Jennifer Gray Says Nose Job Almost Ruined Her Career

Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Gray is opening up about the nose job she says cost her a career in Hollywood. In an interview with The New York Times to promote her forthcoming memoir, Out of the Corner, Gray describes the impact of plastic surgery on her life: “Overnight I lose my identity and my career.”

The two surgeries, which Gray refers to as “schnozzageddon,” took place after Gray starred as Baby Houseman opposite Patrick Swayze in the 1987 smash hit Dirty Dancing. After Dirty Dancing, I was America’s sweetheart, which you would think would be the key to unlocking all my hopes and dreams,” Gray writes in her memoir. “But it didn’t go down that way.” Gray recalls that after Dirty Dancing, There were still not “a surplus of parts for actresses who looked like me.” She was apparently told her that her nose was “a problem,” with one plastic surgeon wondering after watching the film why she hadn’t had a nose job.

“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.”

After consulting her mother and three plastic surgeons, gray underwent two rhinoplasty surgeries to “fine-tune” her nose. A second surgery was meant to correct an irregularity caused by the first, but left her nose “truncated” and “dwarfed”—rendering gray practically unrecognizable to people she had known for years.

Gray painfully recalls no longer being recognized by photographers and becoming a national punch line due to her plastic surgeries. “Being misunderstood on a global stage was very painful,” Gray told The Times.

Her memoir also details a tragic incident in which Gray and her former boyfriend and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off costar Matthew Broderick were in a car accident in Ireland that left two people dead. Gray, who was a passenger in the car while Broderick drove, required spinal surgery as a result of the head-on collision 30 years after the fact.

“We were so young,” Gray told The Times. “And there’s not a week that goes by that I don’t think about it. That I don’t think about the families. That I don’t think about Matthew. It’s just in me. It’s part of my topographical map, the landscape of my life.”

Now, at 62 and recently divorced from Clark Gregg, her partner of 19 years, Gray is ready to embark on the next chapter of her life. “The truth is,” she told The Times, “when I had all the good stuff, I was definitely not even close to how free I feel today.”

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