While still in her teens, Lee Grant established herself as a formidable talent by winning the Critics Circle Award for her performance as the shoplifter in the Broadway production of Detective Story. She recreated this portrayal in the 1951 film version, earning her a Cannes Film Festival Award as Best Actress, her first Academy Award nomination and an invitation to the prestigious Actors Studio.
Her impressive young film career was cut short by the McCarthy Era blacklist. After 12 years, she resumed a successful career, beginning with a 1966 Emmy Award for Peyton Place and culminating in a 1976 Academy Award for her role in Shampoo. During this time, she also received acclaim for her riveting performance in the 1967 Academy Award-winning In the Heat of the Night, another Emmy Award for The Neon Ceiling, and Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for The Landlord and Voyage of the Damned.
Since 1980, Ms. Grant has mixed acting with directing, and in 1982, launched an independent film company with her husband, Joseph Feury. They produced five documentaries for HBO, the last of which, Down and Out in America, won the 1987 Academy Award. Ms. Grant herself won the 1987 Director's Guild Award for her direction of the CBS TV-movie Nobody's Child.