Dyan Cannon is an award-winning film and television actress, director, screenwriter, editor and producer. She is the first woman in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be nominated for Oscars both as an actress and as a filmmaker. She has matched those two nominations with two more as an actress for Golden Globe awards, winning one, to which she added a New York Film Critics award. Having ascended to Oscar nomination for her first effort as a writer (as well as director, producer and editor), Cannon’s original way with dialogue, character and narrative was never in doubt.
On September 13, 2011, HarperCollins published Dear Cary, the memoir of Cannon who began the book twice, finding the first time that she could not approach it until she had lived its resolution, until she had gathered the courage to learn to love and to trust again.
Cannon has put her life on the table, reliving it in order to empower her conquests over her self-doubts, and to empower and give hope to others who have loved and lost. And it did. Dear Cary quickly topped the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller lists where it stayed for over 2 years!
Cannon made her screen debut in 1960 in The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond; however, her small screen debut was in a late 1950s role as Mona Elliott in the CBS drama, The Reporter. She also appeared in 77 Sunset Strip, the perennial Western series Gunsmoke, The Untouchables and the syndicated Two Faces West. In 1969, Cannon and Natalie Wood starred with an ensemble cast in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, a film about sexual revolution in which she played Alice. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film, as well as two Golden Globe nominations. She also received a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination for Such Good Friends (1971). In addition, 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, edited, starred and scored. The 48-minute film was sponsored by the American Film Institute, the film depicting children’s natural curiosity about their bodies and some of the adult values that stifle them. The New York Times commended the film as one of the best movies ever made concerning children’s development.
Cannon received her third Academy Award nomination for her comedic role as Julia Farnsworth, opposite Warren Beatty, in HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978), for which she won the Golden Globe Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and also resulted in her receiving the New York Film Critics award. Later that year, she starred in another comedy hit Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), opposite Peter Sellers and directed by Blake Edwards, and was named Female Star of the Year by NATO (National Association of Theater Owners).
As the singular force behind the motion picture The End of Innocence (1990), Cannon undertook a triumvirate of tasks as writer, director and star. This poignant story illustrates the drama and comedy of one woman’s fight for self-discovery. Cannon’s work received amazing reviews from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.
In the 1980s, Cannon, who is also a singer/songwriter, appeared in Honeysuckle Rose (1980), with Willie Nelson; Deathtrap (1982), with Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine; Caddyshack II (1988); and starred in several TV movies. In the 1990s, she appeared on the popular television shows Diagnosis Murder and The Practice. Cannon has been on two outstanding primetime television series. For several years she brought her own brand of humor, class and sexiness to the role of Whipper Cone on the Emmy Award winning series Ally McBeal. She then starred as the vivacious and free-spirited Honey Bernstein-Flynn on NBC’s comedy series Three Sisters. Honey was a yoga and meditation enthusiast, as well as a die-hard Lakers fan whose open relationship with her three grown daughters was unconventional and often outrageous.
Her filmography is vast and includes TNT’s remake of the Warner Bros.’ Christmas in Connecticut (1992), directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger; Author! Author! (1982), opposite Al Pacino; The Last of Sheila (1973), directed by Herbert Ross; two films directed by Sydney Lumet; Deathtrap, co-starring Sir Michael Caine and Christopher Reeves; The Anderson Tapes (1971), starring Sean Connery; Such Good Friends (1971), directed by Otto Preminger; and numerous other films. Cannon then decided to take a break from her acting career and pursue her other passion…music.
She has starred on Broadway and in her own musical stage act at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe. Cannon co-wrote the title song for Chaka Khan’s album, The Woman I Am, with Brenda Russell, and is presently collaborating on a Broadway musical. However, when she realized how much she missed acting she returned to the career she loves best, and hasn’t stopped since.
Her parade of film roles continued with the Twentieth Century Fox comedy adventure Out to Sea (1997), which teamed her with screen legends Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, as well as Orion Films’ 8 Heads in A Duffle Bag (1997). Other starring assignments included the Lifetime Original movie My Mother The Spy (2000); Disney Pictures’ Swiss Family Robinson, re-titled, Beverly Hills Family Robinson (1997), for ABC; That Darn Cat (1997); and a starring role in Susan Seidelman’s Boynton Beach Bereavement Club (2005) along with Sally Kellerman, Brenda Vaccaro and Joe Bologna.
Over the past eight years, Cannon has returned to another love, directing. She picked up camera again and tried her hand for the first time at documentary filmmaking. She is in post-production of a film, still untitled, drawing together kids from all walks of life and all ethnicities; from street kids to as far as the rubber band will stretch, kids from fabulous wealth. She put them all in the same room for four weeks and from that group evolved ten diverse youngsters she would follow for nearly a decade, painting a picture of challenges and successes and wrenching tragedies.
For several years, Cannon has flourished as an in demand motivational speaker, teaming with such other speaker stars as Rudy Giuliani and Zig Ziglar in addressing crowds of as many as 40,000 and drawing upon the lessons of her life experience.
Children are her passion and most of her work centers around the care and welfare of kids. She is the National Spokesperson for the Hemangioma Treatment Foundation, an organization that provides treatment to children all over the world who are afflicted with vascular birthmarks. She is the International Executive Spokesperson for Operation Lookout, an organization dedicated to recovering missing and exploited children who have been kidnapped from their homes, schools, etc. She has also been National Spokesperson for Martin Colette’s Wildlife Waystation, an international refuge that rescues and rehabilitates wild and exotic animals as well as Big Brothers and Sisters of America.
Cannon lives in Hollywood and at courtside for all Los Angeles Lakers home games.