Jennifer Grey, who portrayed ‘Baby’ in the legendary film Dirty Dancing, was expected to see a big improvement in her job prospects.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Instead, a terrible event radically changed everything and made her decide to leave the movie business forever.
After many years, Jennifer Grey has finally spoken up about the horrific time in her life that left her permanently traumatized.
However, as soon as Dirty Dancing opened in theaters in August 1987, the cast and crew realized what they had done.
The male protagonist, Patrick Swayze, had immediate success. He rose to fame as a sex icon and teen idol and went on to star in blockbusters like Ghost and Donnie Darko.
But when the film debuted, his co-star Jennifer Grey wasn’t in a good position, and she soon vanished entirely. In the midst of the excitement and festivities, Jennifer Grey vanished just as suddenly as she had come.
And the actress went a very, very long period without appearing in the media.
But she has now opened out about the accident that altered her life in an interview.
Let’s first examine Jennifer Grey’s life before the sad incident in the summer of 1987, though.
From an early age, Jennifer Gray began taking dancing lessons. She was born in New York in 1960, and it was possibly her father that encouraged her to pursue the entertainment business. Joel Gray, her father, was a filmmaker, photographer, dancer, singer, and actor.
Jennifer concentrated on acting and choreography while attending Dalton School. After earning her degree in 1978, she started hunting for acting jobs while also enrolling at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater. Her life was hardly a dance on roses, yet, at the same time. In order to pay the bills, Jennifer was forced to work as a waitress.
In spite of this, she was able to secure a few roles in TV ads, including one for Dr. Pepper. She made her acting debut in the 1984 film “Reckless.” A few years later, she had a huge break with the movie “Dirty Dancing,” in which she played Frances “Baby” Houseman.
The narrative of this beloved movie was really inspired by the upbringing of author Eleanor Bergstein. Jennifer rose to fame overnight and was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes.
Sadly, she was never able to take advantage of the great success.
Grey and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick were living in Ireland just before the movie’s August 1987 debut.
But Broderick hit another car while driving on the wrong side of the road, resulting in a tragic automobile disaster for the couple. The second automobile had a woman and her daughter, both of whom died instantaneously.
The accusation of dangerous driving against Broderick was eventually changed to careless driving. While Jennifer Grey only sustained minor bodily injuries like bruises, her psychological wounds persisted.
Only a few days later, Dirty Dancing had its debut. But despite the movie’s popularity, Grey was unable to appreciate it.
The contrast of that profound pain, the guilt of the survivor, and then being hailed as the next great thing simply didn’t make sense. Grey stated that it didn’t feel nice to be the talk of the town.
The actress will never recover totally from the trauma caused by the accident.
She admitted that “my brain was never the same, my ambition was never the same.”
Nose job from hell
She battled survivor’s guilt, went missing for a few years in the early 1990s, and then made an appearance in one episode of Friends in 1995.
She had undergone plastic surgery at that point, and her face was completely changed.
“It felt anonymous or like being in a witness protection program. It was the worst nose job ever. I’ll always be the former famous actress with a nose job that no one recognizes.”
After then, Jennifer’s career in Hollywood was intermittent.
Jennifer pushed her way back into the mainstream media by 2010. She regained her status as a devoted fan favorite after winning the TV competition “Dancing with the Stars.” She claimed that was something that was significant to her.
“I feel as though I’ve starved myself out of fear of what others would think of me. “It’s like eating a wonderful steak after being on a diet for 23 years,” the celebrity said.
Grey takes another step back into the spotlight in 2018. She will star in ‘Untogether’ as well as the forthcoming comedy ‘Red Oaks.’
Jennifer, we are so glad that you have reclaimed your enthusiasm and happiness!
Now, who else wants to travel back to 1987 while feeling nostalgic? See the iconic sequence from Dirty Dancing below. Such wonderful memories!