You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

When Diahann Carroll Met Judy Garland: A ’60s Diva Match Made in Heaven (Watch)

With Diahann Carroll’s death having been announced Friday, and with Judy Garland mania in as full a swing as it’s likely to ever be in the 21st century, due to the biopic “Judy” having just landed in theaters, there could be no better moment in history — at least since 1964 — to take a look back at the time when these two legends met up for a television duet.

They paired up on Garland’s weekly prime-time show 55 years ago to sing a duet of Harold Arlen and Richard Rodgers songs. If you’re thinking that Arlen and Rodgers were not a songwriting team, that was part of the gambit: The two of them took turns singing one classic songwriter’s work or the other’s. “You sing Arlen and I’ll sing Rodgers,” Carroll says at the beginning of the flip. “Roy Rogers?” asks Garland.

Carroll had good reason for being assigned the particular songwriter she was, out of the two. She had won a Tony Award two years earlier for appearing in the musical “No Strings,” with songs by Rodgers. (She was the first black woman to win a best actress Tony.)

Carroll had a couple of memorable solo numbers during the episode, too, making some transfixing eye contact with the camera as she sang “Goody Goody” (a song that in very different arrangements had been a hit for Benny Goodman in the ’30s and Frankie Lymon in the ’50s) and “Quiet Nights.”

The episode was taped Jan. 31, 1964 at CBS Television City. Carroll was 28, Garland 41. Judy was nearing the end of her career, and life, as she would pass away five years later. Carroll was still more at the beginning of hers, obviously with enough notoriety to get such featured billing (Mel Torme was the other guest) — she was a developing household name for everything from roles in the film versions of “Carmen Jones” and “Porgy and Bess” to being a mystery guest on “What’s My Line.” But her greatest notoriety was ahead of her, when the TV show “Julia” was built around her for three seasons beginning in 1968.

A nod is due to the website Vintage Los Angeles for quickly bringing the duet to everyone’s attention upon news of Carroll’s death. It’s been a source of interest and admiration, of course, for diehard fans of either or both singer-actors over the decades.

Wrote the Judy Garland Project website: “Ms. Carroll is a revelation on this show. Her appearance being yet another highlight of the series. Elegant and sophisticated, she looks like a beautiful bird in her Aghayan/Mackie creation in a setting that does not look unlike an illuminated birdcage. She sings ‘Quiet Nights’ and ‘Goody Goody’ solo, and then later on joins Judy for a wonderful duet with Carroll singing songs by Richard Rogers and Garland singing Harold Arlen. It is almost on a par with the Garland/Streisand singing in Show 9 for sophistication… One of the best medleys of the series.”

More TV

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • ITV Wins Pre-Sales for Mipcom Drama

    Pre-Sales for 'Noughts and Crosses' Lead Scripted Deals for ITV Studios at Mipcom

    ITV Studios Global Entertainment has racked up pre-sales for its leading Mipcom title “Noughts and Crosses”, and has unveiled a number of other deals on its drama slate. “Noughts and Crosses” has been acquired by M-Net in Africa, Russia’s More TV, TVNZ in New Zealand and on BBC First across Benelux prior to its launch [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Elisa Viihde Orders Second Series of

    Elisa Viihde Orders Second Series of Finnish hit Drama 'All the Sins' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Elisa Viihde, the thriving Finnish SVOD service, has ordered a second season of the local series “All the Sins” whose season one was a critical success and sold to over 30 countries. The new season of “All the Sins,” written by the award-winning Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko, takes viewers back in time to the [...]

  • Cuna-de-lobos

    Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños Leads Content Revamp as ‘Cuna de Lobos’ Debuts Strongly

    Televisa’s Fabrica de Sueños (Dream Factory), launched last year under the leadership of Patricio Wills, has begun to reap ratings dividends from its anthology series of re-versioned hit Televisa telenovelas of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Founded under the slogan ‘Rewriting History,’ Fabrica de Sueños kicked off to stellar ratings in September with “La Usurpadora” (“The [...]

  • Project Blue Book

    Mipcom Roundup: A+E Sells, Ovation Buys, Fremantle Dating Format Takes Off

    In Variety’s second Mipcom roundup Ovation announces a raft of series and TV movie pickups, Nelson Mandela’s autobiographical recordings will be developed into a docuseries by Zig Zag and Hipster Media, A+E sells “Project Blue Book” to Viasat World and RTL, All The Kids and El Cañonazo are set to team in Spain on new formats; “Property [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content