A WOMAN IN HISTORY: Can you believe that Diahann Carroll is 73?
The still-sultry soprano has done it all, and then some.
She made history on Broadway when Richard Rodgers teamed her with Man Of La Mancha Richard Kiley in No Strings, the first inter-racial romantic musical.
She made history on television by becoming the first black actress to star in her own series, NBC’s Julia.
She won a Best Actress nomination for her performance in Claudine and was nominated for an Emmy award last year for her guest stint on Grey’s Anatomy.
I ask you, is there anything she can’t do?
Well, yes — according to her.
“I am one of those people who cannot leave the house without over-thinking an outfit,” she confesses in her new autobiography. “I’m nothing if not materialistic, and have been since I was young. My idea of a good time is shopping and nobody is going to make me feel guilty about it.”
Carroll’s book is called The Legs Are The Last To Go (Harper-Collins,) and thoughtfully subtitled Aging, Acting, Marrying, and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way.
In it she chronicles, with admirably wry candour, her failures as a wife (four marriages) and as a mother, her bad taste in men, and her stormy love affairs, including her liaisons with Sidney Poitier (they were shooting Paris Blues with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) and David Frost (they got engaged but never married.) But her irreverent sense of humour almost always shines through (“Makeup? Don’t bother telling me you want to see me without it. The last time friends did that, I listened to them, and appeared without anything on my face. They asked, ‘Are you ill?’”)
The Divine Diahann, still terminally glamorous, returns to Toronto this weekend to sparkle at the Four Seasons fund-raiser for the 519 Community Centre, and it will be a happy homecoming for her. In addition to her star turns over the years at the Imperial Room, the O’Keefe Centre (where No Strings premiered before Broadway) and Roy Thomson Hall, the lady played to sell-out crowds on stage here in Sunset Boulevard and her Canadian cast recording outsold all other recordings of the show.
Are there still seats available for her performance this Saturday? Maybe one or two. But don’t sit around wondering. Click here to get all the details.
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QUOTABLE QUOTES: “I think that one’s so-called career is a product of what you say “no” to as much as what you say “yes” to. In the end, the way one chooses work is always instinctual, because there is no formula for making a film that connects with an audience. You can have the best script in the world, the most extraordinary cinematographer and a supposed all-star cast, but then it just doesn’t work. Sometimes, though, you’ve got a script that you feel like you’re pushing up hill and then it just takes off. So, it’s always risky and that’s always exciting.”
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SEE/HEAR: Did you catch that footage of Il Divo performing Amazing Grace in Rome? Amazing is one word for it, especially because they use the Coliseum as a set. Even if you’re not a fan, this is one spectacular gig. Click here to see if you agree.
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