March 23, 2021 – Lee Grant, is a four-time Oscar nominated actress, appearing in classic films In the Heat of the Night, Valley of the Dolls, The Landlord, Plaza Suite, Portnoy’s Complaint, and Shampoo, for which she won the Academy Award. She was also in the 1960s cult classic television series Peyton Place, winning her first Emmy. She went on to a three-decade career as a director, which includes directing the Oscar-winning documentary Down and Out in America, and was the first woman to win the DGA award for Outstanding Directing.
Born in New York City as Lyova Haskell Rosenthal, she was the only child of Jewish immigrants. By the age of 24, she was an Obie winning Broadway star, Vogue “It Girl,” an Academy Award nominee and winner of the Cannes Best Actress award for her role in Detective Story. It all came crashing down in the 1950s, when she landed on Hollywood’s blacklist and was prevented from working in film and television for 12 years.
After completing her critically acclaimed memoir “I Said Yes to Everything”, Lee was honored with a retrospective of her work both in front of and behind the camera at NYC’s Film Forum, her documentary series, 20th Century Woman: The Documentary Films of Lee Grant ran virtually across the country. Lee lives in New York City with her husband.
Leading our conversation is Honorary Lamb Foster Hirsch, a noted film historian and professor, author of 16 books on film.