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Joel Grey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (23)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 11 April 1932Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Birth NameJoel David Katz
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Joel Grey was born on April 11, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Joel David Katz. He is an actor, known for Dancer in the Dark (2000), Cabaret (1972) and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985). He was previously married to Jo Wilder.

Spouse (1)

Jo Wilder (29 June 1958 - 1982) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (23)

Father of Jennifer Grey
Son of Mickey Katz
Was the first Mystery Guest on the syndicated revival of What's My Line? (1968).
Son James is a chef.
Won Broadway's 1967 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Musical) for originating the role of the Emcee in "Cabaret," a role he recreated in an Oscar-winning performance in the film version of the same name, Cabaret (1972). He also earned three Tony nominations as Best Actor (Musical): in 1969 for the title role of George M. Cohan in "George M!," in 1975 for "Goodtime Charley," and in 1979 for "The Grand Tour."
Father-in-law of Clark Gregg.
One of only eight actors to have won both a Tony and an Oscar for having portrayed the same role on stage and screen (Cabaret (1972)). The others are Yul Brynner (The King and I (1956)), Shirley Booth (Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)), Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady (1964)), Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker (1962)), Paul Scofield (A Man for All Seasons (1966)), Jack Albertson (The Subject Was Roses (1968)), and José Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)).
Is mentioned in Mercury Rev's song, "Lincoln's Eyes".
Sang "Razzle-Dazzle," from the musical "Chicago", when he hosted The Muppet Show (1976). His daughter Jennifer Grey appeared in Dirty Dancing (1987) with Jerry Orbach, who played Billy Flynn in "Chicago" and sang that very song.
First appeared on stage at the age of 10.
He is sometimes confused with actor Ron Rifkin and vice versa. Due to this, Grey guest-starred on Alias (2001) as a man brainwashed into thinking he was the evil terrorist-spy Arvin Sloane, who was played by Rifkin.
After having played George M. Cohan in the 1968 Broadway (New York) musical "George M!", he would often be invited to recreate the character by singing several of Cohan's songs at patriotic gatherings.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Live Theatre at 6753 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Made his film debut in About Face (1952).
Appeared in 2 unrelated movies with similar titles: Man on a String (1972) and Man on a Swing (1974).
His favorite actor is James Cagney.
New York, NY USA; Starring on Broadway in the musical "Anything Goes." [June 2011]
He is currently performing in the Broadway musical, "Wicked", playing the part of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [January 2004]
Is a serious photographer who has published four books of his work, th latest in 2013. Says he is inspired by the work of Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Joseph Cornell.
Played two different characters who asked to be euthanized in two different medical dramas. In the 2009 episode of Private Practice "Nothing to Fear" he played Dr. Alexander Bell, a cancer patient who asked Pete to euthanize him. In the 2006 episode of House M.D. "Informed Consent" he played Ezra Powell, also a cancer patient who asked to be euthanized. Both characters also threatened to commit suicide if their wishes were not fulfilled.
There were 9 actors who won an Oscar and a Tony for playing the same role. The 9th was Lila Kedrova in Zorba the Greek on film and Zorba: the Musical on the Broadway stage.
Joel Grey's father, Mickey Katz, created "Borscht Capades" in the early 1950s. Mickey Katz was a musician -- a clarinetist and a saxophone player -- in bands around the east. Mickey was performing, playing in a band in Cleveland, Ohio, which is where Joel Grey was born. Musician and bandleader Spike Jones needed a clarinet player who could do bits, funny things. Mickey went on the road with Jones' band for about a year, the Katz family ending up, as the band all went to California. One day his father Mickey was doing a recording session at the Sunset Boulevard RCA-Victor recording studio in Hollywood, and during a break, Mickey always wrote parodies to pop songs for fun and had just written this parody -- he was singing it to one of the other Jewish musicians. Unbeknownst to him the microphone was open in the control room and this group of non-Jewish, white-bread heads of RCA-Victor were sitting there and he's singing a Yiddish song. They didn't know what he was singing but they were laughing and laughing and they decided to record it. The recording became an enormous hit. The records were so successful Mickey put together a variety show that sold out every week in Los Angels at the Wilshire Ebell Theater. Joel knew, even at 9, that he was going to become an actor. When his father had this variety show, Joel said, "How can I be in it?" And his father said, "Well, what do you want to do?" Joel replied, "I don't know how to sing and I don't dance, but I'll run around and I'll move." So Joel's aunt dropped him a song that was a big record in New York, a Yiddish song -- it was a million words and very fast and it was very popular with the audience -- and Joel learned it by rote. Joel had no idea what he was saying or singing and the next thing he knew, he was boxed in to being a song-and-dance man as opposed to an actor. "Romania, Romania." The song was like a Danny Kaye spectacular, fast, patter song that left a lot of room to dance and sing and mug and do all the things like his hero at the time -- Jerry Lewis. Maybe two years, Eddie Cantor saw Joel in Florida and put him on his "Colgate Comedy Hour' television show, and that was the end of the "Borscht Capades" for Joel, and the beginning of Joel's long tenure in night clubs all over the country.
Came out as gay in January 2015. The announcement was made in People magazine.

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