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The Legs Are the Last to Go by Diahann Carroll Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson © 2008      About Me

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The Legs Are the Last to Go - Aging, Acting, Marrying & Other Things I Learned the Hard Way
by Diahann Carroll
ISBN 978-0-06-076326-8
Published October 2008 - Hardcover - 288 pages - $24.95

I've always considered Ms. Carroll one of the most beautiful and extremely elegant women in show business.  Always impeccably outfitted and always the epitome of glamour.  In this book she reveals many unknowns (at least to me) about her life, as well as many more achievements I never knew about.  She says this is not an autobiography (she published that back in 1986) and candidly says she's 73 and has had plastic surgery, had four marriages, and has downsized her life.  Her accomplishments on the stage are numerous, as are her television appearances.  She recounts her bouts of racisim in the theatre as well as her stint as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, she being the first African-American actress to play her.  Ms. Carroll has had many firsts, in a pioneering way, in her world.  This memoir fills in the blanks for her admirers, and I found her candid approach refreshing.  Her young life, albeit somewhat different from her peers, mainly due to her mother's influence, was forever altered when she changed schools and attended the High School of Music and Art.  Brought up in Harlem, Ms. Carroll's confident mother's southern roots obviously had sway - her mother wanted to prove to the world that Blacks were not so different (bravo Mama Carroll!).  In those days that wasn't so easy, or advisable.  Ms. Carroll's career started out with modelling jobs, radio shows, and singing competitions, ensuring she was making a name for herself, and all the while maintaining her sense of style and showing it off to the world, even at a young age.  She also talks about her affair with Sidney Poitier (I don't recall him talking about her in his book), of her lack of self-confidence around men, her breast cancer, friends, her stint on Grey's Anatomy, and about aging.
Conclusion - Most enjoyable and very enlightening.

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