1968: ‘Julia’ merry for ‘Christmas’

Hit show plans special holiday episode

Oct. 2, 1968
GOOD MORNING: “I’m Dreaming Of A Black Christmas” is Diahann Carroll’s Christmas Eve “Julia” seg — and Hal Kanter has given the OK for her to finally chirp on the series — yes Caroll carols in the above Jim McGinn-scripted seg… In addition to its rating, “Julia” has also piled up the webs’ top fan mail — only eight letters were “from bigots” reports Kanter. “And six of them were unsigned”… Sen. Eugene McCarthy maintains his close touch with showbiz — via a note from David Niven, locationing “The Brain” at Cap D’Antibes. According to Niven, McCarthy, “very tired, very philosophical and very nice,” has been a regular visitor to the set…(2008 Update… “Julia’s” producer Hal Kanter recalls, “We had two or three controversial segments and there were some stations in the south that refused to air it–until the ratings got too large for them to ignore. We stopped getting unsigned letters (from bigots). I answered the signed ones with ‘I should call to your attention that somebody is sending me hate mail and signing your name to them’. The letters stopped.” Of Diahann Carroll, Kanter says, “We still have a relationship to this day. Usually, when she is being honored I am called upon to speak — it is always a pleasure as it was last year at the Television Academy. I have a great deal of respect for her as an artist, a musician — and a human being.” Recently, Diahann hosted a dinner at Spago for Kanter, wife Doris and daughter Donna along with several other friends… This week Diahann is readying a trip to the U.K. where she will team with Michael Feinstein once again. They appeared last year in a program at the McCallan Theater in Palm Springs. They bow Sept. 17 at the Shaw Theater in London with dates continuing through Sept. 25. Michael will be presenting his show based on his new album, “The Sinatra Project,” which he preemed this week at his Regency N.Y. nitery to rave reviews. He recalled to me that Diahann did a Sinatra tribute in her nitery act as well. “I’ve always admired her and she has been wonderful to me. We will duet on ‘Where Or When’ and ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’,” said Michael. In October 2009, he will join the centennial tribute to Johnny Mercer with an album… Diahann is doubly pleased about the trip to London — where she can also visit with her two grandchildren (7 and 5 years old). Carroll, 73, who underwent cancer treatment 10 years ago, recalls, “You are overwhelmed. I felt very challenged. I’m not going to say ‘I’ve beaten it’ — cancer is constantly reoccurring. But today, I feel like I’ve never been healthier. I feel great.” When she completes the U.K. musical tour, she starts trekking with her latest autobiog, “The Legs Are The Last to Go” (Amistad/HarperCollins). Her first book, “Diahann: An Autobiography,” was published in 1986. “I’m very different today. Everything was sacred then. I started writing this book five years ago — the facts are all there.” With honors behind her in movies and theater, she is excited about her Emmy nomination for guest actress in a drama series for “Grey’s Anatomy.” “Can you imagine — at my age! I feel very humbled”…Withfour marriages behind Diahann, I asked her if there is a new man in her life? “I try to keep one — preferably two,” she laughed.