Lee Grant Wanted To Be The Flower: The Acting Legend Talks Winning The Academy Award, Knowing When To Bow Out, And The Lasting Trauma of Being Blacklisted


After being accused as a communist and blacklisted from acting for 12 years it seems that any actress would give up on her career… but Lee Grant decided to win an Oscar instead. Grant’s life is one consumed by ups and down and those trials and tribulations are exactly what she used as a catalyst in her acting to put on display her true emotion that made her a success. With her motto of “F*** that I don’t want the love affair” of the public and then to be forgotten, Grant worked from the 1940’s all the way up to 2020 in acting and directing, maintaining an inspirational longevity in her career. Grant’s incredible wisdom regarding acting and life is expressed through the stories and ideologies she shares. Whether it is her insane drive or a personal proverb, there is something for us all to take from her words to apply to our own life. Join us, listening in on the infatuating journey that is Lee Grant’s life in this episode of Moment 2 Moment.  

A victim of McCarthy’s Hollywood blacklist early in her career, Academy Award winning actress, director, teacher, and documentarian Lee Grant developed some trauma from it but refused to let it get her down. In this episode of Moment 2 Moment, the iconic actress talks about finding refuge on the stage, studying under theatre icons and learning how to use her personal life to inform her work. Her’s is a life marked by incredible obstacles, even more incredible achievements, and the wild and strong determination she mustered to get there.  


Born on Halloween in the 1920s, Lee Grant was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award and won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival the same year that she found her name on the Hollywood Blacklist, 1952. Unwilling to let it keep her down, she spent the next several decades acting on stage and in films such as In the Heat of the Night, Valley of the Dolls, and Shampoo (for which she won an Academy Award). She won her second Academy Award in 1986 for her documentary Down and Out in America. 

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