Beth Grant
Birth Date:
September 18, 1949
Birth Place:
Gadsden, Alabama, USA
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Successful character actress Beth Grant was seen on the big screen in the late '80s as a harried mother in Barry Levinson's Oscar winning film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, ''Rain Man'' (1988). Since then, she continued to add to her resume roles in such films as "Flatliners" (1990), "Child's Play 2" (1990), ''Speed'' (1994), "A Time to Kill" (1996), ''Donnie Darko'' (2001), ''Little Miss Sunshine'' (2006), "Pearl Harbor" (2001), "Matchstick Men" (2003), "Southland Tales" (2006), "Flags of Our Fathers" (2006), "Factory Girl" (2006) and "No Country for Old Men" (2007). She will appear in the upcoming films "Natural Disasters," "In My Sleep," "Winged Creatures," "Boy in the Box," "All About Steve" and "Southern Baptist Sissies."

As for her television work, Grant has guest starred in many TV shows, including ''Malcolm in the Middle,'' ''The X-Files,'' ''Friends,'' ''CSI,'' ''Six Feet Under,'' ''My Name Is Earl,'' ''King of the Hill,'' ''Angel'' and ''Judging Amy.'' She had a recurring role on ABC’s sitcom “Coach" and on CBS’ post-apocalyptic drama series "Jericho," as Gracie Leigh.

Off screen, Grant is married to veteran character actor Michael Chieffo, with whom she has one child.

Alabama Roots

Childhood and Family:

The daughter of Elizabeth, who managed a state employment security office, and William Grant, a poultry specialist, Beth Grant was born on September 18, 1949, in Gadsden, Alabama. She has a brother named Bubba who lives in North Carolina and is a graduate of ECU, Beth's Alma Mater. She is the great, great niece, by marriage, of Joel Chandler Harris, who wrote the ''Uncle Remus Tales'' on which Disney's ''Song of the South'' (1946) was based.

Growing up in the south, Grant moved frequently as a child to towns and cities in Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina. She was a page in the North Carolina Senate, at age sixteen attended the North Carolina Governor's School for Gifted and Talented Students and a summer program for top students held in Winston-Salem, and received a governor's appointment at the age of nineteen.

She recalled, "They told us that we were gifted students who could make a difference in the world. It was then that I realized that I could be a professional actor and that it wasn’t just a fantasy."

Grant was president of the East Carolina University College Democrats for two years and received the Outstanding College Democrat Award from then Senator Edmund Muskie. She later graduated with a BFA in Acting and Directing.

Grant is married to veteran character actor Michael Chieffo, with whom she has one child, Mary Chieffo. She now lives in Los Angeles with her family and pets: four cats and one dog.

Little Miss Sunshine


Young Grant was active in the drama club at New Hanover High School and studied acting at East Carolina University. After receiving her BFA, she set her sights on New York to become a professional actor. Beth received a job at a publishing house and began taking night classes at the Lee Strausberg Institute. She finally landed her first professional job on stage in ''Sid/Arthur,'' which was being produced by the New York Theatre Ensemble. She recalled, "I was thrilled out of my mind just to be working, then I found out that I was replacing a male transvestite. It was then that I realized that I was a character actor not a leading lady."

Grant subsequently won roles in numerous off-Broadway productions, including the original production of ''Holy Ghost.'' She established the Sun Theatre Company and when it folded, she opted to relocate to Los Angeles to find new opportunities.

In L.A, she began training to be a producer on the television show ''Switch'' and spent the next several years working for producer George Schlatter. While producing a ''Real People'' segment for the 1984 Olympics, Grant realized she still wanted to be an actress.

While taking acting classes, Grant began acting on stage in Los Angeles. Her performance in the stage show ''Picnic'' attracted the attention of ''Rain Man'' (1988) producers and Grant soon found herself in a small role in the Barry Levinson-directed, Oscar-winning film that stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

Following her big screen debut, Grant worked steadily in both film and television. She had a recurring role on ABC’s sitcom starring Craig T. Nelson, "Coach," NBC’s detective show starring Fred Dryer, "Hunter," FOX’s short-lived comedy series "Bakersfield P.D.," NBC/ABC’s relatively short-lived sitcom "Something So Right," ABC’s sitcom based on the Archie comic book series, "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and NBC’s sitcom "The Golden Girls," starring Beatrice Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. She was also seen as a regular on the series "Delta" (1992-1993) and "Maximum Bob" (1998) and was spotted as a guest in an episode of HBO’s adult sitcom "Dream On," CBS’ popular, long-running mystery series starring Angela Lansbury, "Murder, She Wrote," NBC’s hit sitcom "Friends," "The Pretender," "Goode Behavior," "Profiler," "Cybill," the short-lived CBS sitcom "Maggie Winters," ABC’s sitcom "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," NBC’s drama "Providence," and the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" spin-off, "Angel." Her notable TV movie work includes the Golden Globe nominated "I Know My First Name Is Steven" (1989) and "Norma Jean & Marilyn" (1996), as well as the Emmy nominated "The Image" (1990) and "Switched at Birth" (1991).

"One day in acting class I had a breakthrough. I realized that I wasn’t going to be a leading lady and that the character parts were such an incredible opportunity to portray multi-faceted characters." Beth Grant

Moviegoers could catch Beth playing various character roles in films like Todd Holland's "The Wizard" (1989; starring Fred Savage, Luke Edwards and Jenny Lewis), Joel Schumacher's Oscar-nominated sci-fi thriller "Flatliners" (1990; with Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt), Jim Abrahams' "Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael" (1990; starring Winona Ryder and Jeff Daniels), and John Lafia's horror film, "Child's Play 2" (1990). She was also seen in Roger Donaldson's thriller starring Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, "White Sands" (1992), Jonathan Kaplan's Oscar-nominated independent drama starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Dennis Haysbert, "Love Field" (1992), George A. Romero's adaptation of Stephen King's 1989 horror novel, "The Dark Half" (1993; starring Timothy Hutton), Paul Weiland's comedy starring Billy Crystal, "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold" (1994), and Jan de Bont's hit bus movie, "Speed" (1994; starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock).

Entering the new millennium, Grant appeared in Richard Greenberg's action film starring Kiefer Sutherland and Melora Walters, "Desert Saints," and Del Shores' big screen version of his own comedic play, "Sordid Lives.” She was then cast as Kitty Farmer in writer/director Richard Kelly's cult drama thriller "Donnie Darko," Michael Bay's Oscar winning war film "Pearl Harbor," and as Mark Wahlberg's mother in Stephen Herek's musical drama comedy "Rock Star" (all three in 2001). She also added to her resume roles in the films "The Rookie" (2002), John Lee Hancock's true story-based film starring Dennis Quaid, "Matchstick Men" (2003), Ridley Scott's take on Eric Garcia's novel of the same name, and "Our Very Own" (2005), an independent drama by writer/director Cameron Watson that stars Allison Janney and Keith Carradine. Grant also appeared in multiple episodes of FOX’s critically acclaimed sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," The WB primetime drama "Everwood," CBS’ sitcom "Yes, Dear," and FOX’s animated sitcom "King of the Hill." She was also seen in an episode of the FOX international hit series "The X Files," CBS’ drama "Diagnosis: Murder," Lifetime’s hit drama "Any Day Now," CBS’ "Judging Amy," the popular series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," NBC’s "Boomtown," FOX’s "Wonderfalls," HBO’s "Six Feet Under,” "JAG," and the sitcom "8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter." She also appeared in the made-for-television movies "A Thief of Time" (2004) and "Mystery Woman: Mystery Weekend" (2005), in which she shared the screen with Kellie Martin and real-life husband Michael Chieffo.

Back to the wide screen, Grant supported Johnny Knoxville in writer/director Katrina Holden Bronson's "Daltry Calhoun" (2005) and co-starred with Austin Nichols and Izabella Miko in Hayley Cloake's film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story, "The House of Usher" (2006). She was also cast as Dr. Inga Von Westphalen in writer/director Richard Kelly's dark comedy film "Southland Tales," as Pageant Official Jenkins in husband-wife director Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris' Academy Award winning "Little Miss Sunshine," as Mother Gagnon in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated war film based on the book written by James Bradley and Ron Powers, "Flags of Our Fathers," and as Julia Warhol in George Hickenlooper's underground biopic about socialite and Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick (portrayed by Sienna Miller), "Factory Girl" (all four in 2006).

Recently, Grant was seen as Agnes, the mother of Kelly Macdonald's Carla Jean, in the Coen Brothers' award-winning film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel, "No Country for Old Men" (2007), which also stars Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem. She also portrayed Gracie Leigh on CBS’ post-apocalyptic drama series "Jericho" and guest starred in an episode of NBC’s Emmy winning sitcom "My Name Is Earl," FOX’s short-lived, Emmy nominated drama "Drive," and FOX’s ongoing drama "Bones."

Grant has wrapped up her upcoming film with writer/director Zach Horton, a drama titled "Natural Disasters" in which she co-stars with John Diehl. She will soon complete writer/director Allen Wolf's independent thriller, "In My Sleep," with Philip Winchester, Tim Draxl and Lacey Chabert, as well as Rowan Woods' film version of Roy Freirich's novel, "Winged Creatures," with Kate Beckinsale and Dakota Fanning.

Grant is currently working on Anders Anderson's drama film titled "Boy in the Box," with Josh Lucas and James Van Der Beek, Phil Traill's comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Thomas Haden Church, "All About Steve," and writer/director Del Shores' "Del Shores," in which she will portray the mother of Scott Presley's character. She is also in negotiations to star in the upcoming comedy series, "Sordid Lives: The Series," alongside Olivia Newton-John and Delta Burke.


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