Jennifer Grey Has Left Nothing To The Imagination At 61

Dec 03, 2021 by apost team

“Dirty Dancing” was one of the biggest surprise film hits of the 1980s, and it catapulted its two main stars, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, into the spotlight. Prior to her rise to fame, Grey had other moments of success with “Reckless” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” While Swayze went on to have an illustrious career after, Grey receded from the public eye. The film’s success was unexpected, which made their instant fame even trickier to navigate. Regardless, the movie has continued to live on as one of Hollywood’s standout hits from the 1980s and is still a fan favorite for many.

Grey left the spotlight in the decade following the film’s release. She didn’t open up about why that was the case until much later. After more than three decades following the release of “Dirty Dancing,” Grey opened up about a tragic car accident that changed the course of her life. Taking the time she needed to heal and find her passion for acting again, she did eventually get back into the entertainment industry. She has since continued to act in movies and television shows in more minor roles and even appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” where she was able to show off her outstanding dancing abilities.

Today, Grey is 61 years old and looks absolutely breathtaking. While her personal struggles have made her story incredibly touching, Grey is now strong-willed and has plenty of confidence from her hardships. The actress has continued to make an effort to truly live her life to the fullest.

Early Days In Her Career

Jennifer Grey (1987), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

Grey was born on Mar. 26, 1960, in Manhattan, New York. Being raised by two actors, it was no surprise when Grey herself found a love for the art. She is the daughter of Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey and actress and singer Jo Wilder. Studying dance and acting at Dalton School in Manhattan, Grey made a friend with a fellow actress, Tracy Pollan. She graduated in 1978 and studied at Manhattan’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre for two years.

It wasn’t long until Grey began picking up jobs in the industry. She first appeared in a commercial for Dr. Pepper when she was 19 years old before making her film debut in “Reckless” in 1984. Shortly after this, she also had a small role in “The Cotton Club.

Grey began finding more success for herself as she landed more jobs, with one of her most notable roles being the sister in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in 1986, where she starred opposite Matthew Broderick. The film was a hit and launched Broderick into stardom, as he also starred in “Inspector Gadget” and voiced the character of Simba in “The Lion King” movies. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” also helped Grey pick up more roles later on.

While Grey had worked with Patrick Swayze in the movie “Red Dawn” in 1984, she didn’t have as big of a role as him in the film. However, the two were equals in the 1987 hit film “Dirty Dancing.” The movie followed a coming-of-age love story between the two main characters, played by Grey and Swayze. 

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Dancing Her Way To Stardom

Jennifer Grey (1989), (Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)

During an interview with Glamour Magazine in 2015, Grey talked about how she wasn’t sure if there could be chemistry between her and Swayze on-screen. “I didn’t think we had chemistry,” she said. “It doesn’t have to do with whether you like someone or not. It’s just you either have it or you don’t.” 

Grey’s opinions on Swayze changed during filming as she realized that they actually balanced each other out. “He was a great dancer and he was fearless,” she said. “His fearlessness with my fearfulness… together was like a marriage where you have two opposites. He’d do anything and I’d be scared to do anything.”

The movie didn’t feature any big stars, nor did it have a well-known director. It also wasn’t planned to be a big release, and instead, it was meant to have a one-week-theater release and go direct to video. “Dirty Dancing” was such a success that it became the first movie to sell more than one million VHS copies. Meanwhile, the film’s soundtrack, a significant part of its appeal, was also incredibly successful, with the movie’s main song “(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life” winning both Golden Globe and Academy Awards for Best Original Song, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Duet.

“Dirty Dancing” catapulted Swayze and Grey into instant stardom and was a defining moment for Grey as it earned her her first Golden Globe nomination. Swayze also received a Golden Globe nomination for his part in the widely successful film.

Aftermath Of ‘Dirty Dancing’

Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey (1987), (Hulton Archive/Press Release/Getty Images)

The actor went on to star in other films, like “Road House” in 1989 and “Ghost” in 1990. He was even given his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997 for all his work in motion pictures. Unfortunately, Swayze had a few health issues over the course of his life, as he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and later had pneumonia. The star passed away on Sept. 14, 2009, at 57 years old. 

While Swayze’s career was consistent following the film’s release, Grey’s career path was a bit different. Grey suffered a few unfortunate events that took place just before “Dirty Dancing” was released. Her career didn’t come to a complete stop, but it was not as fruitful as it could have been. 

During the 1990s, Grey had two rhinoplasty procedures. While only one was planned, it went wrong, resulting in a second procedure being needed to correct the mistakes. Grey’s new nose drastically changed her appearance, making her almost unrecognizable and affecting her career. Thankfully, Grey was able to move past the incident and even laugh at herself. She starred as herself in “It’s Like, You Know…” from March 1999 until January 2000, where she even made fun of her nose job. Grey continued to land minor roles throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, appearing in “The West Side Waltz” and an episode of “Friends.”

In 2010, Grey was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” partnered with professional dancer Derek Hough. Fans were able to witness Grey’s incredible abilities in dancing during her performance in “Dirty Dancing,” and her time on the competition show was no different.

The Accident That Changed Her Life

Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey (1987), (GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Despite having to overcome stress, exhaustion, and a few injuries while competing, Grey came out on top and won her season of “Dancing With the Stars.” She was finally receiving the appreciation and acknowledgment that she wasn’t able to enjoy when she was younger. Since then, Grey has taken on more acting roles, including parts in “Red Oaks” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Although Hollywood is well-known for altering the looks of its stars, Grey’s story is an example of how outside pressure to conform to society’s expectations can have significant consequences. Grey is still undeniably beautiful, but the features that made her unique were stripped from her face and ultimately played a part in stalling her career progression. Sadly, this was not the only setback the star faced that further pushed her away from the spotlight.

Grey was involved in a tragic car accident that would change the trajectory of her life and contribute to her never becoming the star she could have been. Grey was on vacation with her then-boyfriend, Broderick, in August 1987. Broderick had been driving their rental car on the wrong side of the road, and they collided head-on with another vehicle. 

The mother and daughter in the other car were instantly killed, while Broderick fractured his leg and ribs. Grey walked away with minor injuries but also with an overwhelming sense of survivor’s guilt. Broderick was charged with dangerous driving but eventually was convicted of the lesser sentence, careless driving, and paid a small fine. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.

Moving Forward

Jennifer Grey (1980), (Peter Carrette Archive/Getty Images)

Grey talked about how the accident impacted her during an interview with Irish Central. “I became America’s sweetheart within five days of the accident,” she said. “The juxtaposition of that deep sorrow, the survivor’s guilt, and then being celebrated as the new big thing just didn’t jibe. It didn’t feel good to be the toast of the town.” The actress’s ambitions were never the same following the accident, and she stepped away from the spotlight.

Even years later, the accident has had an impact on how she sees herself and her current career trajectory. During an interview with People in November 2020, she talked more about this. “I think one of the things I’ve understood as I’ve gotten older is how little I care what other people think of me,” she said. “What I’m mostly concerned about is how I feel about myself.” 

Grey, who was 60 at the time, also talked about what it’s like to age in Hollywood. “I really don’t give too much weight to chronological age, even though the world wants to tell you it means something,” she said. “But to me, it’s as abstract and random as anything, because I know a million people who are very young who behave like they’re ancient. I know my grandmother, who was 93 when she died, was dancing and making art and walking and living independently.” Grey explained that what really matters is what you do with your time on earth, rather than focus on how long you have. “I think that it’s all about how you live, not how long you live,” she said.

Personal Life

Johnny Depp, Jennifer Grey (1989), (Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, Grey talked about what it was like being famous during the 1980s. “At the time, it felt like it was a loss of innocence, but looking back now, it just looks like preschool compared to where we are now in terms of innocence,” she explained. “I think it was a really exciting time. The fashion was terrible, the hair was terrible, but the music was great.”

Grey kept much of her personal life private despite being a figure in the public eye. While her relationship with Broderick was made public during a tragic event, people also found out about her relationships with actors Michael J. Fox and Johnny Depp and journalist Geroge Stephanopoulos. On Jul. 21, 2001, Grey married actor and director Clark Gregg, and they have one child together named Stella. The two starred in “The Road to Christmas” together in 2006. Unfortunately, their relationship didn’t last, and their divorce was finalized on Feb. 16, 2021.

“Nobody ever sets out to say or do things that become iconic. If we could, we’d all be doing it all the time,” Grey said during an interview with The Girlfriend in November 2020. “Dirty Dancing” had been her major hit, but the actress was never able to fully find the stardom she deserved. “When we made the movie, it was a less complicated time,” Grey said. While Grey’s career path has been rocky, the star has become more at peace with herself and the way her life has gone. “We all want to believe a change is possible and that i can explode into a better iteration of our lives,” she said.

What Grey Is Up To Now

Jennifer Grey (1999), (Walter McBride/Corbis/Getty Images)

Grey talked about how important it was for her to feel comfortable in her body, especially since she has had her fair share of injuries and surgeries over the years. “I’ve always been interested in living my best life and pursuing the things I love and being physically strong and resilient enough to have the physical strength to do just that,” she said. “I have this desire to maintain a certain vitality, but like most of us, it’s declining slightly because of the aging process. I believe in our lifetime we’re going to see a huge change because science is on our side.” 

Grey has not stopped working on her overall well-being as it is incredibly important to her. “There’s so much that I’m powerless over, but I have power over what I eat, how I structure my life and who I spend time with,” she explained.

Fans have been extremely happy to see that Grey is in a much better place emotionally and that she’s been able to finally savor some of the well-deserved fame she earned with her early acting roles. On top of that, Grey has fully grown to love herself and, at 61 years old, is absolutely beautiful, both inside and out. The actress posted a revealing photograph of herself to her Instagram in April 2021 of her dancing on a pole.

While she may never be able to get back all of those years that she lost, she has made up for some of the time, and most importantly, the world has been blessed with witnessing her talent once more, as Grey continues to make an impact on the entertainment industry today.

Jennifer Grey (2019), (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

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