Dinah Manoff Knows Full Well to Appreciate Empty Nest Benefits

Dinah Manoff Knows Full Well to Appreciate Empty Nest Benefits

The Los Angeles Times , Jan 11, 1992, Susan King

“I don’t understand people who want to leave a good job,” reflects Dinah Manoff, who plays the cynical Carol on NBC’s hit comedy “Empty Nest.”

“To me, without being terribly judgmental, those are people who haven’t gone through their stint of being out of work for long periods of time.”

Manoff, 33, says she and fellow “Empty Nest” stars Kristy McNichol and Richard Mulligan have all “been hot and cold. Once you have been hot and cold, you get real appreciative when you got a place to go every day with decent material, a paycheck to come in and nice people to work with. I am so bloody grateful that this show keeps running.”

The daughter of Oscar-winner Lee Grant and the late writer Arnold Manoff, both were blacklisted, Manoff began the 1980s on a high note, winning a Tony in 1980 for Neil Simon’s “I Ought to Be in Pictures.” The 1982 film version, though, flopped at the box office and Manoff’s career quickly cooled down.

“It’s tough when it (success) ends. It is such an illusion. I always prided myself in having such a hold on this business. But I got very swept up in the illusions. I fell hard.”

But Manoff has landed on her feet thanks to “Empty Nest.” And she makes her debut as a producer with Monday’s NBC movie, “Maid for Each Other.” The comedy finds Manoff playing a pampered housewife who goes to work as a maid for a once-famous pop singer (Nell Carter), after she discovers her deceased husband has left her penniless.

“I first had the idea for it seven years ago,” Manoff says. “It originally was a piece I conceived for myself for a pilot. I was shopping it around when I got ‘Empty Nest.’ If it weren’t for ‘Empty Nest,’ they would never have allowed me to produce this movie. I would have had to package two series stars to star in it. Fortunately, I got to become a series star.”