Diahann Carroll, 72, and Still Singing

DiahannCarrollmug.jpg“I’ve done it all,” she says, referring to the hair color, and other age defying acts. “When I first started in this business, my Father hated the make up, the false eye lashes and everything else. I said, Dad, it’s paying my rent, your rent, and a few others. It can’t be that bad.”
And fifty years later, she sounds much like she always did, hitting the high and low tones easily, making transitions seemingly effortlessly, and charming her audience with the old favorite songs we all (well most of us) remember. She remembered Frank Sinatra as a special friend, and sang an exquisite rendition of Nancy With The Laughing Face. She wore a shimmery black dress with a long slit up her leg.
Her hour long show was interspersed with stories of her life, remembering how she became the first African American woman with the lead role in the 1968 NBC-TV sitcom “Julia.” A native of the Bronx, she also described what she and actress Joan Collins really did during their famous cat fight scenes in the popular 1980s prime-time soap “Dynasty.” She mentions her upcoming book, “The Legs Are The Last To Go,” and her battle with breast cancer.
She referred to her 4 marriages and told the audience, “If you don’t have a grandchild, get one. Buy one, find one, anything, but get one.”
She went on to tell the audience how she took her grandchild to the park one day and the child insisted that she come to the top of the slide and go down with her. “I told her Nana would wait at the bottom and catch her, but she was determined, so I removed my shoes and went up and slid down with her. She was utterly delighted and someone in the park came over and said, Isn’t it exciting; she doesn’t even know you’re Diahann Carroll.”
She appeared at the Rrazz Room in the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco from June 10-15.
What she didn’t know was a friend from grade school and high school was sitting in the front row. When Carroll asked how old people thought she was, many responded, but this woman (see Faces Around The Bay) answered, “You’re my age.” Carroll asked her, “What Is That?” The childhood friend answered, “73”. Carroll said, “I’ll be 73 this year.”
A full house stood on their feet and applauded long after she left the room.