in “Ferris Bueller” and people went to see “Dirty Dancing” because Patrick Swayze was at the height of his hotness.

    I bet in 20 years Jennifer writes a book about how Emile Ardolino tried to cut her out of the movie.


    reply 214 Last Thursday at 8:17 PM


  13. What celebrity’s career never recovered after a controversial incident?

    Yeah, I think people wanted to cast Jennifer Grey, and she changed her face so drastically that she wasn’t even recognizable anymore. She was so famous after “Dirty Dancing” and her look was so distinctive that after the surgery, she may as well have been a different person. It’s kind of sad, because I did think she was a good actress, and she was beautiful (IMO) either way.


  14. DWTS Comeback: 11 Stars Who Regained Popularity After The Show

    Jennifer Grey

    No matter what has happened in her career since, Jennifer Grey will always be defined by her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman in 1987’s Dirty Dancing. After undergoing two plastic surgeries on her nose, the change negatively affected her career and aside from small roles on different television shows it wasn’t until season eleven of Dancing With the Stars was she buzzed about again. It may have been her smartest career move yet, because of course it realigned her with her Dirty Dancing glory days. Fans of the movie both young and old tuned in to see what kind of talent she brought to the table, and they were not disappointed. Grey was the talk and the drama of the entire season, eventually leading to her win with Derek Hough thanks to the major fan support she reignited. Her career didn’t necessarily take off afterwards, but for the first time in 23 years people were buzzing about Jennifer Grey once again.


  15. Save Jeanie: On ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’s’ 30th Anniversary, A Tribute To The Misunderstood, Mistreated Jeanie Bueller


  16. Five Once Popular Actresses Who Faded Away

    Jennifer Grey

    Ah yes, she could be the poster child for actor’s who had it all and then watched it fade away. The worst part is why her career fizzled. She was a huge name when she appeared in Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller. She was awesome in both movies! Then she had plastic surgery. To be fair, she did kind of have a big nose. And it is true that she needed the surgery, it wasn’t just cosmetic. However, the surgery made her unrecognizable. I mean literally, she just didn’t look the same awesome girl we loved in the 80’s. She looks great, and is really awesome, but the work dried up. Even she acknowledged she went into surgery famous and came out a total unknown. She still works, and was recently on Dancing with the Stars, but man is she an example of brightest star in the sky one minute, totally forgotten the next.


  17. ‘How could they not even know her name?’ Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey breaks down into tears as she learns of tragic ancestry on Who Do You Think You Are?


  18. Nobody puts (the original) Baby in a corner! As ABC gets ready to premiere its controversial Dirty Dancing remake, FEMAIL reveals what happened to the cast of the 1987 movie

    Baby Houseman – Jennifer Grey

    A year after playing the frustrated older sister in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off alongside her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick, Jennifer starred in her most iconic role: 17-year-old Baby Houseman.

    She’d actually acted with Patrick once before, in 1984’s Red Dawn, though this film was a bigger success, earning Golden Globe nominations for both of them.

    Then, in 1989, Jennifer did something many actresses had done before her: She got a nose job. Rather than help her career, however, her new nose is often blamed for destroying it.
    ‘I went into the ­operating room a ­celebrity and came out anonymous,’ she said in 2012. ‘It was the nose job from hell. I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody ­recognize because of a nose job.’

    She did continue to work, though mostly in TV movies and barely-seen films. Her biggest post-Dirty Dancing roles were in the Amazon series Red Oaks and playing a version of herself in the short-lived sitcom It’s Like, You Know…

    In 2010, she came back to the spotlight when she was cast on the eleventh season of Dancing with the Stars. In a check-up before the show, she found out she had thyroid cancer — but she beat it in time to compete and win with Derek Hough.

    Cancer aside, she described the show experience as much tougher than learning to dance on the Dirty Dancing set.

    ‘This dance experience was so much more difficult. [On Dirty Dancing] I learned basically one dance over a one-and-a-half month shoot. This is a new dance every four days. It’s a completely different level of dancing, much more complicated, much more challenging,’ she said.

    Jennifer also has a husband Clark Gregg, whom she married in 2001, and a 14-year-old daughter named Stella.


  19. She lost the spotlight because she got a nose job and no one recognized her anymore. She looked very average after the nose job. Not sure why you needed to write a novel and then not focus on the main reason she went into obscurity.


    • “She got a nose job” doesn’t make for much of an article. It’s not like the article skips over her plastic surgery. It’s covered along with the rest of her career. But thanks for reading.


      • There’s also the tragic car accident that Jennifer Grey was involved in with Matthew Broderick in Ireland that lead to two people getting killed. There’s no question that an incident like that would’ve negatively impacted her career on its own.


        • At the time, I had no idea about the car accident that Grey & Broderick had (something like that could effectively end a relationship, since things can then change between the couple), and I didn’t even know that they were ever in a relationship until I read this article.


        • I wasn’t aware of any of this either as it was happening. Grey and Broderick were secretive about their relationship and the accident. It was easier to bury these things in the pre-Internet days.


        • Fame offers absolutely no privacy nowadays, although it seems some people like it that way, especially those reality show types.


        • Yep. It’s almost as if there are reasons the WTHH articles aren’t one sentence long. 😉


        • Too long, not enough content…you (using “You” as a universal word here) just can’t please people at times.


        • That is for certain. That’s one of the reasons why I have taken a step back from WTHH. I wanted to clear my head and reevaluate what the series should be. No matter what I do, it won’t please everybody. So I’m just going to try to write the series the way I think it should be written going forward. It’s all you can do.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Re: Artists Who RUINED Their Careers In a Matter Of Seconds

      Jennifer Grey getting a nose job after her success in Dirty Dancing. She was unrecognizable to me.


      • 15 Actors Who Are Only Famous Because Of One Role


        We all had the time of our lives with Jennifer Grey when we watched her performance that made her career as Baby Housemen in Dirty Dancing, but since her dancing days, she hasn’t been able to land many roles in the television or movie industry.

        Despite earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture for her Dirty Dancing performance, Grey hasn’t been cast in many movies or TV series that could differentiate herself from her character as Baby.

        However, she taken up many voice-acting parts for movies such as Mrs. Kurokawa in The Wind Rises and Louisa Patel, Mrs. Pierpoint, and several other voices in Phineas and Ferb, but, unfortunately, one can’t rely on voice acting for recognition.



      Jennifer Grey was incredibly recognizable in the ’80s. She portrayed Baby in Dirty Dancing, Jeanie Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Toni in Red Dawn. She also won Dancing with the Stars.

      In 1989, Grey decided to have her nose done. She felt that her nose was very different from most other peoples’ noses and she wanted it to be less noticeable and make less of a statement. However, she realized soon after that her nose was what made her special and unique.

      “It was the nose job from hell,” she claimed. “I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody ­recognizes because of a nose job.”

      After her nose surgery, Grey started receiving less major rolls. She fell from being an up and comer to being a B-list actress. She blames her nose job because she went from being a noticeable star to looking just like everybody else.


  20. Whatever happened to the girl from Dirty Dancing?

    You may have first seen her in Red Dawn or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but there’s no denying that Jennifer Grey’s most iconic role is Frances “Baby” Houseman in 1987’s Dirty Dancing. Now more than 30 years old, the beloved movie is a favorite of people of all ages and, despite its 1960s setting, somehow feels truly timeless. Although a 2017 television remake tried to capture some of that charm, it was ultimately a flop. While Abigail Breslin did her best to channel Baby, many were left wondering what happened to the original Baby after all these years. So just what has Jennifer Grey been up to since carrying that watermelon? We’ve got the answers!


  21. Why Hollywood won’t cast Jennifer Grey anymore

    Brian Boone @brianbooone
    What’s the most popular period-set romantic drama whose major cultural status was secured by millions of diehard fans who saw it when they were children or teenagers, and also, it’s got a memorable soundtrack? Titanic. But for the decade before that movie was released in 1997, it was most definitely Dirty Dancing. 

    The story of a young woman named Frances “Baby” Houseman(Jennifer Grey) who goes to a resort in the Catskills of New York in 1962 and learns how to dance (dirtily) while falling in love with her hunky dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). The 1987 romance turned both leads into huge superstars. Grey was already fairly well known thanks to big roles Red Dawn and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (She’s also the daughter of Broadway legend Joel Grey,) but Dirty Dancing took her fame to the next level.

    However, it seems like as soon as the ’90s rolled around, Jennifer Grey completely disappeared. (For proper context, this would be like if Kate Winslet dropped off the face of the Earth around the time of Y2K hysteria.) Believe it or not, Grey still makes movies and TV shows, and she’s had an eventful, and often harrowing, time off-screen over the past 30 years. Here’s why you don’t hear much from Baby anymore.

    Who replaced Jennifer Grey with this other Jennifer Grey?

    Jennifer Grey was the recipient of one the most famous, or notorious, plastic surgeries of all time. Getting some work done may drastically change a person’s looks, but Grey probably didn’t think she’d appear all that different after going under the knife for a rhinoplasty, aka a nose job, in 1989. 

    Grey’s nose was highly distinctive and unique, and it’s what set her apart from most other actresses, face-wise. When the bandages came off, something terrible had happened: Grey’s nose was completely different. She now sported a smaller, more “conventionally attractive” nose, and she no longer looked like herself. “I went in the operating theater a celebrity, and came out anonymous,” Grey said in 2012. “It was like being in a witness protection program, or being invisible.”

    Her looks changed so dramatically that as far as Hollywood was concerned, the real Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing was gone. Almost overnight, Grey went from an A-lister on the rise to struggling to land roles. 

    Grey definitely regrets the procedure. “I’ll always be this once-famous actress nobody recognizes … because of a nose job,” she said.

    Her sitcom was too clever for its own good

    TV viewers today are a sophisticated bunch, and they appreciate inventive, novel shows. In recent years, networks have given us “meta” reality-blurring shows in which actors play some version of themselves — typically an unsavory version, like Matt LeBlanc on Episodes or Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Things have come a long way since 1999, when Jennifer Grey co-starred on a similarly clever, self-aware sitcom amusingly titled It’s Like, You Know….

    The show was like comedies on TV at the time, in that it had a laugh track and was about a group of fun, attractive adults hanging out. In other ways, it was unlike anything else on TV at the time. It was a satire of superficial L.A. culture (similar to Episodes or Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Jennifer Grey played a faded Hollywood movie star named Jennifer Grey. 

    Alas, only 19 episodes of It’s Like, You Know… aired, and Grey’s groundbreaking entry into TV history faded into obscurity.

    She was living on the air in Cincinnati (unfortunately)

    Grey scored what should have been (in a perfect world and on paper) the ideal comeback vehicle in 2007. She was cast on HBO’s John from Cincinnati, the first series created by David Milch after the end of his popular and critically-acclaimed Deadwood. A prestige drama on HBO? Score one for Jennifer Grey. 

    A collaboration with “surf noir” novelist (which is a thing) Kem Nunn, the show was set in a California surfing community and followed the arrival of a mysterious, mystical man — the titular John (John Monad) from Cincinnati. (As heavily suggested by the J.C. in the title, he might just be Jesus Christ.) Grey played Daphne, the fiancée of Meyer Dickstein (Willie Garson), a lawyer and surfing aficionado who owns a rundown surfer hotel. 

    Unfortunately, John from Cincinnati tanked, perhaps because it was so subtle and vague in its plotting and characters as to be impenetrable. The series was canceled after 10 episodes, thus ending this actress’ big comeback story.

    After tragedy struck, it ‘didn’t feel good’ to be a star

    Immediately after the one-two punch that was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing, Grey didn’t get to seize her moment in the sun, and that had a damaging effect on her career. 

    In August 1987, she was vacationing in Ireland with her boyfriend at the time, Matthew Broderick. (Yes, he played her brother in Ferris Bueller, which shouldn’t feel weird because it’s make-believe, but it still does feel weird.) While Broderick was driving them around one day, the pair was involved in a brutal, head-on car accident. The two people in the other car — a woman and her daughter — died, and Grey developed a serious case of survivor’s guilt. 

    “The juxtaposition of that deep sorrow, and then being celebrated as the new big thing just didn’t jibe,” she told People (via SFGate). “It didn’t feel good to be the toast of the town.” Grey said her “ambition was never the same” after that horrible day in Ireland.

    She continued to suffer physical problems too. Grey reportedly suffered whiplash in the accident and, over the next few years, her neck compressed to the point where several vertebrae were rendered nonfunctional. She spent a lot of time undergoing various neck treatment therapies, often to little avail. “The pain became the new normal,” she told Fox News.

    She fought thyroid cancer and won (and won Dancing with the Stars)

    Competing on Dancing with the Stars is hard; winning Dancing with the Stars is even harder. Not only do contestants have to learn (or re-learn) to dance at a semi-professional level, they have to train for weeks on end. Then they go on TV and get screamed at by Bruno Tonioli. Jennifer Grey was up for the challenge. 

    In 2010, she won the eleventh edition of the long-running ABC televised dance-off with partner Derek Hough. It’s a remarkable achievement, especially because she was hospitalized for a ruptured disc in the middle of the season. During her standard pre-show medical checkup, neurological spinal surgeon Dr. Robert Bray, Jr. found some severe spinal damage that, if left unchecked, could have precluded her from dancing … or walking. 

    “Her spine was actually falling off,” Bray told ABC, noting the lingering aftereffects of Grey’s 1987 car accident. “One good fall or a rear end accent or throwing her head suddenly and it could have done serious damage to her spinal cord. We are talking about complete paralysis.” Bray performed several operations on Grey, including the installation of a titanium plate in her spine. 

    But her health problems still weren’t over. After all that, an X-ray revealed that she had a growth on her thyroid, which turned out to be cancerous. Fortunately, it was successfully removed, and Grey has since remained cancer-free.

    She got the roles of a Lifetime

    After her ’80s career peak, Hollywood apparently failed to heed the dire warnings of Patrick Swayze’s character in Dirty Dancing. Various casting agents, producers, and directors unofficially conspired to put Baby in a corner. This is to say that in the ’90s, the majority of work Grey landed was in the entertainment ghetto of cheap, sensational, made-for-TV movies, and oh man, did Grey star in some generically-titled dreck that was way beneath her. 

    Among those forgettable films were If the Shoe Fits – a Cinderella story, except it’s about a woman who dreams of being a shoe designer in Paris instead of a princess; A Case for Murder – a John Grisham knockoff about a lawyer who uncovers a murderous conspiracy in her firm; Eyes of a Witness – Grey plays a doctor in rural Kenya working near a menacing poaching operation; and Outrage (Grey plays the mom of a family targeted by thugs.

    Now hear this!

    If you can’t land gigs because of your appearance or because of health problems, there’s still a place for you in Hollywood: voice-over work. 

    Grey is a well-trained and experienced actor, so she knows how to use all of the tools at her disposal, up to and including her voice. She can also create an air of familiarity for older fans who might not recognize her voice by name, but will definitely know it from somewhere. 

    Among Grey’s voice credits: portraying various characters over several years on the Disney Channel’s long-running animated comedy series Phineas and Ferb and voicing a character named Mrs. Kurokawa in the English version of The Wind Rises, one of legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s final films.

    She’s stuck in the ’80s

    In some ways, it’s pretty great to be an iconic actor of a certain period in time. When millions of people think about a particular point in pop cultural history, they think of you. This is certainly a benefit of being Jennifer Grey. She starred in three of the best movies of the ’80s, which are arguably the most ’80s movies of the ’80s. 

    Let’s review: Grey was among the scrappy Kansas teens who fought off a Soviet invasion with guerrilla warfare and pluck in Red Dawn (1984); she played Ferris Bueller’s clever and enraged sister, Jeannie, in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986); and she portrayed the corner-hating, coming-of-age Baby in Dirty Dancing (1987). 

    The other side of being in iconic movies of a certain era is that after that era passes, it might be hard to find work. Casting agents and audiences sometimes associate certain actors with their heydays so deeply that those actors have a hard time getting taken seriously in future roles. Take the cast of Red Dawn, for example. While Patrick Swayze was able to leave his ’80s image behind, co-stars C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Grey both had trouble convincing audiences to view them in a new light.

    She was on a show for three years, but nobody noticed

    It’s not like Jennifer Grey has given up acting entirely. It’s just that she’s not getting the lead role in big, flashy blockbusters anymore. There are so many outlets these days for content, from networks to cable to streaming services, that there’s arguably more work for actors than ever before. The downside is that even really good shows get lost in the shuffle. 

    To whit: Amazon Video has a lot of under-the-radar programs, including Red Oaks. It’s a coming-of-age story set in a New Jersey country club in the 1980s. Imagine Caddyshack as a thoughtful dramedy. In 2017, Red Oaks completed a three-year run, and producers weren’t opposed to a little stunt casting. Since it’s set in the ’80s, several ’80s stars appeared on the show. My Two Dads star Paul Reiser plays the country club’s president and mentor to main character David Myers (Craig Roberts), and Jennifer Grey plays David’s fussy mother, Judy. She even does a nude scene, which is both fearless and unprecedented, considering the actress is in her late fifties.

    There are some Grey areas in her future, and that’s great!

    Grey is still out there mixing it up in the entertainment industry, and she has a few projects in the works. 

    Along with Jamie Dornan, Billy Crystal, and both Lola (Mozart in the Jungle) and Jemima Kirke (Girls), Grey is part of the all-star cast of an independent relationship drama called Untogether, the story of the romantic entanglements of a heroin addict, a writer, a rabbi, and everyone in their overlapping orbits. Grey also has a role in the British movie Bittersweet Symphony, a Hollywood story about a young film composer. In addition, she does voice-over work in a movie called Duck Duck Goose, a Chinese-American co-production about a gander that accompanies some baby ducks on their journey south. 

    Look for those, and look for Grey hitting the talk shows to promote them. She’ll also show up on a red carpet or two for somebody else’s movies — her husband of nearly 20 years is Clark Gregg, who plays agent Phil Coulson in all those Marvel movies and in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


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