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Dinah Beth Manoff
January 25, 1956
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||Actors Studio|
|Occupation||Actress, television director|
(m. 1980; div. 1985)
(m. after 1997)
Dinah Beth Manoff (born January 25, 1956) is an American stage, film, and television actress and television director. She is best known for her roles as Elaine Lefkowitz on Soap, Marty Maraschino in the film Grease, Libby Tucker in both the stage and film adaptations of I Ought to Be in Pictures, for which she won a Tony Award, and Carol Weston on Empty Nest. She has starred in numerous television movies and guest-starred on various television programs. She mostly appeared on TV during the 1990s, but she has been seen in more recent theatrical films, such as The Amati Girls and Bart Got a Room, and a co-starring role on State of Grace.
Manoff is the daughter of actress Lee Grant and screenwriter Arnold Manoff. Since 1997, Manoff has been married to Arthur Mortell, and currently resides in Bainbridge Island, Washington. She was previously married to Jean-Marc Joubert and had resided in Los Angeles and New York City.
Manoff was born in New York City to actress, director, and writer Lee Grant, and screenwriter Arnold Manoff. Her half-brother, Tom Manoff, is the classical music critic for NPR's All Things Considered and a notable composer. Her stepfather is producer Joseph Feury.
Manoff's first project was the independent film Everybody Rides the Carousel, providing one of the voices. In 1976, she made her first television appearance on the PBS production of The Stronger. This was followed by a guest appearance on Welcome Back, Kotter in the episode "Sadie Hawkins Day", followed by an appearance in Visions. In 1977, she made a cameo appearance in her first TV movie, Raid on Entebbe.
In 1978, Manoff got the role of Elaine Dallas (née Lefkowitz) on the ABC sitcom Soap, and remained on the show until the end of the year. Manoff made her film debut in 1978 as Marty Maraschino, one of the Pink Ladies, in the movie version of Grease.
In 1980, Manoff made her Broadway debut as Libby Tucker in Neil Simon's Broadway play, I Ought to Be in Pictures. For her work in the play, she won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, as well as the Theatre World Award. She reprised that role for the film version in 1982, with Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret. Also in 1980, Manoff appeared as Karen, the suicidal friend of Timothy Hutton's character, in the multiple Oscar-winning Ordinary People.
In 1985, Manoff portrayed songwriter Ellie Greenwich in the Broadway jukebox musical Leader of the Pack. In 1988, she played Maggie Peterson in Child's Play, the first character to be killed by the murderous, possessed doll Chucky. Manoff then started a seven-year stint as Carol Weston on the NBC sitcom and Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest, a role for which she is best known on television, and appeared in every episode of the series. In 1989, Manoff appeared in minor roles in two films late in the year: Bloodhounds of Broadway and Staying Together.
In 1990, Manoff appeared in Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael, starring Winona Ryder and Jeff Daniels. After this, Manoff focused primarily on television work, appearing in a cameo role in an episode of Blossom entitled "Rockumentary" and TV movies such as Babies and Maid for Each Other, as well as continuing on Empty Nest as actress and director on two episodes until its ending in 1995; she also appeared on The Golden Girls twice as Carol Weston in this period. Manoff's subsequent TV appearances included Touched by an Angel, Cybill, and George and Leo.
In 1999, Manoff directed the 82nd episode of the television series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, titled "Prelude to a Kiss".
In 2000, Manoff appeared in the TV movie The Lost Child starring Mercedes Ruehl. Just a few months later in 2001, Manoff returned to film work by starring in The Amati Girls, the sole movie released theatrically in which her mother and she have appeared together. The film also featured Mercedes Ruehl, Sean Young, and Lily Knight. Manoff appeared in a second 2001 movie, Zigs, starring Beverly Hills, 90210's Jason Priestley. From 2001 to 2002, Manoff co-starred in the cable television series State of Grace. In 2003, Manoff played Aunt Marla in A Carol Christmas, a variation on Charles Dickens' classic story.
In celebration of the poet Oscar Wilde's 150th birthday in 2004, Manoff read some of his works in the documentary Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde. After a four-year hiatus, Manoff appeared in the film Bart Got a Room in 2009, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, but was not released widely until the following year, when Dinah also appeared in two episodes of Lose Yourself on Strike.TV.
In 2010, Grease was released a second time as a sing-along. Coinciding with its release, Manoff appeared at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Manoff has been married twice and has three children. She married French designer Jean-Marc Joubert in 1980; this marriage ended in divorce in 1985. In 1997, Manoff married motivational speaker Arthur Mortell, with whom she has three children: a son Dashiell and twin boys. Dashiell died on January 7, 2017, while riding as a passenger to school at Washington State University with other students. The vehicle in which he was riding struck another that had slowed, then was struck by a third vehicle.
|1976||Everybody Rides the Carousel||Stage 7 (voice)||Voice|
|1977||Raid on Entebbe||Rachel Sager|
|1980||Ordinary People||Karen Aldrich|
|1982||I Ought to Be in Pictures||Libby Tucker|
|1988||Child's Play||Maggie Peterson|
|1989||Bloodhounds of Broadway||Maude Miligan|
|1989||Staying Together||Lois Cook|
|1990||Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael||Evelyn Whittacher|
|2000||The Amati Girls||Denise|
|2001||Zigs||Marge||Alternative title: Double Down|
|2004||Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde||Herself||Documentary|
|2008||Bart Got a Room||Mrs. Goodson|
|1976||Welcome Back, Kotter||Charmaine||Episode: "Sadie Hawkins Day"|
|1976||Visions||Gisella Farkas||Episode: "The Great Cherub Knitwear Strike"|
|1976||Raid on Entebbe||Rachel Sager||Television movie|
|1977||Night Drive||Attendant's Girlfriend||Television movie (a.k.a. Night Terror)|
|1977||The Possessed||Celia||Television movie|
|1978||Family||Mara||Episode: "Sleeping Gypsy"|
|1978||Soap||Elaine Lefkowitz||16 episodes|
|1979||Lou Grant||Joanie Hume||Episode: Bomb"|
|1979||Mork & Mindy||Kathy||Episode: "Mork's Baby Blues"|
|1981||For Ladies Only||Mary Louise||Television movie|
|1982||Table Settings||Television movie|
|1984||A Matter of Sex||Glennis||Television movie|
|1984||The Seduction of Gina||Mary||Television movie|
|1984||Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac||Priscilla Tirado||Television movie|
|1984||Night Court||Sister Sara||Episode: "The Nun"|
|1984||Hot Pursuit||Gillian||Episode: "Gillian"|
|1984||Cagney & Lacey||Jane Tanton||Episode: "Fathers & Daughters"|
|1986||Classified Love||Theresa Leonetti||Television movie|
|1987||Murder, She Wrote||Jenny Coopersmith||Episode: "Murder in a Minor Key"|
|1987||CBS Summer Playhouse||Franny||Episode: "Sirens"|
|1987||Brothers||Episode: "Las Vegas Serenade (Part 1)"|
|1988-1995||Empty Nest||Carol Weston||170 episodes|
|1989||The Cover Girl and the Cop||Denise Danielovitch||Television movie|
|1991-1992||The Golden Girls||Carol Weston||2 episodes|
|1992||Maid for Each Other||Tibby Bloom||Television movie|
|1992||Nurses||Carol Weston||2 episodes|
|1993||The John Larroquette Show||Kelly||Episode: "Newcomer"|
|1995||Touched by an Angel||Callie Martin||Episode: "Interview with an Angel"|
|1995||Sister, Sister||Director, Episode: "Weird Science"|
|1996||Cybill||Amy Fitzpatrick||2 episodes|
|1996||Minor Adjustments||Director, Episode: "My Fair Darby"|
|1998||George and Leo||Mary||Episode: "The Other Bookstore"|
|1999||Brother's Keeper||Director, 3 episodes|
|1999||Movie Stars||Director, 2 episodes|
|1999||Sabrina the Teenage Witch||Director, Episode: "Prelude to a Kiss"|
|2000||The Lost Child||Helen||Television movie|
|2002||State of Grace||Evelyn Rayburn||38 episodes|
|2003||A Carol Christmas||Aunt Marla||Television movie|