Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey regrets nose jobs that made her unrecognisable

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·4 min read
Jennifer Grey says her nose jobs made her unrecognisable in Hollywood. (Getty Images)
Jennifer Grey says her nose jobs made her unrecognisable in Hollywood. (Getty Images)

Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey has admitted she regrets getting a nose job at the height of her career in the early '90s.

The 62-year-old actress had two rhinoplasty surgeries after finding worldwide recognition in the 1987 box-office smash where she played Baby Houseman – but her new look left her unrecognisable, with the actress now admitting that it led to her 'losing her identity and her career overnight'.

Grey also recalled attending a premiere shortly after she'd undergone her nose job – revealing that her actor friend Michael Douglas had no idea who she was because she looked so different.

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Jennifer Grey and co-star Patrick Swayze at the premiere of Dirty Dancing. (Getty Images)
Jennifer Grey and co-star Patrick Swayze at the premiere of Dirty Dancing. (Getty Images)

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In an interview with PEOPLE to promote her new memoir Out of the Corner, Grey said: "That was the first time I had gone out in public. And it became the thing, the idea of being completely invisible, from one day to the next. In the world's eyes, I was no longer me.

"And the weird thing was that thing that I resisted my whole life, and the thing I was so upset with my mother for always telling me I should do my nose. I really thought it was capitulating. I really thought it meant surrendering to the enemy camp. I just thought, 'I'm good enough. I shouldn't have to do this.' That's really what I felt. 'I'm beautiful enough.'"

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It was Grey's mother who first suggested that she undergo surgery to make it easier to get acting jobs.

But Grey felt the operation had the opposite effect.

She explained: "She loves me, loved me, always has, and she was pragmatic because she was saying, 'Guess what? It's too hard to cast you. Make it easier for them.' And then I did and she was right. It wasn't like, 'You're not pretty.' It's like, 'Guess what? If you don't want to be an actor, okay. But if you wanna be an actor...' But when I was a kid, I was completely anti-rhinoplasty.

"I mean it was like my religion. I loved that my parents did it. [Underwent rhinoplasty] I understand it was the '50s. I understand they were assimilating. I understood that you had to change your name and you had to do certain things, and it was just normalised, right? You can't be gay. You can't be Jewish. You know, you can't look Jewish. You're just trying to fit into whatever is the group think."

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Jennifer says she and co-star Patrick Swayze were not a natural match. (Getty Images)
Jennifer says she and co-star Patrick Swayze were not a natural match. (Getty Images)

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In her book, Grey touches on being shunned by Hollywood, writing: 'I spent so much energy trying to figure out what I did wrong, why I was banished from the kingdom. That's a lie. I banished myself.'

She adds of the consequences of her nose job: 'Overnight I lose my identity and my career.'

Grey also told PEOPLE that she always felt she and Patrick Swayze weren't a natural match – despite their Dirty Dancing characters captivating millions of people world-wide.

She said: "The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together... a natural match, right? And we weren't a natural match. And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension. Because normally when someone's not a natural, you... both people move on, but we were forced to be together. And our being forced to be together created a kind of a synergy, or like a friction.

"I actually just had a thought about Patrick. I feel like if I could say anything to him now I would say, 'I'm so sorry that I couldn't just appreciate and luxuriate in who you were, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be.'"

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