In 1986, Gray landed a breakout function as “Baby” Houseman in “Dirty Dancing,” a film about an awkward teenager who falls in adore with a hunky dance teacher (played by Patrick Swayze) throughout a getaway at a Catskills vacation resort identified as Kellerman’s. Produced with a price range of $6 million, the movie attained $214 million at the box office environment and, as The New York Times’s movie editor wrote on its 10th anniversary, “quickly turned a phenomenon in a way that no one affiliated with it pretty understands, even to this day.” Swayze’s line, “Nobody places Newborn in the corner” became a rallying cry for disaffected Era Xers — who, it turned out, craved rumba, romance and nostalgia just as much as any individual else. Cuffed, cutoff jean shorts and white Keds became the official summer months uniform of every adolescent whose Solar-In and perm did not quite reach Grey’s honey-coloured waves. At 27, getting been paid $50,000 for her work, she grew to become a home identify.
“After ‘Dirty Dancing,’ I was America’s sweetheart, which you would think would be the crucial to unlocking all my hopes and goals,” writes Gray, the daughter of an Oscar-successful actor, Joel Gray, and granddaughter of Mickey Katz, a comedian and musician who could possibly have carried out at Kellerman’s had it been a authentic spot. “But it did not go down that way. For one particular matter, there did not appear to be a surplus of components for actresses who seemed like me. My so-termed ‘problem’ was not definitely a difficulty for me, but given that it seemed to be a trouble for other people today, and it did not show up to be likely away at any time quickly, by default it became my dilemma.”
“It was as simple as the nose on my confront,” she said.
Following the advice of her mom and 3 plastic surgeons — one particular of whom recalled looking at “Dirty Dancing” and wondering “why that woman didn’t do her nose” — Grey underwent two surgical procedures to “fine-tune” her proboscis. The 2nd procedure, meant to suitable an irregularity caused by the to start with, was much more aggressive than what Gray predicted. Her new nose was “truncated” and “dwarfed.” She was unrecognizable to people who experienced acknowledged her for several years. Photographers who experienced hounded her the thirty day period just before did not decide on up their cameras when she walked down a red carpet.
She recalls an airline employee who glanced at her driver’s license and said, “‘Oh, Jennifer Gray, like the actress.’” When Gray reported, “Actually, it is me,” the girl responded: “‘I’ve seen ‘Dirty Dancing a dozen moments. I know Jennifer Gray. And you are not her.’”
“Overnight I drop my id and my profession,” Grey writes.
In the two several hours she sat on a blue banquette in a Beverly Hills cafe, matter-of-factly scooping a gentle-boiled egg, spreading butter on rye toast and chatting about her memoir, only 1 man or woman appeared to understand Grey. The woman’s deal with lit up, then softened as if she’d noticed an aged friend who’d survived a terrible ordeal.