This pert, curlyhaired daughter of actor-singer-dancer Joel Grey opened moviegoers' eyes as the lovesick, ugly-duckling teenager who blossoms (under Patrick Swayze's able tutelage) in Dirty Dancing (1987), a boxoffice sleeper. Following in the family footsteps, Grey started acting in the early 1980s, landing supporting roles in Reckless, The Cotton Club, Red Dawn (all 1984), and American Flyers (1985), before making her mark in the teen comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) as the put-upon sister of Matthew Broderick (with whom she was once linked romantically). The following year, Dirty Dancing was a tremendous hit, and suddenly everyone knew who Jennifer Grey was. Inexplicably, she seemed unable to capitalize on that success in subsequent films; she has since appeared on the big screen infrequently, in such misguided efforts as the barely released Runyonesque travesty, Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and the sailing saga Wind (1992).
Copyright ©1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.