Diahann Carroll is diving into preparations this week to bring her “The Lady … The Music … The Legend” one-woman show to Palm Springs to be filmed as a PBS special. It’s the latest high-profile turn for Diahann, who also has her ongoing commitment to USA Network’s “White Collar” as well as two upcoming Lifetime movies. The still-glamorous septuagenarian is surprised herself to be in such demand.
“I’m very proud, pleased, happy and thrilled to be working like this as I approach…” she pauses, laughs, then sings, “the time of my life.”
She’s certainly been having the time of her life, adding a best-selling autobiography and a “Grey’s Anatomy” Emmy to her long list of stage, screen and TV achievements over the past couple of years.
Right now, she’s putting together an orchestra to rehearse with in L.A. for “The Lady…The Music…The Legend.” There’ll also be wardrobe to work out with Bob Mackie.
“For stage, Bob was always kind enough to be there for me,” she notes. “He’s a genius. Anyone who could take Cher’s body and turn her into what he’s turned her into — so gorgeous and appealing. And now he’s working with Pink, which I think is a wonderful combination. My gowns are not so extreme as that.”
Her live performance next month is a benefit for the Annenberg Theater at The Palm Springs Art Museum, with the TV special planned for summer debut.
Meanwhile, Diahann plays mama to “Rescue Me’s” Daniel Sanjata as he brings to life crime novelist Patricia Cornwell’s detective Wil Garano character in back-to-back movies. “Patricia Cornwell’s At Risk” and “The Front,” air April 10 and 17, respectively.
And then there’s “White Collar” and her part as the savvy and soigné widow who shares her home with con man-turned-crime fighter Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) “I’m having an absolute ball on that show. She’s a great character and I love the company,” says Diahann. “It’s so great to be around, people who are a bit – just a bit — younger than you and me.”
FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Benjamin Bratt turned a lot of heads at last year’s Sundance Festival, playing a Latino father who finds out about his son’s hidden homosexuality in “La Mission.” Audiences will get a chance to see the flick, when it premieres in theaters April 9. Jeremy Ray Valdez, who plays Ben’s gay son in the film, wants us to know, “We had five screenings at Sundance and got standing ovations at every one. It just strikes a chord with people – not just with gays and Latinos, but all cultures are responding to it.”
He adds, “It was a project that I was really passionate about. As actors, we want to act in roles that are meaningful to us and the character is saying important things
and that’s what this script has. It’s just a beautiful story. I hope people take away from this film the possibility of change and unconditional love.”
The experience was certainly a life-changing one for Valdez. He tells us he’s lucky to have found a new role model in Bratt. “I can’t say enough good things about this guy. He’s super genuine, a family man, very down to earth, and cares about
everyone around him. He gives you everything he’s got as an actor,” says Valdez. “I actually got engaged while we were filming and you hear so much negativity in the Hollywood community about being married and cheating so to see him be so loving with his wife and kids, it made me hopeful with my marriage.”
CHANGE OF PACE: It’s been a busman’s holiday for 17-year-old Adam Hicks while he’s been on hiatus for his Disney XD series, “Zeke & Luther.” The affable red-haired actor has been busy doing five episodes of “Jonas” for the brothers’ upcoming new season.
“My character on ‘Jonas’ is completely different from Luther. He’s the cool guy who has all the input on all the parties in California, the guy who shows them around,” Adam reports.
The new season of the skateboard-centric “Zeke & Luther” comedy premieres Monday (3/15), with an episode in which Zeke (Hutch Dano) jumps a shark, literally. Soon their hiatus will be over, and Hicks says he feels ready to get back to work on his own show.
“It’s funny, when you’re working, you get home and the first thing you do is go to sleep because you’re exhausted. You can’t wait for a break. Then when you get a break, you can’t wait to get back to work.”
ON THE GOOD FOOT: Hollywood’s legendary 92-year-old marathon-running publicity man Julian Myers is staging a Four Myers Generations run Saturday (3/13) — with 12 of his family members from near and far in the Lakewood, CA Sheriff’s Family Fun Run
It’s all about promoting AmigoDay, the monthly day of conscious friendliness launched by Julian and wife Patsy years ago. Those longing for kindness and civility should consider joining in AmigoDay the first Sunday of every month. Requirements are simple. “Just greet anyone anywhere, your way, any month’s first Sunday,” explains Myers, a gentleman of the old school, who has worked with innumerable stars, all the studios, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the TV academy through the years.
He’s hoping all three of his great-granddaughters will run, but considering that the youngest one is a mere 1 ½, that may be asking a bit much. Even for a Myers.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster