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Nell, we hardly knew ye

roquat
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joined:5/25/05
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Nell, we hardly knew ye#1
Posted: 12/14/07 at 11:37pm
I mentioned this in another thread, and I can't seem to let it go.

Does anyone know what, exactly, happened to Nell Carter? She was incredibly successful for quite a time, then she dropped out of sight (except for occassional nostalgic concert appearances like "Broadway's Greatest Ladies".) The next thing I heard, she had left her marriage, come out as a lesbian, adopted two children, realized she was diabetic (she appeared in TV commercials advising early detection of diabetes), gone bankrupt, and died. That's an incredible out-of-control spiral, and one that hasn't been explored in the way Judy and Liza and even Britney Spears have been. Did she have substance abuse problems? Was she "difficult", in the manner of Jennifer Holliday? Did something else happen? How could a talent like that just disappear without a trace?
I ask in all honesty/What would life be?/Without a song and a dance, what are we?/So I say "Thank you for the music/For giving it to me."
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Absinthe
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joined:11/12/07
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#2
Posted: 12/14/07 at 11:51pm
Let it go.
"Let me be mad... mad with the madness of Absinthe, the wildest, most luxurious madness in the world."
FindingNamo
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joined:7/22/03
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#2
Posted: 12/15/07 at 12:26am
She was black. America doesn't care about black celebrity tragedies. Only when they happen to sports stars.

Also, her daughter was conceived via rape. So she had a tough life. If she had only been white there would have been at least two tv movies about her.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
FindingNamo
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joined:7/22/03
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#2
Posted: 12/15/07 at 12:26am
She was black. America doesn't care about black celebrity tragedies. Only when they happen to sports stars.

Also, her daughter was conceived via rape. So she had a tough life. If she had only been white there would have been at least two tv movies about her.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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Guido Contini
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joined:8/20/04
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#4
Posted: 12/15/07 at 12:36am
Ms Carter was a cocaine addict, who was helped and "cured" by Liza Minelli and Lorna Luft.

Read it here for yourself, if you wish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nell_Carter
"Applause begets applause in the theatre, as laughter begets laughter and tears beget tears." CLAYTON HAMILTON, "Theory of the Theatre" "I think theater ought to be theatrical ... you know, shuffling the pack in different ways so that it's -- there's always some kind of ambush involved in the experience. You're being ambushed by an unexpected word, or by an elephant falling out of the cupboard, whatever it is." TOM STOPPARD
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#5
Posted: 12/15/07 at 12:48am
Wow what a sad life.
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best12bars
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#6
Posted: 12/15/07 at 9:56am
A fiercely talented lady with such a troubled life.

Gimme a Break isn't in syndication very often, if at all. Do people outside of the Broadway community even remember who she is?
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
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joined:9/16/07
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#7
Posted: 12/15/07 at 2:25pm
Sadly, Gimmie a Break doesn't hold up well at all. I rented the first season and, save for the opening chords of the theme song that I'll always adore, it's really pretty bad.
DG
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joined:11/2/05
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#8
Posted: 12/15/07 at 8:00pm
I will treasure the memory of seeing AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' forever. What a special and unique talent she was.
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nitsua
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joined:11/25/07
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#9
Posted: 12/15/07 at 8:16pm
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
Gothampc
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#10
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:05pm
Some people will tell you it was drugs. Some people will tell you it was that she was difficult. The truth is Debbie Allen. During the 1993 Oscars, Allen choreographed the Best Score segment. For some reason Allen decided that Nell was to be part of the Aladdin sequence. In what can only be described as maliciously trying to ruin Nell's career, Allen had 300 pound Nell run across the stage. The sight was so disturbing that it immediately ended Nell's career. From then on, nobody could get that sight out of their mind. (Legend has it that Calista Flockhart was in the audience that night and vowed never to eat anything more than breath mints).

If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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DMsquared2
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#11
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:15pm
Did she left a partner or female lover behind? I remember reading about her being with a woman.
FindingNamo
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#12
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:49pm
I love how everybody reads the same Wikipedia entry and suddenly it's all, "I recall hearing she had a lady love..." and "The word back then was that she had become a lesbian."

Kudos to Goth for the most original post of the day.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
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DMsquared2
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#13
Posted: 12/15/07 at 11:57pm
I actually think I heard that story from a piece on "In the Life".
FindingNamo
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#14
Posted: 12/16/07 at 12:05am
I remember seeing Nell in a an out of town tryout of a musical with Bette Davis. I don't think it ever came in, however.
Can you hear me now? Twitter: @NamoInExile
roquat
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joined:5/25/05
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#15
Posted: 12/16/07 at 12:16am
That was "Miss Moffat", an adaptation of "The Corn is Green." Davis left claiming a debilitating back injury; the director, Josh Logan, believed she was faking (he tells his side of the story in his autobio, "Movie Stars, Real People, and Me."). Davis expressed considerable regret about leaving this show later on in life, however.
I ask in all honesty/What would life be?/Without a song and a dance, what are we?/So I say "Thank you for the music/For giving it to me."
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BillFinn
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#16
Posted: 12/16/07 at 12:28am
I remember her guest appearance on "Brotherly Love." She played Joey Lawerence's old babysitter or something.
Bill Finn rocks. Woot.
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mattonstage
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re: Nell, we hardly knew ye#17
Posted: 12/16/07 at 10:23am
I remember when a friend and I went to get our tickets for the Nine revival and I saw the name Nell Campbell listed in the cast. I asked the guy in the box office if he knew if that was the same Nell Campbell from Rocky Horror. He said no, it was the big black lady from that TV show Gimme a Break and Ain't Misbehavin. Well, I thought, this revival is going to be spectacular if they got someone to come back from the dead to be in it!!
I killed the boss, you don't think they're gonna fire me over a thing like that!!!!