(written from a Production point of view)
|Birth name:||Joel Katz|
|Date of birth:||11 April 1932|
|Place of birth:||Cleveland, Ohio|
Joel Grey (born 11 April 1932; age 81) is an American stage, film, and television actor who played Caylem in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Resistance". He is best known for his role as the Master of Ceremonies in the Broadway musical Cabaret and its 1972 film adaptation.
Grey was born Joel Katz in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the son of late comedian and musician Mickey Katz. Grey's daughter is actress Jennifer Grey, best known for starring in the film Dirty Dancing.
Grey began acting on stage at the age of nine, when he played Pud in On Borrowed Time at the Cleveland Playhouse in Ohio. He made his Broadway debut when he was 19, appearing with his father in the musical revue Borscht Capades in late 1951. Grey's first dramatic turn on Broadway came in 1961 when he replaced actor Warrern Berlinger in the role of Buddy Baker in the comedy Come Blow Your Horn.
He first attracted attention when, in 1966, he originated the role of the Master of Ceremonies in the Broadway musical Cabaret. The play became a huge success, and Grey won the 1967 Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance. He returned to the role of the Master of Ceremonies for the 1987 revival of Cabaret, for which he received a Drama Desk Award nomination. Fellow Voyager guest star Sharon Lawrence was also part of this production's cast.
Following his success on Cabaret, Grey played the lead roles in the Broadway productions of George M! (1968-69), Goodtime Charley (1975), and The Grand Tour (1979). He received Tony Award nominations for his performances in all of these plays, and received Drama Desk Award nominations for Goodtime Charley and The Grand Tour. Bob Morrisey was also part of the cast of The Grand Tour.
Outside of Broadway, Grey toured the US in Harry, Noon and Night with Dustin Hoffman in 1965. In 1977, he acted alongside Chris Sarandon in Marco Polo Sings a Solo at the Estelle R. Newman Theatre as part of the New York Shakespeare Festival. In 1983, Grey and Ron Perlman participated in a regional tour of Pal Joey, and in 1985, Grey worked with Phillip Richard Allen and Concetta Tomei in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of The Normal Heart.
In 1996, Grey was part of the original cast for the revival of the hit Broadway musical Chicago. He played Amos Hart, Roxie Hart's husband, while Bebe Neuwirth portrayed Velma Kelly. From 1999 through 2000, Grey acted in the play Give Me Your Answer, Do! along with John Glover. Grey won a Drama Desk Award for his work in Chicago and received a Drama Desk nomination for Give Me Your Answer, Do!
In 2003, Grey assumed the role of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the Broadway play Wicked, which became a hit and continues to run. George Hearn took over the role in 2004, followed by Ben Vereen in 2005.
Grey made his television debut as a performer on NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour in 1950, and appeared on several other live programs during the 1950s. His first acting credit on television was the Kraft Television Theatre production of "Forty Weeks of Uncle Tom" on NBC in 1954.
In 1957, Grey made three appearances on the CBS comedy series December Bride. In 1959, Grey appeared as Billy the Kid in a third season episode of the hit western series Maverick. From 1960 through 1961, Grey was seen as Owny O'Relly on the western series Lawman. Each of his three episodes centered around his character ("The Salvation of Owny O'Reilly", "The Return of Owny O'Reilly", and "Owny O'Reilly, Esq."); the first episode was directed by Robert Sparr.
For most of the 1960s, Grey was committed to stage performances (see above section). He did make occasional appearances, as himself, on programs such as Toast of the Town, The Dean Martin Show, and The Jackie Gleason Show. In 1971, he appeared in an episode of Ironside directed by Don McDougall; Barbara Anderson and Gene Lyons were regulars on this series at the time. Grey was then directed by John Newland in a 1972 episode of Night Gallery. That same year, Grey worked with director Joseph Sargent on a TV pilot called Man on a String, which also featured Keith Carradine, Barry Russo, William Schallert, and James B. Sikking.
Grey's only television credits during the 1980s were a pair of movies, The Yeoman and the Guard (1982) and Queenie (1987). In 1991, he appeared in a Robert Scheerer-directed episode of Matlock, along with Geoffrey Blake and Tony Jay. Grey then guest-starred in the two-hour series finale of the long-running soap opera Dallas, in which Grey plays an "angel" who coerces J.R. Ewing to (seemingly) commit suicide by shooting himself. Incidentally, a different character played by a Star Trek alum (namely Kristin Shepard, played by Mary Crosby) was responsible for shooting J.R. on the show years prior. Crosby, Richard Lineback, and Tricia O'Neil also appeared in Dallas's finale.
Grey worked with Michael Cavanaugh in two TV projects in the early 1990s. The first was the movie Marilyn & Me in 1991, which was followed by a pilot called Just Deserts in 1992. The latter was written by James Crocker. In 1992, Grey appeared on the drama series Brooklyn Bridge in the role of Jacob Prossman. He made a return appearance on the show the following year, after which he received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the first episode.
In 1999, Grey made the first of two guest appearances on the science fiction series The Outer Limits, narrated by Kevin Conway (his second appearance came the following year). Grey then worked alongside Star Trek: The Next Generation's Patrick Stewart in the 1999 TV movie version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with Stewart playing Ebenezer Scrooge, and Grey, the Ghost of Christmas Past.
In 2001, Grey made two appearances as Ronald in the drama series Touched by an Angel, including one with Bill Cobbs. He then played the recurring role of Doc on Joss Whedon's cult fantasy/horror series Buffy the Vampire Slayer during its fifth season. In addition, he and William O. Campbell had roles in the 2001 mini-series Further Tales of the City.
In 2003, Grey had a recurring role as convicted murderer Lemuel Idzik on the HBO prison series Oz during its sixth and final season. That same year, he appeared on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which was developed by Rene Balcer. Grey also worked with Frank Langella in a pilot for ABC called 111 Gramercy Park, but it was not picked up as a series.
In 2005, Grey made recurring appearances as "Another Mr. Sloan" (Corporal Ned Bolger) on the spy series Alias, created by J.J. Abrams. Other actors appearing on this series during Grey's brief, three-episode tenure were Greg Grunberg, Michael Ensign, and Michelle Forbes. Grey has also appeared on such shows as Crossing Jordan (starring Miguel Ferrer), House, M.D. (starring Jennifer Morrison), and Brothers & Sisters (starring John Pyper-Ferguson).
Grey made his film debut in the 1952 comic musical About Face. This was followed by another musical, Calypso Heat Wave, in 1957, which also featured Gil Perkins. Grey's only feature film project during the 1960s was the 1961 romantic comedy Come September.
Grey's most famous film role is that of the Master of Ceremonies in the 1972 musical Cabaret, a role he previously played in the Broadway production of the same name. For his performance in this film, Grey received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He also won a Golden Globe, a BAFTA Awards, a National Board of Review Award, and a National Society of Film Critics Award for his work in Cabaret.
His next film was the 1974 thriller Man on a Swing, in which he played the second male lead, a self-described psychic who claims to have visions which could assist in a murder investigation; Bruce French appeared in this film, as well. Grey then starred in Robert Altman's 1976 western comedy Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson, which also featured Robert DoQui. That same year, Grey and Samantha Eggar had supporting roles in The Seven Per-Cent Solution, based on the novel by Nicholas Meyer.
In addition to his role on Cabaret, Grey is also known for his role as Chiun in the cult 1985 action film Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. Grey's performance in this film earned him a Golden Globe nomination and a Saturn Award nomination. This film also starred Kate Mulgrew, with whom Grey reunited ten years later on the set of Star Trek: Voyager. The other cast members of Remo Williams included Jeff Allin, George Coe, Patrick Kilpatrick, and Michael Pataki.
Grey's film credits during the 1990s included Steven Soderbergh's 1991 science fiction thriller Kafka, a 1994 action/thriller called The Dangerous (co-starring John Savage and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and the 1996 family drama My Friend Joe (with Stephen McHattie). Most notably, however, Grey starred in the 1995 musical The Fantasticks, based on the acclaimed stage play of the same name.
More recently, Grey portrayed Oldrich Novy in the acclaimed 2000 musical drama Dancer in the Dark. Grey's most recent film credit to date is the 2008 comedy/drama Choke, which starred Brad William Henke.