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Joel Grey

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Witness, for example, Grey's performance as the Machiavellian Emcee in Cabaret. Apart from winning practically every award a performer can win (a Tony, an Oscar and a Golden Globe) it is almost impossible to imagine that role in anyone else's hands. Yet, as much as Grey defined that character, it represented only some of his skills as a performer.

Grey got an early start in the theatre, at age nine, when he took the stage in On Borrowed Time at the Cleveland Playhouse. The son of comedian Mickey Katz, Grey made a career for himself in television, including Eddie Cantor's Colgate Comedy Hour and a televised version of Jack and the Beanstalk. The original production of Cabaret provided his first Broadway break, with Tony Award-nominated performances in George M!, Goodtime Charley and The Grand Tour to follow.

Grey's film credits, which include Kafka, The Music of Chance and The Player, show a performer who is as comfortable wearing a variety of masks in front of the camera as on stage. Anyone who has seen his performance as a 75-year-old Korean martial arts expert in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, will understand how much work Joel Grey puts into character development. He took a few minutes away from the revival of Chicago to meet with Tony Awards Online to discuss the creation and evolution one of his most challenging roles, the Emcee from Cabaret

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