The actress who played the iconic role of Baby alongside Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing has opened up about the botched cosmetic surgery that almost ruined her Hollywood career. In her upcoming memoir, Jennifer Grey said that an ill-advised nose job – and subsequent second operation – left her basically unrecognisable.
Writing in Out of the Corner (the title of which is a reference to Swayze’s famous line from Dirty Dancing, where he says, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner”), Grey reveals that she felt pressured by her mother and other industry advisers to have plastic surgery, which she dubbed “schnozzageddon” and that drastically changed her look.
“After Dirty Dancing, I was America’s sweetheart, which you would think would be the key to unlocking all my hopes and dreams,” Grey, 62, writes according to an excerpt published by Vanity Fair. “But it didn’t go down that way.” After a doe-eyed Grey starred in the 1987 hit, she was told her nose was “a problem” and that there weren’t “parts for actresses who looked like me”.
“My so-called ‘problem’ wasn’t really a problem for me, but since it seemed to be a problem for other people, and it didn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, by default it became my problem,” she writes. “It was as plain as the nose on my face,” Grey added. Elsewhere in the memoir, she writes, “Overnight I lose my identity and my career”.
The actress had two rhinoplasties intended to “fine-tune” her distinctive facial feature, though the procedures left her nose “truncated” and “dwarfed”. The result meant that Grey no longer looked like she did in Dirty Dancing, to the point where photographers didn’t recognise her.
Grey’s infamous nose job led the New York Times, in 2007, to refer to celebrities who had had too much plastic surgery as having “Jennifer Grey syndrome”. “Being misunderstood on a global stage was very painful,” Grey (ironically) told the New York Times.
We still thinks she looks fabulous.