(Alicia Rosa Anselmi)
Lainie Kazan is the embodiment of the word entertainer—an artist who has reached the pinnacle in virtually every area of performance. She has come a long way since she was Barbra Streisand's Broadway understudy in Funny Girl
. Once she was able to display her electrifying talent in two shows, she became the “Chanteuse” of her native New York, with nightclub stints and guest appearances on virtually every top variety and talk show in network television, including an unparalleled 26 appearances on The Dean Martin Show
. She even hosted her own variety special for NBC and opened the popular Lainie's Room
and Lainie's Room East
at the Los Angeles and New York Playboy Clubs.
The multi-award nominated actress made her feature-film debut in the 1982 Francis Ford Coppola movie One from the Heart.
In 1983, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year
, starring Peter O'Toole. Other films include Beaches
, with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey, and Harry and the Hendersons
, produced by Steven Spielberg.
Additional credits include The Associate
, with Whoopi Goldberg; Love Is All There Is
, with Renee Taylor, Angelina Jolie and Paul Sorvino; The Big Hit
, with Mark Wahlberg; The Crew,
with Richard Dreyfuss and Burt Reynolds; What's Cooking
, with Mercedes Ruehl, Julianna Margulies, Kyra Sedgwick and Alfre Woodard; and the upcoming Red Riding Hood,
with Joey Fatone and Debi Mazar from director Randal Kleiser.
Kazan has received critical acclaim for her role in the blockbuster comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding
, which has grossed more than $600 million worldwide and won the People's Choice Award. She reprised her role for the television series.
Among Kazan's other television credits are an Emmy-nominated performance in St. Elsewhere
and a CableACE-nominated performance in The Paper Chase
. She has also guest starred on Will & Grace
, been featured on Beverly Hills 90210
and had recurring roles on The Nanny
and Veronica's Closet
. She also starred in Safety Patrol
, a movie which premiered on The Wonderful World of Disney
, and co-starred with Virginia Madsen in the Lifetime Original Movie Tempted
Kazan reprised her role in the Broadway musical version of My Favorite Year
, which won her a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress, and has also starred on Broadway in The Government Inspector
, with Tony Randall. She also hit the New York boards in the award-winning drama The Exonerated
Ever the consummate performer, Kazan has sung with the Boston Pops and the Cleveland Pops and performed to sold-out houses throughout Europe, Asia and Las Vegas and at such venues as The Greek Theatre, Harrah's, Trump Castle and the famed rooms of New York's Rainbow and Stars and Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel. As a recording artist, her CDs include the jazz collections Lainie Kazan - In the Groove
and Body and Soul.
A supporter of a variety of charity organizations, Kazan was named Woman of the Year by B'nai Brith and has graced the stage for many AIDS benefits, telethons and non-profit organizations throughout the United States. She also serves on the board of The Young Musicians Foundation and was recently elected to the board of governors of the Screen Actors Guild.
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