Lainie Kazan

Last updated
Lainie Kazan
Academy Awards afterparty CUN Lainey Kazan.jpg
Kazan at the 79th Annual Academy Awards Children Uniting Nations/Billboard afterparty in February 2007
Born
Lainie Levine

(1940-05-15) May 15, 1940 (age 78)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active1958–present
Spouse(s)Peter H. B. Danielson (1989 died of lung cancer)
Children1
Website www.lainiekazan.com

Lainie Kazan (born May 15, 1940) [1] is an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for St. Elsewhere and the 1993 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for My Favorite Year . She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her role in My Favorite Year (1982). Kazan played Maria Portokalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its sequel film My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 .

The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series is an award presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a guest starring role on a television drama series for the primetime network season.

<i>St. Elsewhere</i> television series

St. Elsewhere is an American medical drama television series that originally ran on NBC from October 26, 1982 to May 25, 1988. The series starred Ed Flanders, Norman Lloyd and William Daniels as teaching doctors at an aging, underrated Boston hospital who give interns a promising future in making critical medical and life decisions. The series was produced by MTM Enterprises, which had success with a similar NBC series, the police drama Hill Street Blues, during that same time. The series were often compared to each other for their use of ensemble casts and overlapping serialized storylines. St. Elsewhere was filmed at CBS/MTM Studios, which was known as CBS/Fox Studios when the show began. Coincidentally, 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the series when it bought MTM Enterprises in the 1990s.

The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical has been presented since 1950. The award was not given at the first three Tony Award ceremonies. Nominees were not announced publicly until 1956.

Contents

Early life

Kazan was born Lainie Levine in Brooklyn [2] [3] as the daughter of Carole (née Kazan) and Benjamin Levine. [4] Kazan's mother Carole was of Sephardic Jewish extraction, her family having originally come from Jerusalem; [5] [6] and her father Benjamin, who was of Russian Ashkenazi Jewish descent, worked as a gambling bookmaker. [7] [8] Kazan has described her mother as "neurotic, fragile and artistic." [9] [10] [8] She attended Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, where she was a senior while Barbra Streisand, whom she would later understudy, was a sophomore. She studied theatre at HB Studio [11] and graduated from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Long Island, in 1960. While at Hofstra, Kazan appeared in school musicals written and directed by a classmate, future Academy Award-winning director Francis Ford Coppola. [2]

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Jews in Russia have historically constituted a large religious diaspora; the vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest population of Jews in the world. Within these territories the primarily Ashkenazi Jewish communities of many different areas flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of anti-Semitic discriminatory policies and persecutions. The largest group among Russian Jews are Ashkenazi Jews, but the community also includes a significant proportion of other non-Ashkenazi Diasporan Jewish groups, such as Mountain Jews, Sephardic Jews, Crimean Karaites, Krymchaks, Bukharan Jews, and Georgian Jews.

Career

Kazan made her Broadway debut in 1961 with the musical The Happiest Girl in the World. She appeared the following year in another musical, Bravo Giovanni, and understudied Barbra Streisand for the lead role of Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (1964). When Streisand herself could not perform due to a throat condition, Kazan took her place in both a matinee and evening performance for one day of the show's run. [2] Her popularity increasing, Kazan posed nude for the October 1970 issue of Playboy, which was reused in Pocket Playboy #4, issued in 1974. Her appearance in the magazine opened the door for her to headline at, and operate, two different Playboy Jazz Clubs. Overseen by Hugh Hefner himself, the clubs were called "Lainie’s Lounge East" and "Lainie's Lounge West," each on opposite coasts, with the one located in Manhattan and the other in Los Angeles. Her Playboy photographs inspired the look of Jack Kirby’s DC Comics superheroine, Big Barda. [12]

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

<i>The Happiest Girl in the World</i> musical

The Happiest Girl in the World is a musical with a book by Fred Saidy and Henry Mayers, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, and music taken from the works of Jacques Offenbach.

<i>Bravo Giovanni</i> musical

Bravo Giovanni is a musical with a book by A. J. Russell, lyrics by Ronny Graham, and music by Milton Schafer. It is based upon Howard Shaw's 1959 novel, The Crime of Giovanni Venturi. The musical was conceived as a vehicle for opera star Cesare Siepi, and the story concerned a family-owned Italian restaurant's efforts to compete with a restaurant chain.

Along with appearing in numerous supper clubs across the country, Kazan guest-starred on Dean Martin’s variety series twenty-six times. Other television work includes a recurring role as Aunt Frieda on the Fran Drescher sitcom The Nanny, the mother of Kirstie Alley's character on Veronica’s Closet, and such guest roles as one on St. Elsewhere, that resulted in an Emmy nomination. Her other television work has included The Paper Chase, Touched by an Angel, and Will & Grace as Grace's Aunt Honey.

Dean Martin American singer, actor, and comedian

Dino Paul Crocetti, known famously as Dean Martin, was an American actor, comedian and singer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed "The King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance.

Fran Drescher American film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, TV director, producer, author and activist

Francine Joy Drescher is an American actress, comedian, writer and activist. She is best known for her role as Fran Fine in the hit TV series The Nanny (1993–99), and for her nasal voice and thick New York accent.

Kirstie Alley American actress

Kirstie Louise Alley is an American actress and spokesmodel. She first achieved recognition in 1982, playing Saavik in the science fiction film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Alley is best known for her portrayal of Rebecca Howe on the NBC sitcom Cheers (1987–1993), for which she received an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991. From 1997–2000, she starred on the sitcom Veronica's Closet, earning additional Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Alley received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1995.

Kazan played Maria Portokalos, the mother of Toula Portokalos (Nia Vardalos) in the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. Following the first film in the franchise, Kazan was featured in My Big Fat Greek Life, a short-lived series based on the film. Other recent film work includes the mother of Adam Sandler’s character in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Although the scene was deleted in the feature film, it is included on the DVD in the special features section. Kazan had appeared as the once-renowned singer Ava St. Clair with Chuck and Larry co-star Kevin James in two episodes of The King of Queens, a TV series with James in the lead role.

Nia Vardalos Canadian-born American actress, screenwriter, director, and producer of Greek descent

Antonia Eugenia "Nia" Vardalos is a Canadian-American actress, screenwriter, and producer of Greek descent. Her most notable work is the 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which was based on a one-woman stage play she dramatized and in which she starred.

<i>My Big Fat Greek Wedding</i> 2002 film by Joel Zwick

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a 2002 independent romantic comedy film directed by Joel Zwick and written by Nia Vardalos, who also stars in the film as Fotoula "Toula" Portokalos, a middle class Greek American woman who falls in love with non-Greek upper middle class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Ian Miller. The film received generally positive reviews from critics and, at the 75th Academy Awards, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

<i>My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2</i> 2016 film by Kirk Jones

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is a 2016 American romantic comedy film directed by Kirk Jones and written by Nia Vardalos. The film stars Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Ian Gomez and Elena Kampouris. It is the sequel to the 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Filming began in late May 2015 in Toronto.

A life member of The Actors Studio, [13] Kazan returned to Broadway to recreate her film role for the musical adaptation of My Favorite Year, earning a Tony Award nomination for her performance. She completed a stint in The Vagina Monologues. She has also appeared in regional productions of A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hello, Dolly!, and Fiddler on the Roof, among others. In 1984, she made a guest appearance on the Faerie Tale Theatre episode “Pinocchio” as Sophia the Blue Fairy.

<i>My Favorite Year</i> (musical) musical

My Favorite Year is a musical with a book by Joseph Dougherty, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. It is based on the film of the same name.

<i>The Vagina Monologues</i> episodic play

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler which developed and premiered at HERE Arts Center, Off-Off-Broadway in New York and was followed by an Off-Broadway run in 1996 at Westside Theatre. The play explores consensual and nonconsensual sexual experiences, body image, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, and several other topics through the eyes of women with various ages, races, sexualities, and other differences.

<i>A Little Night Music</i> musical

A Little Night Music is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film Smiles of a Summer Night, it involves the romantic lives of several couples. Its title is a literal English translation of the German name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major, Eine kleine Nachtmusik. The musical includes the popular song "Send In the Clowns".

In the Ugly Betty episode "Fire and Nice," Kazan played Dina Talercio, the mother of Bobby (Adam Rodriguez), who becomes the character’s brother-in-law. [14] In 2010, Kazan joined the cast of Desperate Housewives for Season 7. She played the role of a self-employed business owner and neighbor to Susan. [15]

Personal life

After meeting musical director-arranger Peter H.B. Daniels on the Broadway musical Funny Girl , in which Kazan was a cast-member and he was associate orchestra conductor, the two began a five-year relationship. They married sometime after the 1971 birth of their daughter, Jennifer. [16] [17] [2] The marriage did not last, and Kazan was single again by 1976. [16]

In the mid-1970s, Kazan was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Since then, she has dedicated time to public education about DVT. [18] [19] On April 9, 2016, Kazan was injured in a head-on collision. Kazan was driving her sport utility vehicle when the collision occurred in front of a Greek restaurant in Sherman Oaks, California. Kazan was hospitalized following the crash. [20] [21]

Beginning in 2012, Kazan became an adjunct professor at UCLA, teaching acting classes and directing her students in drama-department production. She has served on the boards of the Young Musicians’ Foundation, AIDS Project LA, and B'nai Brith, the California Jazz Foundation, and her alma mater, Hofstra University. [22]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1968 Dayton's Devils Leda Martell
1968 Lady in Cement Maria Baretto
1971 Romance of a Horsethief Estusha
1982 One from the Heart Maggie
1982 My Favorite Year Belle Carroca
1985 Lust in the Dust Marguerita Ventura
1985 The Journey of Natty Gann Connie
1986 The Delta Force Sylvia Goldman
1987 Harry and the Hendersons Irene Moffitt
1987Medium RareHelga Costas
1988 Out of the Dark Hooker / Nancy
1988 Beaches Leona Bloom
1989EternityMother / BerneiceUncredited
1991 29th Street Mrs. Pesce
1992I Don't Buy Kisses AnymoreSarah Fishbine
1993 The Cemetery Club Selma
1996 Love Is All There Is Sadie Capomezzo
1996Movies Money MurderSylvia
1996 The Associate Cindy Mason
1997Allie & MeCamille Alexander
1998 The Big Hit Jeanne Shulman
1998 Permanent Midnight Jerry's Mother at FuneralUncredited
1998The Unknown CyclistRachel
1999KimberlyHanna
1999Mike & Spike Movie
2000 What's Cooking? Ruth 'Ruthie' Seelig
2000 Bruno Sister Mary PerpetuaAlso known as The Dress Code
2000 The Crew Pepper Lowenstein
2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding Maria Portokalos
2002 Eight Crazy Nights Old WomanSinging voice
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Documentary
2003A Good Night to DieDiane
2003 Gigli Mother
2004 Red Riding Hood Grandma
2005 Whiskey School Hedy Seligman
2007 Bratz: The Movie Bubbie
2007Beau JestMiriam Goldman
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Gail
2009 Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!! Shirley Hirsch
2010 Expecting Mary Lillian Littlefeather
2012Divorce InvitationElaine Lipnicks
2013Finding JoyGloria
2013Growing Defiant
2015Pearly GatesMillie
2015 Pixels Mickey Lamonsoff
2016 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Maria Portokalos
2018 The Amityville Murders Nona

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1962 Car 54, Where Are You? Girl at barEpisode: "Je T'Adore Muldoon"
1965 Ben Casey DellaEpisode: "Why Did the Day Go Backwards?"
1969 The Dean Martin Show
1977 The Bobby Vinton Show
1978A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig StorySophie Tucker Television film
1978 Columbo Valerie KirkEpisode: "Make Me a Perfect Murder"
1980A Cry for LoveTina WeathersbyTelevision film
1983 Sunset Limousine Jessie DurningTelevision film
1984The Jerk, TooCard PlayerTelevision film
1984Obsessive LoveMargaret ChaseTelevision film
1985–1986 The Paper Chase Rose Samuels15 episodes
1986 Tough Cookies Rita6 episodes
1987 Karen's Song Claire Steiner13 episodes
1989 Hägar the Horrible Helga (voice)Television short
1990Earthday Birthday(voice)Television film
1992 Beverly Hills 90210 Rose ZuckermanEpisode: "Down and Out of District in Beverly Hills"
1995–1998 The Nanny Aunt Freida4 episodes
1995Prince for a DayRoseTelevision film
1998 Safety Patrol Mrs. DayTelevision film
2001 Will & Grace Aunt HoneyEpisode: "Moveable Feast"
2002Returning LillyTelevision film
2003 My Big Fat Greek Life Maria Portokalos7 episodes
2005The Engagement RingAlicia Rosa AnselmiTelevision film
2007 The King of Queens Ava St. Clair2 episodes
2008 Boston Legal Judge Paula SternEpisode: "Dances with Wolves"
2010Medium RareHelga CostasEpisode: "Episode #1.1"
2010 'Til Death Donna3 episodes
2010 Desperate Housewives Maxine Rosen5 episodes
2012 Modern Family EleanorEpisode: "New Year's Eve"
2013 Jessie Wanda WinkleEpisode: "Throw Momma From the Terrace"
2013 Greys Anatomy C.J.Episode: "Two Against One"
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race HerselfEpisode: "Glamazon"
2018 Young & Hungry Susie LowensteinEpisode: "Young and Third Wheel"
2018 Fuller House IrmaEpisode: "Angels' Night Out"

Stage work

Discography

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References

  1. "Lainie Kazan: Performer". Internet Broadway Database (The Broadway League). Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Klein, Alvin (May 3, 1992). "Lainie Kazan Goes Back to Her Roots". The New York Times . Archived from the original on January 28, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2010. Her 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer Daniels...
  3. Kazan, Lainie. "Lainie Kazan". Actors Equity . Retrieved December 26, 2017. I had just changed my name from Lainie Levine to Lainie Kazan (Kazan being my mother’s maiden name).
  4. "Paid Notice: Deaths — Levine, Carole". The New York Times. March 16, 2001. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  5. Miller, Gerri (March 23, 2016). "Lainie Kazan happily goes 'Greek' again for comedy sequel". Jewish Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  6. Avasthi, Surabhi (June 16, 1996). "DOWN MEMORY LAINIE HOW A NICE JEWISH GIRL FROM BROOKLYN BARED ALL FOR PLAYBOY .. AND SURVIVED THE AFTERMATH". New York Daily News . Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  7. "Q&A with Lainie Kazan". Palm Beach Illustrated. December 1, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  8. 1 2 Breslauer, Jan (February 2, 1997). "You Can't Pin Her Down". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. JewishJournal.com; accessed July 18, 2014. Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Pine, Dan (March 31, 2006). "Lainie Kazan bringing cabaret classics to S.F." J. The Jewish News of Northern California . Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  11. HB Studio Alumni
  12. Evanier, Mark. "The Jack F.A.Q." POVonline.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  13. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN   978-0025426504.
  14. Abrams, Natalie (January 22, 2010). "Ugly Betty Casts Bobby's Parents". TV Guide . Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  15. Abrams, Natalie (August 17, 2010). "Lainie Kazan to Guest-Star on Desperate Housewives". TV Guide . Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  16. 1 2 Breslauer, Jan (February 2, 1997). "You Can't Pin Her Down". Los Angeles Times . p. 2. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017. In 1971, she became pregnant by her companion of five years, Peter Daniels, whom she'd met when he was the associate musical conductor on 'Funny Girl'. Kazan's daughter, Jennifer Bena, who now lives in L.A., was born at the end of 1971. After Jennifer's birth, Kazan and Daniels were married, although the match was only to last a few more years. In 1976, newly single and a mother...
  17. "Peter H.B. Daniels; Musical Director, Arranger". Los Angeles Times . February 11, 1989. Archived from the original on April 2, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  18. "Still Kicking: Lainie Kazan". Ability . August–September 2008. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  19. Thrombosis Forum Members, Georgia (May 4, 2017). "Spreading Awareness of Blood Clots". Atlanta Jewish Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  20. "'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' star Lainie Kazan in car crash". New York Daily News . Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  21. "'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' star Lainie Kazan reportedly hospitalized after car crash". Fox News. April 14, 2016.
  22. Miller, Gerri (March 23, 2016). "Lainie Kazan happily goes 'Greek' again for comedy sequel". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved December 11, 2017.