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Also Known As: Samille Diane Friesen, Dianne Cannon, Diane Cannon Died:
Born: January 4, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tacoma, Washington, USA Profession: actor, director, showroom model, screenwriter, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

After some TV work and minor features, this sexy, zany and spirited blonde sparkled as a deft comedienne in several trendy films of the 1970s and 80s. In 1976, Dyan Cannon directed, wrote, produced, edited and scored the AFI-sponsored, Oscar-nominated live-action short, "Number One", about children's natural curiosity about their bodies and the adult values that stifle them. She made her feature directing and writing debut with the semi-autobiographical, "The End of Innocence" (1990). Cannon was raised in Seattle, the daughter of a Baptist insurance broker and a Jewish homemaker. She began performing at the synagogue she attended with her mother, singing in the choir. By the late 50s, she was acting in TV shows, beginning with a "Playhouse 90" alongside Art Carney and appeared on such series as "Have Gun, Will Travel". Future husband Cary Grant (35 years her senior) first noticed Cannon in a 1961 episode of "Malibu Run". Cannon made her feature film debut in 1960 in "The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond". She then went to New York and did some theater work. After marrying Grant in 1965 and bearing his only child, Jennifer Grant (now an actress), Cannon retired from the screen. But three years later,...

After some TV work and minor features, this sexy, zany and spirited blonde sparkled as a deft comedienne in several trendy films of the 1970s and 80s. In 1976, Dyan Cannon directed, wrote, produced, edited and scored the AFI-sponsored, Oscar-nominated live-action short, "Number One", about children's natural curiosity about their bodies and the adult values that stifle them. She made her feature directing and writing debut with the semi-autobiographical, "The End of Innocence" (1990).

Cannon was raised in Seattle, the daughter of a Baptist insurance broker and a Jewish homemaker. She began performing at the synagogue she attended with her mother, singing in the choir. By the late 50s, she was acting in TV shows, beginning with a "Playhouse 90" alongside Art Carney and appeared on such series as "Have Gun, Will Travel". Future husband Cary Grant (35 years her senior) first noticed Cannon in a 1961 episode of "Malibu Run". Cannon made her feature film debut in 1960 in "The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond". She then went to New York and did some theater work. After marrying Grant in 1965 and bearing his only child, Jennifer Grant (now an actress), Cannon retired from the screen. But three years later, the marriage was on the rocks and the pair split in what was reportedly an acrimonious divorce. Cannon headed back to work, appearing in an episode of "Medical Center". She also was tapped by director Paul Mazursky to play the conservative Alice in the wife-swapping comedy "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" (1969), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. With her career in full swing, she went on to appear as the wife of a network president in "Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine" (1971) and portrayed a Hollywood agent said to be based on Sue Mengers in "The Last of Sheila" (1973). Another break came with "Heaven Can Wait" (1978), in which she was the murderous wife of the man whose body Warren Beatty decides to inhabit. One of her first scenes was a screen classic--when she sees her presumed dead husband alive and screams. Her hysterical (in both meanings of that word) performance earned her a second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod. Cannon later starred opposite Willie Nelson in "Honeysuckle Rose" (1980) and again was a hysterical wife, this time married to playwright Michael Caine in "Deathtrap" (1982). That same year, she was a ditsy actress opposite Al Pacino in "Author! Author!". By the mid-80s, however, good feature film roles started to become rare. By 1988, Cannon was lending her sizable talents to the low brow "Caddyshack II", playing a blue blood black sheep who is charmed by Jackie Mason. A reteaming with Mazursky on "The Pickle" (1993) was a box-office flop as were the Disney remake "That Darn Cat" and Tom Schulman's directorial debut "Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag" (both 1997). But 1997 also brought a stellar turn as Elaine Stritch's bikini-clad daughter being romanced by con man Walter Matthau in the middling "Out to Sea".

Cannon moved into TV-movies in 1974, playing Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel's moll "Virginia Hill" in an NBC rendition of her life. She was Sally Sanford, the former madam who became mayor of Sausalito, CA, in "Lady of the House" (NBC, 1978), and starred in the 1984 CBS miniseries "Master of the Game". In 1997, Cannon was a 'Total Woman' talk show host forced to rough it with her husband and two kids in "Beverly Hills Family Robinson" (ABC). Cannon enjoyed a career resurgence when she joined the cast of the popular Fox series "Ally McBeal" (1997-2002) as Judge Whipper Cone, a muture but still sexy jurist who strikes up a torrid affair with lawyer Richard Fish (Greg German). Her next small-screen role was as Honey Bernstein-Flynn, the mother on the short-lived NBC sit-com "Three Sisters" (2000-2002). She next returned to the large screen in the tepid action-comedy "Kangaroo Jack" (2003).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  End of Innocence, The (1990) Director
2.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Kangaroo Jack (2003) Anna Carbone
4.
 My Mother the Spy (2000) Alison'S Mother
5.
 Sender, The (1998) Gina Fairfax
6.
 Beverly Hills Family Robinson (1997) Marsha Robinson
7.
 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997) Annette Bennett
8.
 Allie & Me (1997) Karen Schneider
9.
 That Darn Cat (1997) Mrs Flint
10.
 Out to Sea (1997) Liz
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1957:
Worked as model and showroom manager for dress manufacturer in Los Angeles; did promotional work for "Les Girls"; producer Jerry Wald arranged screen test (date approximate)
:
Professional TV acting debut in "The Ding-a-Ling Girl" on "Playhouse 90" opposite Art Carney
1960:
Feature film acting debut, "The Rise of Legs Diamond"
1962:
Broadway debut in "The Fun Couple" with Jane Fonda
1967:
Featured in the Broadway show "The 90-Day Mistress"
1969:
First starring film role in "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice"; won Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress
1974:
Made first TV-movie starring as "Virginia Hill" (NBC)
1976:
Debut as director, writer and producer of live-action short "Number One"; nominated for Best Live Action Short Oscar
1978:
Earned second Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for "Heaven Can Wait"
1984:
Starred in CBS miniseries "Master of the Game"
1990:
Feature film writing and directing debut, "The End of Innocence"; also acted in film
1997:
Returned to the big screen in "That Darn Cat" and "Out to Sea"
1997:
Landed a recurring role of a judge on the Fox series "Ally McBeal"
2001:
Portrayed the free-spirited mother of the titular "Three Sisters" in the NBC midseason replacement sitcom
2003:
Joined the cast of the action comedy "Kangaroo Jack"
2005:
Co-starred with Joseph Bologna and Brenda Vaccaro in the romantic comedy "Boynton Beach Club"
2008:
Appeared in The Hallmark Channel drama "A Kiss at Midnight"
2010:
Acted alongside Penny Marshall and Lorraine Bracco in "Women Without Men"; film directed by Marshall
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Directing Workshop for Women, American Film Institute: Los Angeles , California -
AFI Conservatory: - 1975
University of Washington: Seattle , Washington -
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1975

Notes

Cannon was crowned Miss Seattle.

She was named Female Star of the Year by the Hollywood Women's Press Club in 1979.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Cary Grant. Actor. Married in 1965; divorced in 1968.
companion:
Hal Ashby. Director. Together in the early 1970s.
husband:
Stanley Fimberg. Real estate attorney. Married in 1985; separated in 1990.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Claire Friesen. Jewish.
daughter:
Jennifer Grant. Actor. Born on February 26, 1966; father, Cary Grant.

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