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Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon 1950s-cropped.jpg
Cannon c. 1960
Samille Diane Friesen

(1937-01-04) January 4, 1937 (age 87)
  • Actress
  • director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
  • editor
Years active 1958–present
  • (m. 1965; div. 1968)
  • Stanley Fimberg
    (m. 1985; div. 1991)
Children Jennifer Grant
Relatives David Friesen (brother)

Dyan Cannon (born Samille Diane Friesen, January 4, 1937) is an American actress, filmmaker and editor. Her accolades include a Saturn Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Academy Award nominations and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She was named Female Star of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners in 1973 and the Hollywood Women's Press Club in 1979.

A former beauty queen who held the title of Miss West Seattle, Cannon made her television debut in 1958. Over the next decade, she became a common sight on episodic shows while appearing occasionally on Broadway and in B-movies. In 1969, she had her breakthrough film role in the comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Cannon was nominated in that category again for Heaven Can Wait (1978), earning her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama for her lead role in Such Good Friends (1971). She also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film as the producer of Number One (1976).

Other films in which Cannon has performed include The Love Machine (1971), Shamus (1973), The Last of Sheila (1973), Child Under a Leaf (1974), Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), Honeysuckle Rose (1980), Coast to Coast (1980), Deathtrap (1982), Author! Author! (1982), Caddyshack II (1988), 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997), Out to Sea (1997), and Boynton Beach Club (2005). Cannon made her feature directorial debut with 1990's semi-autobiographical drama The End of Innocence, which she also wrote and starred in. From 1997 to 2000 she played a recurring role on the legal series Ally McBeal.

Before her career took off, Cannon was married to Cary Grant for three years and gave birth to his only child, daughter Jennifer. Reluctant to discuss the marriage since their 1968 divorce, Cannon turned down publishing deals following Grant's death in 1986. Her memoir Dear Cary (2011) became a New York Times Best Seller. In 2022, it was announced the book would be adapted into a miniseries for ITV with Cannon executive producing.

Early life

Cannon was born Samille Diane Friesen in Tacoma, Washington on January 4, 1937, the daughter of housewife Claire (née Portnoy) and life insurance salesman Ben Friesen. She was raised in the Jewish faith of her Ashkenazi Jewish mother, who was an immigrant from Russia; her father was Baptist of Russian Mennonite ancestry. Her younger brother is jazz musician David Friesen. Cannon attended West Seattle High School and was crowned Miss West Seattle in 1954. She spent two-and-a-half years at the University of Washington.

In 1957, Cannon dropped out of college and went to live with her Aunt Sally in Phoenix, Arizona, where she took a job at Merrill Lynch & Co. Courted by a traveling businessman, she got engaged and followed her fiancé to Los Angeles. They soon parted, but she decided to stay in the area and enroll at UCLA. A part-time modeling job led to an interview with producer Jerry Wald, who suggested she change her last name to Cannon. She signed to MGM, doing promotional work for the film Les Girls, and studied with acting teacher Sanford Meisner.


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 "Lady Luck" and again in a 1961 episode as Diane Jansen in "The Price of Paradise". She appeared in 1959 on CBS's Wanted: Dead or Alive, in episode 52, "Vanishing Act", as Nicole McCready. About this time, she was on the CBS western Johnny Ringo, starring Don Durant, and on Jack Lord's western Stoney Burke on ABC. She also appeared on Hawaiian Eye, using her name Diane Cannon, in 1961, opposite Tracey Steele, Robert Conrad, and Connie Stevens.

In 1962, Cannon appeared on Broadway with Jane Fonda and Bradford Dillman in The Fun Couple. Next came the national touring company of the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, in which she played Rosemary.

In 1964 she guest starred on Gunsmoke, playing "Ivy Norton", a daughter looking to marry the man she loves in the episode "Aunt Thede" (S10E13). She portrayed Mona Elliott in the episode "The Man Behind the Man" of the 1964 CBS drama series The Reporter. She also made guest appearances on 77 Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, the 1960 episode "Sheriff of the Town" of the first-run syndicated western series Two Faces West with Walter Coy as Cauter and the 1962 Ripcord episode "The Helicopter Race" as Ripcord Inc.'s secretary and receptionist Marion Hines. She had another role in the movie The Murder Game (1965), then took four years off.

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 four films: The Love Machine, from the novel by Jacqueline Susann; The Anderson Tapes with Sean Connery and Christopher Walken; The Burglars with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Omar Sharif; and Otto Preminger's Such Good Friends, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Her name was used to market a fifth release that year, Doctors' Wives, in which she had top billing despite only making a cameo appearance.

In 1973, Cannon starred opposite Burt Reynolds in Shamus and played an agent based on Sue Mengers in The Last of Sheila, and was named Female Star of the Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners. In 1974, she gave a critically acclaimed performance in Child Under a Leaf and starred in the made-for-TV movie Virginia Hill with Harvey Keitel. Following this she took a four-year absence from acting in feature films.

Cannon starred in her own musical stage act at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah's Lake Tahoe during the mid-1970s. She then enrolled in the Women's Directing Workshop of the American Film Institute. 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. 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 and she guest starred in the fourth season of The Muppet Show in 1979. She co-starred with then-boyfriend Armand Assante in the TV movie Lady of the House (1978), a dramatization of the life of Sally Stanford.

In the early 1980s, Cannon, who is also a singer/songwriter, appeared in Honeysuckle Rose (1980) with Willie Nelson, Coast to Coast (1980) with Robert Blake, Author! Author! (1982) with Al Pacino, and Sidney Lumet's Deathtrap (1982) with Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. She starred in the TV movie Having It All (1982) as well as a miniseries, Master of the Game (1984), then had the title role in Jenny's War (1985). After making Rock 'n' Roll Mom (1988) for Disney, she appeared with an ensemble cast in Caddyshack II (1988). In addition, she co-wrote the title track for Chaka Khan's album, The Woman I Am, with Brenda Russell.

For her contributions to the film industry, Cannon was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 with a motion pictures star located at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard.

Cannon wrote, directed, and starred in the semi-autobiographical film The End of Innocence (1990). She subsequently appeared opposite Phylicia Rashad in Jailbirds (1991) and Kris Kristofferson and Tony Curtis in Christmas in Connecticut (1992), the latter of which was directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, before reuniting with Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice director Paul Mazursky for The Pickle (1993), alongside Danny Aiello.

Cannon had guest roles on the popular television shows Diagnosis: Murder and The Practice, as well as being a semi-regular on Ally McBeal. In 1997 she could be seen in three major studio film releases: 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag with Joe Pesci; a remake of That Darn Cat; and Out to Sea with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Also that year, she worked with Sarah Michelle Gellar in the TV movie Beverly Hills Family Robinson. In 2001 and 2002, she had a regular part in the TV series Three Sisters.

In 2005, she appeared in Boynton Beach Club, a movie about aging Floridians who have just lost their spouses; Cannon's real-life ex Michael Nouri played her love interest. Her later roles included A Kiss at Midnight (2008) for Hallmark and the unaired pilot Women Without Men (2010) with Lorraine Bracco and Penny Marshall. She wrote and directed another short, Unleashed (2010). After a hiatus from the screen, she acted in the equestrian themed family film Hope's Legacy (2021).

Cannon published a memoir, Dear Cary: My Life with Cary Grant, in October 2011. She had previously been approached by Swifty Lazar to write about her late ex-husband in 1986, turning down "millions," and declined another publishing offer some years later from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, stating that there was still healing that needed to happen. Cannon serves as executive producer of a four-part miniseries based on her book, entitled Archie, which began production in August 2022 and will air on ITV.

Personal life

In 1961, Cannon began dating actor Cary Grant, who was 33 years her senior. They married on July 22, 1965, and had one daughter, Jennifer. Cannon filed for divorce in September 1967, and it was finalized on March 21, 1968.

Cannon married a second time on April 18, 1985, to real estate investor Stanley Fimberg. They divorced in 1991.

From 1978 to 1979, Cannon and Armand Assante were a steady item in public. She has also been in relationships with comedian Mort Sahl, producer Murray Shostak, talent agent Ron Weisner and sculptor Carl Hartman, as well as directors Hal Ashby and Jerry Schatzberg, and actors Hy Chase, Ron Ely and Michael Nouri. She remains friendly with Nouri and accompanied him to a premiere nearly 40 years after their breakup.

In 1972, Cannon revealed that she engaged in primal therapy.

She is a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and has attended Lakers games for several decades.

She is a born-again Christian.


Year Title Role Notes
1958 Have Gun - Will Travel Fifi Episodes: "Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork" and "The Man Who Wouldn't Talk"
Target Episode: "On Cue"
77 Sunset Strip Sheila Episode: "The Bouncing Chip"
1959 Highway Patrol Jean Deesing Episode: "Revenge"
Playhouse 90 Gloria / Marcie Episodes: "The Velvet Alley", "The Ding-A-Ling Girl" and "A Trip to Paradise"
Lock-Up Eileen Winfield Episode: "Change of Heart"
Bat Masterson Mary Lowery Episode: "Lady Luck"
Zane Grey Theatre Annie Episode: "Shadows"
Hotel de Paree Peggy Joyce Episode: "The Only Wheel in Town"
Wanted Dead or Alive Nicole McCready Episode: "Vanishing Act"
1960 The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond Dixie
This Rebel Breed Wiggles
The Detectives Olga May Episode: "The Chameleon Truck"
Johnny Ringo Rhoda Episode: "Soft Cargo"
Tombstone Territory Tracy Travers Episode: "The Injury"
Two Faces West Episode: "Sheriff of the Town"
1960–1961 Full Circle Lisa Crowder Series regular
1961 Bat Masterson Diane Jansen Episode: "The Price of Paradise"
Hawaiian Eye Julie Brent Episode: "The Big Dealer"
The Aquanauts Thelma / Diana Hogarth Episodes: "The Radioactive Object Adventure" and "The Diana Adventure"
Follow the Sun Lana Flanagan Episode: "The Woman Who Never Was"
Ben Casey Donna Whitney Episode: "A Certain Time, a Certain Darkness"
1962 The Untouchables Mavis Carroll Episode: "Silent Partner"
77 Sunset Strip Kathy Episode: "The Bridal Trail Caper"
The Red Skelton Show Clara II Episode: "Somebody Up There Should Stay There"
Ripcord Marion Hines Episode: "The Helicopter Race"
1963 Stoney Burke Flatbush Episode: "Death Rides a Pale Horse"
1964 Mr. Broadway Marianne Episode: "Between the Rats and the Finks"
The Reporter Mona Elliott Episode: "The Man Behind the Badge"
Gunsmoke Ivy Norton Episode: "Aunt Thede"
1965 Burke's Law Francesca Szabo Episode: "The Weapon"
The Murder Game
1969 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice Alice Henderson National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (3rd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female
Medical Center Elinor Crawford Episode: "Victim"
1971 Doctors' Wives Lorrie Dellman
The Anderson Tapes Ingrid
The Love Machine Judith Austin
The Burglars Lena
Such Good Friends Julie Messinger Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
1972 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Various - Guest performer
1973 Shamus Alexis Montaigne
The Last of Sheila Christine Cannon's character is believed to have been based on Sue Mengers.
1974 Child Under a Leaf Domino
Virginia Hill Virginia Hill
1976 Number One Matt's mother Writer, director, producer, film editor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film
Saturday Night Live Various - Guest host
1978 Heaven Can Wait Julia Farnsworth Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Revenge of the Pink Panther Simone Legree
Lady of the House Sally Stanford
1980 Honeysuckle Rose Viv Bonham Cannon also sings three songs on the soundtrack:
"Two Sides To Every Story," "Loving You Is Easier," and "Unclouded Day."
Coast to Coast Madie Levrington
1982 Deathtrap Myra Bruhl Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
Author! Author! Alice Detroit
Having It All Thera Baylin
1983 Arthur the King Katherine
1984 Master of the Game Kate McGregor-Blackwell
1985 Jenny's War Jenny Baines
1988 She's Having a Baby Herself
Rock 'n' Roll Mom Annie Hackett
Caddyshack II Elizabeth Pearce
1990 The End of Innocence Stephanie Also director and writer
1991 Jailbirds Rosie LaCroix
1992 Christmas in Connecticut Elizabeth Blane
1993 Beverly Hills, 90210 Herself Episode: "Senior Poll"
The Pickle Ellen Stone
Based on an Untrue Story Varda Gray
1994 Diagnosis Murder Bonnie Valin Episodes: "The Last Laugh: Part 1" and "The Last Laugh: Part 2"
1995 A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Jealous Jokester Josie Joplin
The Naked Truth Mitzi Wilde Episode: "Girl Buys Soup While Woman Weds Ape!"
1996 The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits... Jess Wilding
1997 Beverly Hills Family Robinson Marsha Robinson
That Darn Cat Mrs. Flint
8 Heads in a Duffel Bag Annette Bennett
Out to Sea Liz LaBreche
Allie & Me Karen Schneider
1997–2000 Ally McBeal The Honorable Judge Jennifer 'Whipper' Cone Recurring role; 17 episodes
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Recurring Player
1998 The Practice The Honorable Judge Jennifer 'Whipper' Cone Episode: "Line of Duty"
Black Jaq Abby 'Bubblin' Browne
Diamond Girl Abby Montana
The Sender Gina Fairfax
1999 Kiss of a Stranger Leslie
Arliss Herself Episode: "People Are Assets Too"
2000 My Mother the Spy Gloria Shaeffer
2001–2002 Three Sisters Honey Bernstein-Flynn Series regular
2003 Kangaroo Jack Anna Carbone
2004 After the Sunset Herself
2005 Boynton Beach Club Lois
2008 A Kiss at Midnight Kay Flowers
2010 Women Without Men Dominique TV pilot
2019 Five Old Comedy Writers Talking Sh*t Short film
Mood Swings Aunt Sam Episode: "Farrah's Day Off"
2021 Hope's Legacy Linda

See also

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