Lainie Kazan

American actress and singer
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 Lanie Levine
(1940-05-15) May 15, 1940 (age 76)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 1958-present
Spouse(s) Peter Daniels (1971-1989; his death)
Children 1
Website www.lainiekazan.com

Lainie Kazan (born May 15, 1940) is an American actress and singer. She was nominated for the 1988 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 had previously received a Golden Globe Award nomination for the film version of My Favorite Year (1982). Her other film appearances include The Delta Force (1986), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Beaches (1988), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016).

Contents

Personal lifeEdit

Kazan was born Lanie Levine in Brooklyn, New York City,[1] the daughter of Carole and Ben Levine.[2] Her mother was from a Sephardic Jewish family from Jerusalem, and her father, of Russian Ashkenazi Jewish descent, worked as a bookie. Kazan has described her mother as "neurotic, fragile and artistic."[3][4][5] She graduated from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

She married Peter Daniels in 1971. In a segment of Celebrity Ghost Stories she revealed that she was widowed in 1989 when Daniels died of lung cancer. With him, Kazan has one child, Jennifer, and is a grandmother.

Kazan serves on the boards of the Young Musicians’ Foundation, AIDS Project LA, and B'nai Brith.[citation needed]

HealthEdit

Kazan suffered from deep vein thrombosis, and has dedicated time to educating the public about the condition.[6] On April 9, 2016, Kazan was injured in a head-on collision in Los Angeles.[7]

CareerEdit

Kazan made her Broadway debut in The Happiest Girl in the World in 1961 followed by Bravo Giovanni (1962). She served as understudy to Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl, finally getting to go on 18 months into the run when the star was ill with a serious throat problem. Both had attended the same high school, Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York. Kazan’s mother alerted the press and, encouraged by rave reviews for her performance, she quit the show and set out to establish herself in a singing career.

As her popularity increased, Kazan posed nude for a spread in 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 and operate two different Playboy Jazz Clubs, both under Hugh Hefner’s overview, which she called Lainie’s Lounge East and West on opposite coasts, one in Los Angeles and the other in Manhattan. Her Playboy photographs also inspired the look of Jack Kirby’s DC Comics superheroine Big Barda.[8]

Kazan appeared in numerous supper clubs across the country, and she guested on Dean Martin’s variety series 26 times. Other television work includes a recurring role as Aunt Frieda on the Fran Drescher sitcom The Nanny and as Kirstie Alley’s mother on Veronica’s Closet, and guest shots on St. Elsewhere (resulting in an Emmy nomination), The Paper Chase, Touched by an Angel, and Will & Grace. She played the lead character's mother in the Nia Vardalos films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and was also featured in My Big Fat Greek Life, a short-lived series based on the film. She appeared in a scene as the mother of Adam Sandler’s character in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, but it was deleted in the feature film. It is, however, included in the special features on disc. Prior to this film, she had appeared with its co-star Kevin James in two episodes of his The King of Queens TV series as the once-renowned singer Ava St. Clair.

A life member of The Actors Studio,[9] 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.[citation needed]

She appeared in an episode of Ugly Betty, playing the mother of Bobby, who was soon to become the central character’s brother-in-law. She appeared in one episode, "Fire and Nice".[10] On August 17, 2010, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Kazan would join the cast of Desperate Housewives for Season 7. She played the role of a self-employed business owner and neighbor to Susan.[11]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
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
1987 Medium Rare Helga Costas
1988 Out of the Dark Hooker / Nancy
1988 Beaches Leona Bloom
1989 Eternity Mother / Berneice Uncredited
1991 29th Street Mrs. Pesce
1992 I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore Sarah Fishbine
1993 The Cemetery Club Selma
1996 Love Is All There Is Sadie Capomezzo
1996 Movies Money Murder Sylvia
1996 The Associate Cindy Mason
1997 Allie & Me Camille Alexander
1998 The Big Hit Jeanne Shulman
1998 Permanent Midnight Jerry's Mother at Funeral Uncredited
1998 The Unknown Cyclist Rachel
1999 Kimberly Hanna
1999 Mike & Spike Movie
2000 What's Cooking? Ruth 'Ruthie' Seelig
2000 Bruno Sister Mary Perpetua
2000 The Crew Pepper Lowenstein
2000 The Dress Code
2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding Maria Portokalos
2002 Eight Crazy Nights Old Woman Singing voice
2002 Returning Lilly TV Flim
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Documentary
2003 A Good Night to Die Diane
2003 Gigli Mother
2004 Red Riding Hood Grandma
2005 Whiskey School Hedy Seligman
2007 Bratz: The Movie Bubbie
2007 Beau Jest Miriam Goldman
2008 You Don't Mess with the Zohan Gail
2009 Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!! Shirley Hirsch
2010 Expecting Mary Lillian Littlefeather
2012 Divorce Invitation Elaine Lipnicks
2013 Finding Joy Gloria
2013 Growing Defiant
2015 Pearly Gates Millie
2015 Pixels Mickey Lamonsoff
2016 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Maria

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1962 Car 54, Where Are You? Girl at bar Episode: "Je T'Adore Muldoon"
1965 Ben Casey Della Episode: "Why Did the Day Go Backwards?"
1969 The Dean Martin Show
1977 A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story Sophie Tucker TV Movie
1978 Columbo Valerie Kirk Episode: "Make Me a Perfect Murder"
1980 A Cry for Love Tina Weathersby TV Movie
1983 Sunset Limousine Jessie Durning TV Movie
1984 The Jerk, Too Card Player TV Movie
1984 Obsessive Love Margaret Chase TV Movie
1985–1986 The Paper Chase Rose Samuels 15 episodes
1986 Tough Cookies Rita 6 episodes
1987 Karen's Song Claire Steiner 13 episodes
1989 Hägar the Horrible Helga (voice) TV short
1990 Earthday Birthday (voice) TV Movie
1992 Beverly Hills 90210 Rose Zuckerman Episode: "Down and Out of District in Beverly Hills"[12]
1995–1998 The Nanny Aunt Freida 4 episodes
1995 Prince for a Day Rose TV Movie
1998 Safety Patrol Mrs. Day TV Movie
2001 Will & Grace Aunt Honey Episode: "Moveable Feast"
2003 My Big Fat Greek Life Maria Portokalos 7 episodes
2005 The Engagement Ring Alicia Rosa Anselmi TV Movie
2007 The King of Queens Ava St. Clair 2 episodes
2008 Boston Legal Judge Paula Stern Episode: "Dances with Wolves"
2010 Medium Rare Helga Costas Episode: "Episode #1.1"
2010 'Til Death Donna 3 episodes
2010 Desperate Housewives Maxine Rosen 5 episodes
2012 Modern Family Eleanor Episode: "New Years Eve"
2013 Jessie Wanda Winkle Episode: "Throw Momma From the Terrace"
2013 Greys Anatomy C.J. Episode: "Two Against One"
2014 RuPaul's Drag Race

Stage workEdit

DiscographyEdit

  • Lainie Kazan (1966) SE-4385 MGMRecords (original studio album)
  • Right Now (1966) SE-4340MGM Records (original studio album; with sleeve notes by Dean Martin)
  • Love Is Lainie (1967) SE-4496 MGM Records (original studio album)
  • The Love Album (1967) SE 4451 MGMRecords (original studio album)
  • The Best of Lainie Kazan (1969)SE-4631 MGM Records (compilation album)
  • The Chanteuse is Loose (1977) LK515 Lainie & Co. (original studio album)
  • Body & Soul (1995) 65126 Musicmasters (original studio album)
  • In the Groove (1998) 65168 Musicmasters (original studio album)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Klein, Alvin (May 3, 1992). "Lainie Kazan Goes Back to Her Roots". The New York Times. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths LEVINE, CAROLE". The New York Times. 16 March 2001. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  3. ^ JewishJournal.com; accessed July 18, 2014.
  4. ^ "Lainie Kazan bringing cabaret classics to San Francisco", jewishsf.com; accessed July 18, 2014.
  5. ^ Breslauer, Jan (2 February 1997). "You Can't Pin Her Down". Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via LA Times. 
  6. ^ "Ability Magazine: Lainie Kazan Interview" (2008)". Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  7. ^ "'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' star Lainie Kazan in car crash". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2016-04-19. 
  8. ^ "The Jack F.A.Q.". Povonline.com. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  9. ^ 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 0-02-542650-8. 
  10. ^ "Ugly Betty Casts Bobby's Parents". TVGuide.com. 
  11. ^ "Lainie Kazan to Guest-Star on Desperate Housewives". TVGuide.com. Retrieved August 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Down and Out of District in Beverly Hills". 17 October 1991. Retrieved 6 November 2016 – via IMDb. 

External linksEdit