Happy 86th Birthday Dyan Cannon

Today is the 86th birthday of the actress and Seattle girl made good: Dyan Cannon. Author! Author! is my favorite film of hers, she is just so natural, so effortless (which actually takes a lot of unnatural effort to achieve). She also happens to be the mother of Cary Grant’s only child, which seals her Hollywood royalty status forever. The world is a better place because she is in it.


NAME: Dyan Cannon
DATE OF BIRTH: January 4, 1937
HEIGHT: 5’5”
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME:  6608 Hollywood Boulevard

BEST KNOWN FOR: Dyan Cannon is an American film and television actress, director, screenwriter, editor, and producer. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Cannon was born Samille Diane Friesen in the state of Washington in 1937. Her mother, Claire (née Portnoy), was a housewife, and her father, Ben Friesen, sold life insurance. Cannon was raised in the Jewish faith of her mother, who had emigrated from Russia; Dyan’s father was Baptist. She attended West Seattle High School. Her younger brother is jazz bassist David Friesen.


Cannon made her film debut in 1960 in The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond; she had appeared on television since the late 1950s, including a guest appearance on Bat Masterson as Mary Lowery in the 1959 episode entitled “Lady Luck” and again as Diane Jansen in “The Price of Paradise”. She made another guest appearance in 1959 on CBS’s Wanted: Dead or Alive starring Steve McQueen in episode 54 “Vanishing Act” as Nicole McCready. About this time, she also appeared on another CBS western, Johnny Ringo, starring Don Durant, and on Jack Lord’s ABC western adventure drama, Stoney Burke. She also appeared on an episode of Hawaiian Eye, using her name Diane Cannon, in 1961, opposite Tracey Steele, Robert Conrad, and Connie Stevens.

In 1963, Cannon joined the national touring production of the Broadway musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying in which she played Rosemary.

She portrayed Mona Elliott, with fellow guest star Franchot Tone, in the episode “The Man Behind the Man” of the 1964 CBS drama series The Reporter, with Harry Guardino in the title role. She also made guest appearances on 77 Sunset Strip, the perennial western series Gunsmoke, The Untouchables, the 1960 episode of the syndicated series Two Faces West entitled “Sheriff of the Town” and the 1962 Ripcord episode called “The Helicopter Race”.

Cannon’s first major film role came in 1969’s Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which earned her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. In 1971 she starred in five films: The Love Machine, Doctors’ Wives, The Anderson Tapes with Sean Connery, The Burglars, and Such Good Friends, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Cannon starred opposite Burt Reynolds in Shamus (1973) as well as the mystery The Last of Sheila that year, and gave a critically acclaimed performance in Child Under a Leaf in 1974.

She became the first Oscar-nominated actress to be nominated in the Best Short Film, Live Action Category for Number One (1976), a project which Cannon produced, directed, wrote and edited. It was a story about adolescent sexual curiosity. In 1978, Cannon co-starred in Revenge of the Pink Panther. That same year, she appeared in Heaven Can Wait, for which she received another Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1976, she hosted Saturday Night Live during its first season. She was a guest in the fourth season of The Muppet Show in 1979.

In the 1980s, Cannon, who is also a singer/songwriter, appeared in Honeysuckle Rose (1980) with Willie Nelson, Author! Author! with Al Pacino, Deathtrap (1982) with Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine, Caddyshack II (1988), as well as several made-for-TV movies.

In the 1990s, she appeared on the popular television shows Diagnosis: Murder and The Practice, as well as being a semi-regular on Ally McBeal. She made appearances in films such as That Darn Cat (1997), 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997), and Out to Sea (1997) with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. In 2005, she appeared in Boynton Beach Club, a movie about aging Floridians who have just lost their spouses.

On July 22, 1965, she married actor Cary Grant, who was 33 years her senior. They had one daughter, Jennifer (born February 26, 1966), who also is an actress. They were divorced on March 21, 1968. In 1972, she told an interviewer that she was involved in Primal therapy. Cannon married real estate investor Stanley Fimberg in 1985. They divorced in 1991.

She is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and has attended Lakers games for over thirty years.

Three Sisters Honey Bernstein-Flynn (2001-02)
Ally McBeal Whipper Cone (1997-2000)
Ally Whipper Cone (1999)

The End of Innocence (10-Sep-1990)

The Boynton Beach Club (21-Oct-2005) · Lois
Kangaroo Jack (11-Jan-2003) · Anna Carbone
My Mother, the Spy (2000)
Diamond Girl (13-Jun-1998)
Beverly Hills Family Robinson (11-Apr-1998)
Out to Sea (2-Jul-1997)
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (18-Apr-1997) · Annette Bennett
That Darn Cat (14-Feb-1997) · Mrs. Flint
The Sender (1997)
Based on an Untrue Story (20-Sep-1993)
The Pickle (30-Apr-1993)
Christmas in Connecticut (13-Apr-1992)
The End of Innocence (10-Sep-1990)
Caddyshack II (22-Jul-1988) · Elizabeth Pearce
Jenny’s War (3-Jun-1985)
Author! Author! (18-Jun-1982) · Alice Detroit
Deathtrap (19-Mar-1982) · Myra Bruhl
Coast to Coast (3-Oct-1980)
Honeysuckle Rose (18-Jul-1980)
Lady of the House (14-Nov-1978)
Revenge of the Pink Panther (14-Jul-1978) · Simone
Heaven Can Wait (28-Jun-1978)
The Last of Sheila (14-Jun-1973)
Shamus (31-Jan-1973)
Such Good Friends (21-Dec-1971)
Le Casse (4-Dec-1971) · Lena
The Love Machine (14-Aug-1971)
The Anderson Tapes (17-Jun-1971) · Ingrid
Doctors’ Wives (3-Feb-1971)
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (18-Sep-1969) · Alice
This Rebel Breed (19-Mar-1960)
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (3-Feb-1960) · Dixie

Author of books:
Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant (2011)

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