Joel Grey was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1932. He made his movie debut in 1952 in “About Face”. In 1961 he was featured in “Come September” with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida. In 1966 he starred on Broadway in the musical “Cabaret” and in 1972 repeated his role as the Master of Ceremonies in the film version with Liza Minnelli and Michael York. He won an Oscar for his performance. Other films included “The Empty Mirror” and “My Friend Joe”. His daughter is the actress Jennifer Grey.
he brilliant Joel Grey, an Oscar® and Tony®–winning actor and song-and-dance man par excellence, is this month’s TCM Guest Programmer. Cleveland-born Grey, the son of entertainer Mickey Katz, began acting as a child and says one of his inspirations was watching the young actor Roddy McDowall on the screen. Grey’s long and distinguished career on Broadway includes the 1966 stage production of Cabaret, which brought him a Tony Award®, and the 2011 revival of Anything Goes. His Oscar® also came for Cabaret (1972), when he repeated his role as the sinister master of ceremonies in Bob Fosse’s film version. Grey has dozens of other film and television credits including a Golden Globe®–nominated performance in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) and a recent stint on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie. He is also an accomplished photographer and has published three books spotlighting his work.
Grey’s first programming pick is The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), which he first saw as a youngster and credits with teaching him about the damaging effects of war. “I remember I couldn’t breathe after watching it,” he tells TCM host Robert Osborne. Grey has a personal attachement to James Cagney’s Yankee Doodle Dandy(1942) since Cagney is his “all-time favorite actor,” and Grey himself played Cagney’s role of George M. Cohan in the Broadway musical George M! (1969). And he chooses On the Waterfront (1954) because he finds inspiration in the performance of Marlon Brando as “probably the very first really naturalistic actor.”