Dinah Beth Manoff is an American actress, who rose to fame in the late seventies, and continued through the eighties and the nineties. She is remembered for an iconic role in the popular film “Grease”, alongside the acting legends John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and has starred in numerous other roles throughout her lucrative career. She comes from a family that has had a rich history in the film industry, and it comes as little surprise that she too followed a career into acting. Dinah’s life has been marked with success as much as there has been a tragedy; here is a glimpse into the life of Dinah Manoff.

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Early life and family

Dinah was born in New York City, USA, on 25 January 1956, to Lee Grant and Arnold Manoff. Her mother Lee was an award-winning actress, screenwriter and producer who enjoyed fame throughout her career, and later married Arnold who had also been a screenwriter until he was blacklisted in the fifties. Her parents eventually divorced, and Lee married the producer Joseph Feury.

Dinah’s half-brother, Tom Manoff is a musician who became famous for being a critic on the National Public Radio show “All Things Considered”.

Dinah’s earliest life was spent between New York City and Malibu, California. Her father Arnold was blacklisted for ‘Un-American activities’ during the McCarthyism controversies of the red scare times that followed World War II.

Educational background

Dinah’s educational background has it on record that she attended Santa Monica High School in California, from which she matriculated. At the age of 19 in 1975, Dinah was accepted into the Actors Studio in Manhattan, New York City.


Dinah’s career started in 1976, when she appeared in the television show “The Stronger”. Before her initial appearance, she also contributed her voice to the independent film “Everybody Rides The Carousel”.

Following her early success, Dinah gained numerous roles, which included her iconic performance in “Grease” as Marty. Among her other credits, Dinah played the role of ‘Elaine Dallas’ in the sitcom “Soap”, and guest-starred in popular TV series “Welcome Back, Kotter”.

In the eighties Dinah’s fame grew, and by then she was already recognized in the film industry. During this decade she starred in plenty of titles and also made her Broadway debut in “I Ought To Be In Pictures” in 1980, and later reprised the role for the film version of the play in 1982 – she was rewarded with both Tony and Theatre World Awards for best performance by a featured actress for the Broadway play.

She also starred in the Oscar-winning film “Ordinary People”. In the same decade, she portrayed the role of Ellie Greenwich in the Broadway musical “Leader of the Pack”, and also became the first on-screen victim of Chucky in the iconic thriller “Child’s Play”.

Throughout the eighties decade, she played a role in the sitcom “Golden Girls”, and then starred as a major character in the spin-off “Empty Nest”. In the late eighties, she had two minor roles in the films “Bloodhounds of Broadway” and “Staying Together”.

Her success continued in the nineties – Dinah appeared in the film “Welcome Home, Roxy Carmicheal”, but later began focusing on television roles.

Dinah Manoff

She directed an episode of the show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, and starred in several series that included “Touched by an Angel”, “Cybil”, and “George and Leo”. Dinah also began her career as a director and producer, making her debut with the show she previously starred in – “Empty Nest”.

As of the start of the twenty-first century, Dinah continued to enjoy success in the film industry, starring in titles such as “The Lost Child” and the film in which she shared the screen with her mother Lee Grant, entitled “The Amati Girls”.

Hobbies, favourite things and interesting facts

Not much can be found in regards to Dinah’s likes and dislikes, or what her favourites are, but she has stated that her greatest acting influence and mentor was Richard Mulligan. She met Richard on the set of “Soap”, and later starred alongside him in the spin-off “Empty Nest”.

In high school, she had been a rebellious teenager who was known for smoking on campus, and being involved in plenty of mischief.

The production of “Telegram from Heaven” was a tribute to her dad, Arnold Manoff, and was based on a novel he wrote by the same name.


Dinah had been married twice and has three children. She first married the French designer Jean-Marc Joubert in 1980, but five years later she filed for divorce. In 1997, she married the motivational speaker Arthur Mortell, who is her husband to this day and the father of her children. Their eldest son, Dashiell was born on 26 March 1997 but was the tragic victim of a vehicle collision in 2017, and passed away on seven January 2017, on his return to Washington State University before he could celebrate his 20th birthday. Dinah gave birth to twin sons Oliver and Desi on 18 January in 2002.

Physical characteristics

  • Date of Birth: 25 January 1956
  • Hair colour: Brown
  • Eye colour: Brown
  • Height:  5ft 4ins (1.68m)
  • Weight: 140lbs (64kgs)
  • Vital Statistics: Unknown
  • Shoe Size: 8 (US)
  • Bra Size: 34B
  • Star Sign: Aquarius
  • Nationality: American
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian

Net worth

Dinah’s lucrative career as an actress and director affords her a net worth estimated at over $1.7 million.

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