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Dinah Manoff
Born (1956-01-25) January 25, 1956 (age 68)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater Actors Studio
Occupation Actress, television director
Years active 1975–present
Jean-Marc Joubert
(m. 1980; div. 1985)
Arthur Mortell
(m. 1997)
Children 3
Parent(s) Arnold Manoff
Lee Grant

Dinah Manoff (born January 25, 1956) is an American stage, film, and television actress and television director. She is best known for her roles as Carol Weston on Empty Nest, Elaine Lefkowitz on Soap, Marty Maraschino in the film Grease, and Libby Tucker in both the stage and film adaptations of I Ought to Be in Pictures, for which she won a Tony Award.

Early life

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.

She spent her childhood and teenage years in New York City and Malibu, California. She attended the New Lincoln School and Santa Monica High School and later studied at the Actors Studio. Manoff is Jewish.



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 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. 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.


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.

Personal life

Manoff is the daughter of actress Lee Grant and screenwriter Arnold Manoff. Since 1997, she has been married to realtor Arthur Mortell, and currently resides in Bainbridge Island, Washington. They have three sons together: Dashiell Mortell, and twins Desi and Oliver Mortell. Dashiell was killed in an automobile accident on January 7, 2017, age 19.

She was married to French designer Jean-Marc Joubert from 1980 to 1985.

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1976 Everybody Rides the Carousel Stage 7 (voice) Voice
1976 The Stronger
1977 Raid on Entebbe Rachel Sager
1978 Grease Marty Maraschino
1980 Ordinary People Karen Aldrich
1982 I Ought to Be in Pictures Libby Tucker
1988 Backfire Jill Tyson
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
2017 Cult of Chucky Maggie Peterson Archive footage
Year Title Role Notes
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 $weepstake$ Maggie Episode: "Dewey and Harold and Sarah and Maggie"
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 Celebrity Missy Craymore Miniseries
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
1990 Babies Laura 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

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dinah Manoff para niños

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