3. The Legs Are The Last to Go

Aging, Acting, Marrying, & Other Things I Learned Along the Way

by Diahann Carroll

Haven’t already written one during her Dynasty days, this book didn’t feel like a standard memoir. It read more like a conversation between Ms. Carroll and the reader. She doesn’t tell her story in a linear way, instead giving you little vignettes of her life and the resulting lessons.

Relationships are the center of her writing: relationships with men, her daughter and her parents. Her story of motherhood is one we have heard before in the entertainment industry, especially when you are breaking ground and busting through barriers. She more often than not chose her career commitments over her child, knowing that those decisions also are giving her child a better life. Ms. Carroll’s father was a pastor at the famous Abyssinian Baptist church in Harlem and received adulation from female members of the congregation. Her mother coped with his infidelities by living through her daughter: showing up to her engagements and hanging out with Ms. Carroll’s famous friends.

The most frustrating part for me to read were the tales of her marriages and courtships. From her affair with Sidney Poitier when they were both married to others to her union with Vic Damone, who was jealous of her success and used her to pay off his debt, she consistently ignored her gut feelings and plowed ahead with these men.

Funny, revealing, unapologetic and blunt, Diahann Carroll gives insight into the entertainment industry as only someone with her illustrious career can.

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