Actress Dinah Manoff is the daughter of actress/director Lee Grant and playwright Arnold Manoff. A graduate of California School of the Arts, Dinah made her first acting appearance in a PBS special. She won a Tony award as the neurotic daughter of an irresponsible movie screenwriter in Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures; she re-created this role in the 1982 film version, acting opposite Walter Matthau and her mother Lee Grant. On television, Manoff played Elaine Lefkowitz on the serial satire Soap (1978-79), securing a niche in TV history as the first sitcom regular to be "murdered" on-camera. Dinah Manoff later co-starred as Carol Weston opposite fellow Soap alumnus Richard Mulligan on the weekly comedy Empty Nest (1988-1993).
Biography by Hal Erickson
- Accepted into the Actors Studio in New York at age of 17.
- First sitcom (Soap) regular whose character was murdered on camera in television history; she also played the first screen victim of the murderous Chucky in Child's Play.
- Appeared on Broadway in Leader of the Pack and I Ought to Be in Pictures. Her role in the latter production earned her a 1980 Tony award as well as the self-confidence needed to escape the shadow of her mother, Lee Grant, an actress who won an Oscar.
- Her father, Arnold Manoff, was a TV writer who was blacklisted for "un-American" activities during the controversial days of McCarthyism. In 1992, she paid tribute to him with her directorial debut, of Telegram From Heaven, at Hollywood's Hudson Theatre; it was based on his novel of the same name.
- In 2010, she attended the Seattle International Film Festival in connection with Grease Sing-along; Manoff played Marty in the original 1978 release of Grease.