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Whatever happened to ‘Dirty Dancing’ star Jennifer Grey?

Mike P Williams
21 August 2012

With the 25th birthday of 'Dirty Dancing' upon us this week it's a chance to reflect and celebrate one of the most popular films of the '80s.

From the memorable soundtrack that included Hungry Eyes and Time of My Life; to Patrick Swayze's intense, sexy portrayal as Johnny Castle that lead to starring roles 'Ghost', 'Point Break' and 'Donnie Darko', 'Dancing' is a cheesy classic.

[Related story: What happened to the cast of The Lost Boys?]

But how about his relatively unknown co-star Jennifer Grey - who played Frances 'Baby' Houseman - and what has she been up for the past quarter-century? Not being a major movie star, that's for sure.

The highlights of her recent CV include guest spots in 'Friends' (1995) and 'House' (2010), but she's mainly worked on TV movies (with titles like 'A Case For Murder' and 'Eyes of Witness').

What's unusual about Grey is how quickly she descended into small screen obscurity. After 'Dirty Dancing', she added her vocal talents to weird French sci-fi 'toon 'Gandahar'. Next up was depression era musical 'Bloodhounds of Broadway', which saw her duet with Madonna. The film was not a success, and so her TV career begun, just three years after her Golden Globe nod for 'Dancing'.


[Related link: Buy 'Dirty Dancing' on DVD for £6.47]


In 2001 she married Clark Gregg (that's Agent Coulson to any Marvel and 'Avengers Assemble' fans out there), and started a family later that year, giving birth to daughter Stella in December. Her most successful recent role saw her play herself, in the 2010 version of 'Dancing with the Stars', which she unsurprisingly won.

Grey has a theory for why her career never took off after 'Dirty Dancing'. In an interview on Channel 5, she said her nose job was the worst mistake she'd ever made, because, sadly, nobody recognised her as the girl from 'Dirty Dancing' any longer. Some believe this to be the reason for her stifled movie career since: her unfamiliar appearance.

She may not be a big star anymore, but Grey will always be 'Baby' from 'Dirty Dancing', one of the films that defined the decade.

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