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Biography #2 (for Gigli)

Lainie Kazan has received numerous awards for her work in film, television and on stage. She began her career as Barbra Streisand's understudy in the Broadway production of Funny Girl. She soon began appearing in New York nightclubs and as a guest on virtually every top variety and talk show on television. She appeared on The Dean Martin Show an unequaled 26 times, hosted her own variety special on NBC and opened the popular Lainie's Room and Lainie's Room East at the Los Angeles and New York Playboy Clubs.

After seeing her perform at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel, Francis Ford Coppola offered her a leading role in One from the Heart. The following year, Kazan was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actress in Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year with Peter O'Toole.

Last year she starred in Nia Vardalos' blockbuster romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and the subsequent CBS-TV series adaptation My Big Fat Greek Life.

Other recent roles include What's Cooking? opposite Mercedes Ruehl, Julianna Margulies, Joan Chen, Alfre Woodard and Kyra Sedgewick and Disney's The Crew with Richard Dreyfuss and Burt Reynolds.

Kazan's other film credits include director Paul Bartell' s cult favorite Lust in the Dust with Tab Hunter and Divine, Delta Force with Chuck Norris, Beaches with Bette Midler, The Cemetery Club with Diane Ladd and Ellen Burstyn, 29th St. with Danny Aiello and Anthony LaPaglia, The Associate with Whoopi Goldberg, Love Is All There Is with Paul Sorvino, Renee Taylor and Angelina Jolie and The Big Hit with Mark Wahlberg.

On television, Kazan was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance on St. Elsewhere and received a CableAce Award nomination for The Paper Chase. She had a recurring role on The Nanny and played Kirstie Alley's mother on Veronica's Closet. She has also guest-starred on Will and Grace, Touched by An Angel and in the children's special Safety Patrol for the Wonderful World of Disney.

Kazan received a Tony nomination when she reprised her role in the musical version of My Favorite Year at Lincoln Center. She produced and starred on Broadway with Bette Midler, Madeline Kahn, Patti LuPone, Elaine Stritch and Andrea Martin in Doin' What Comes Natur'lly, a tribute to Ethel Merman and a benefit for the Gay Men's Health Crisis.

She recently starred in The Vagina Monologues on Broadway. In regional theatre she has appeared in productions of A Little Night Music, The Rink, Man of La Mancha, The Rose Tattoo, Gypsy, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Hello, Dolly, Fiddler on the Roof, Orpheus Descending and Plaza Suite among others.

Kazan has sung with the Boston Pops and the Cleveland Pops Orchestras and has performed to sold-out houses throughout Europe, Asia, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as in New York City at Rainbow and Stars, Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel and at The Algonquin Hotel.

Kazan is also a recording artist, and her CDs include the jazz collections Lainie Kazan-In the Groove and Body and Soul.

Bio courtesy Columbia Pictures for "Gigli" (03-Aug-2003)


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