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Diana Ross's acting career

It is pretty well agreed that Diana Ross was fantastic in her first film, LADY SINGS THE BLUES. If she hadn't been up against Liza Minnelli she might have won Best Actress in 1972 (and some even thought she was going to win anyway). But her subsequent films were few and far between, and were very poorly chosen: MAHOGANY was ridiculously campy (without knowing it was campy), and she was far too old to play Dorothy in THE WIZ (and her performance in it is terrible). What happened?

by Anonymousreply 6303/18/2016

Ego.

by Anonymousreply 103/17/2016

She was even worse than Barbra when it come to taking roles. I had to not only be the lead, but a fabulous STAR vehicle that was all about Miss Ross.

And Mahogany sucked.

by Anonymousreply 203/17/2016

Good question. I think she had two more kids right after LSTB on top of the baby she'd already had and didn't want to travel to faraway film sets. Also was Berry Gordy still advising/controlling her? Didn't he have something to do with Mahogany? That was bomb.

by Anonymousreply 303/17/2016

What happened?

She was a black woman in Hollywood, that's what happened!

by Anonymousreply 403/17/2016

She should have won the Oscar for Claudine. She was amazing in it!

by Anonymousreply 503/17/2016

She apparently turned down a lot of stuff. She should have done Cuba, Witches of Eastwick and Color Purple. They would have kept her in the game.

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by Anonymousreply 603/17/2016

That was Diahnn Carroll r5.

by Anonymousreply 703/17/2016

Maybe LSTB was simply one of those right time, right script, right role things. Mahagony IS very campy, but she's fine for what the movie is.

by Anonymousreply 803/17/2016

Lady sings the Blues doesn't really hold up well. She doesn't even try to imitate Holliday. Nowadays biopics demand impressions.

by Anonymousreply 903/17/2016

R7, sorry, they all look the same to me.

by Anonymousreply 1003/17/2016

'The Wiz' is what happened.

by Anonymousreply 1103/17/2016

They should have made a film starring Miss Ross and Miss Dunaway in the 70s where they both play CEOs and then they wear power suits and slap each other a few times. Now that would have been entertaining. (billing would have been a problem though....they'd have had to stagger it like Newman and McQueen in Towering Inferno. )

by Anonymousreply 1203/17/2016

I wipe back to front and then eat it!

by Anonymousreply 1303/17/2016

Diana Ross did a movie called "Out of Darkness" in 1994 and received a Golden Globe nomination for it. It got an 80% Rotten Tomatoes which is a pretty good score.

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by Anonymousreply 1403/17/2016

R3, Berry Gordy not only produced MAHOGANY, he also directed it after firing its original director Tony Richardson, who kept clashing with Miss Ross and Gordy himself. Gordy had shuttered Motown's Detroit offices and moved his headquarters to Los Angeles to make Diana a movie star. He kept her on retainer, paying her $1 million a year to do nothing while they found the right projects for her to do. This kept Diana from accepting non-Motown Production movie offers. Of course, after the critically panned, over-the-top MAHOGANY, followed by the dreadful THE WIZ, Diana's movie career tanked. She took time off to be wife and mother, but struggled to regain her footing in the an industry enamoured with younger artists like Whitney Houston.

by Anonymousreply 1503/17/2016

Would she ever consider taking a supporting role in a film, like Barbra did in the Fockers films?

by Anonymousreply 1603/17/2016

If they had just pushed "Lady Sings the Blues" back one year, Diana Ross would have been the first AA woman to win the Best Actress Oscar -- 30 years before it finally happened.

by Anonymousreply 1703/17/2016

Alcoholics Anonymous?

by Anonymousreply 1803/17/2016

ha, no, Liza has that distinguished honor. Or maybe Mercedes McCambridge.

by Anonymousreply 1903/17/2016

Hollywood happened. Life happened. Diana Ross isn't any different than hundreds of other actresses who score big in the movies and then fade despite being talented.

One of the most notable Oscar winners, Louise Fletcher, who won Best Supporting Actress in 1975 for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," was highly praised and then didn't reach notoriety again even though she continued working. And I love Liza Minnelli. She was brilliant in "Cabaret" and deserved to win her Oscar. But she didn't really have a flourishing movie career...well except she was a big hit with Dudley Moore in "Arthur." But Liza's strengths and talents were better suited to the Broadway stage and performing knock 'em dead concerts.

It's extremely difficult to remain at the top in all entertainment fields for years and years. Show business is great when it works, but it's a very difficult and challenging profession. All sorts of people come and go. You take your victories and paychecks where you can get them.

by Anonymousreply 2003/17/2016

But R20,

We'll always have...(sigh)...Bieber.

by Anonymousreply 2103/17/2016

R21 and Kim Kartrashian. We'll always have that major talent.

by Anonymousreply 2203/17/2016

Bieber too will fade. The Kartrashians will fade as well, but it will just take a little longer since nothing inside of them is biodegradable.

by Anonymousreply 2303/17/2016

[quotes]It's extremely difficult to remain at the top in all entertainment fields for years and years.

Sort of makes you want to show someone with 19 nominations over a 37 year period a little respect.

by Anonymousreply 2403/17/2016

Diana Ross's acting career is deader than the brain cells in the heads of Hillary Clinton supporters.

by Anonymousreply 2503/17/2016

[quote]Louise Fletcher, who won Best Supporting Actress in 1975 for "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,"

She won Best Actress in a Leading Role, not for Supporting.

by Anonymousreply 2603/17/2016

One good thing about Miss Ross -- she seems to have done a much better job raising her children than most celebrity parents. Maybe that was more important to her than an acting career.

by Anonymousreply 2703/17/2016

She's been drunk a lot too. (even went to jail)

by Anonymousreply 2803/17/2016

She was in a different Best Actress category than Liza for the Golden Globes (Musical/Comedy vs. Drama) and still couldn't pull out a win. That honor went to Liv Ullmann for the Emigrants.

by Anonymousreply 2903/17/2016

M @R24, did you get my WW?

It's me again, your number 1 fan. I'm the only one who loves you here. Everyone else despises you and wishes you'd fall into a tree shredder. But like I said, I'm your #1 Fan.

I also know where you live and where you drop off your dry cleaning. Your soiled blouse armpits are sweet nectar in the nostrils of God. Sorry about that stain I left on your blue skirt.

Loving you,

Your #1 Fan.

by Anonymousreply 3003/17/2016

Really r28?

And r29, the Golden Globes were even more about awarding non-US talent than the current BAFTAs. So Liv Ullman's win was not a guarantee of an Oscar win.

by Anonymousreply 3103/17/2016

Miss Ross has just been cast as Miss Mazeppa in Streisand's "Gypsy".

by Anonymousreply 3203/17/2016

Too Much!!!

by Anonymousreply 3303/17/2016

"One good thing about Miss Ross -- she seems to have done a much better job raising her children than most celebrity parents. Maybe that was more important to her than an acting career. "

Very true. Tracee (multiple times) and Evan and one of the other daughters, I can't remember, have said as much, singing Miss Ross' praises as a mom. She was a very present, loving mom and didn't bring the diva act home with her. You can see it when their with her. They genuinely love and respect her. And, none of the kids were ever problematic in any serious way; they have their heads on straight. Yeah, I know they're kids of privilege, but plenty of such kids get into all sorts of trouble and are aimless.

by Anonymousreply 3403/17/2016

OK, we get it. She's the Jackie O. of Motown.

by Anonymousreply 3503/17/2016

Thanks r15 I knew Gordy had something to do with messing up that movie - thanks for refreshing my memory. The big retainer probably kept her out of the loop too. Why try to find work when you're already getting paid?

by Anonymousreply 3603/18/2016

I read this interesting take on MAHOGANY, that it was Berry Gordy's Love/Hate letter to Diana--his ebony Galatea whom he put on a pedestal and made a star, but soon came to resent for leaving him for Bob Silberstein, and turning into a megalomaniac monster prone to temper tantrums and ridiculous diva demands. In MAHOGANY, Diana looks spectacular in many scenes and there are moments when she shines. But there are also moments when she's over-the-top crazy, screeching and throwing hissy fits in such a campy manner, showing the ugly side of Miss Ross. Gordy also acquiesced to Diana's demand to be employed as the production's sole costume designer, and when you see her couture designs, you think WTF was she on?--opening her up to more ridicule.

by Anonymousreply 3703/18/2016

^^ See the star I created. Now watch her fall.

by Anonymousreply 3803/18/2016

If that were true, how come he allowed her to do THE WIZ?

Who would would you guys have cast? Little No Neck Stephanie Mills would have been distracting onscreen. A young Whitney maybe.

by Anonymousreply 3903/18/2016

Diane's knees got too old for her to "negotiate" her way into the good jobs. And of course her dee-luded notion she was the Empress of Crossover Glory may have held her back a little. Always lacked the suave, sensible, professional perfection of moi.

Oh, yes. And she's a cunt.

by Anonymousreply 4003/18/2016

Indeed, Miss Warwick. I'm sure Diane will be on the phone to you any day asking for financial help.... Oh, wait...

by Anonymousreply 4103/18/2016

[quote]She was even worse than Barbra when it come to taking roles. I had to not only be the lead, but a fabulous STAR vehicle that was all about Miss Ross.

Exactly. Her ego fucked her acting career. Miss Bitch thought she was too good to take good supporting roles and would only do lead roles. You can't pull that shit when you're first getting started in movies. Hell, even Cher was willing to take supporting roles when she was getting started in movies.

by Anonymousreply 4203/18/2016

Well now - how many good supporting roles were there for black women in Ross' prime? Pam Grier if Fort Apache? You in danger, gurl in GHOST?

by Anonymousreply 4303/18/2016

[quote] Gordy also acquiesced to Diana's demand to be employed as the production's sole costume designer, and when you see her couture designs, you think WTF was she on?

Given the Chinese restaurant motif to the clothes, apparently it was MSG.

by Anonymousreply 4403/18/2016

LSTB wasn't a biopic. A certain amount of artistic license is OK - but aside from the fact their was a singer named Billie Holiday the movie was largely fictional.

by Anonymousreply 4503/18/2016

Well now - how many good supporting roles were there for black women in Ross' prime? Pam Grier if Fort Apache? You in danger, gurl in GHOST?

Given that she would never ever have done a [italic]supporting/italic] role in the Seventies, the question is pretty moot.

But she could have played leading roles. She was a huge star, and Motown Productions was formed mostly to create films for her.

by Anonymousreply 4603/18/2016

John Badham, fresh off "Bingo Long" got fired rather than accept Diana. He wanted to use both Stephanie Mills and Ren Woods (who played Dorothy in the first tour to great reviews, better than Mills) though obviously not as Dorothy. He wanted, wait for it, Janet Jackson. Primarily because of her age but also because she probably would have acted the hell out of the role. When he found out about Motown insisting on Diana, he came up with an idea that would get him fired and he would still get paid. He said that the entire movie would be seen through Dorothy's eyes. We would never see Dorothy. He got fired and moved on to the project he really wanted to do "Saturday Night Fever."

It was obvious Ross wanted to do Dorothy because she did several specials where she tried to sing "Home". One special had her dressed as a fairly believable teenager, and that would have been better than what we saw onscreen.

by Anonymousreply 4703/18/2016

She should have had a role in "The Help".

by Anonymousreply 4803/18/2016

Well, Ross did actually look like a teen on the cover of her debut album. A teen boy.

Janet Jackson singing Home. I'd rather hear Mary Wilson sing it. El oh el.

by Anonymousreply 4903/18/2016

It is kind of surprising she didn't do some lighter fare, especially around the time of Endless Love. But I guess there wasn't a black name with which to pair her. Sidney Poitier was too old. Richard Pryor not romantic, and too much of an oddball.

by Anonymousreply 5003/18/2016

[quote]Well now - how many good supporting roles were there for black women in Ross' prime? Pam Grier if Fort Apache? You in danger, gurl in GHOST?

That's exactly my point: if the supporting roles for black women were slim, why on earth did she think there would be tons of LEAD roles waiting for her? Also, she may have been offered several supporting roles where race wasn't a factor and turned them down because they weren't a lead. She reportedly turned down shitloads of scripts and I doubt she would ever admit which ones she turned down that ended up becoming hits.

Ironically, she was doing TV movies by the 1990's. I'd rather have done supporting roles in real movies than do TV movies.

by Anonymousreply 5103/18/2016

[quote] if the supporting roles for black women were slim, why on earth did she think there would be tons of LEAD roles waiting for her?

Because she was a star and stars have vehicles tailored to them.

People often talk about how Sister Act was a Bette Midler vehicle. I wonder if it could ever have worked with Diana. It would have been kind of fun to have Miss Ross performing an awful Vegas act with Jenifer Lewis and another back up singer like a bargain basement... Supremes.

by Anonymousreply 5203/18/2016

The Bodyguard was first conceived in 1976 as a vehicle for Diana Ross and Steve McQueen, but negotiations fell through when McQueen refused to be billed second to Ross (billing meant a lot to McQueen, witness the Paul Newman/Towering Inferno ordeal). Then it was back on in 1979 with Ross and then-lover Ryan O'Neal, but that fell through once they broke up.

by Anonymousreply 5303/18/2016

Love Cher, but she was another one who badly mismanaged her movie career. She waited three years after her Oscar win to do another movie. In the meantime, she turned down War of the Roses, Thelma and Louise and a couple of other high profiled films in the late 80's to early 90's. She was an A list movie star at the top of her game in 1987-1988. By 1991 with Mermaids, that momentum had slowed down.

by Anonymousreply 5403/18/2016

War of the Roses wasn't a hit, was it? And didn't CHER get ME or something - that's why she did those embarassing infomercials. Or was that just spin after the fact?

Ross was considered for the Jane Seymour role in the Bond movie Live and Let Die but it didn't pan out. Gloria Hendry's character would probably have been white.

by Anonymousreply 5503/18/2016

War of the Roses was a hit. Cher got sick post Mermaids.

Cher was also considered for Addams Family and The Grifters (though I can't imagine her being better than Anjelica Huston in either one).

by Anonymousreply 5603/18/2016

Also Universal wanted her for the Paula Kelly role in "Sweet Charity". Naturally, they also wanted Rita Moreno for the Chita Rivera role. Since Universal got MacLaine over Verdon, they lost those two battles.

by Anonymousreply 5703/18/2016

War of the Roses was not a hit when it was released. It became a cult hit later on video.

by Anonymousreply 5803/18/2016

Ross could never have danced There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This. Perhaps they would have given her a "broken leg" while they others danced around her to cheer her up.

by Anonymousreply 5903/18/2016

[quote]Nowadays biopics demand impressions.

Never a truer word was spoken.

by Anonymousreply 6003/18/2016

Joe Fiennes IS Michael Jackson

by Anonymousreply 6103/18/2016

She was going to do Mame, but Gary Morton talked her out of it.

by Anonymousreply 6203/18/2016

War of the Roses made 83 million dollars at the box office. It was a hit.

by Anonymousreply 6303/18/2016
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