Sunday, December 2, 2012

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: DIANA CANOVA

One of the first crushes I had as a young boy was actress Diana Canova on the silly sitcom Soap, which ran from 1977 to 1980. I thought she was the most beautiful woman on television at the time, even though she is around my mother's age! I have not seen her in any projects in a number of years, so I was curious about what she is doing now.

Diana Canova was born on June 1, 1953, West Palm Beach, Florida. She is best known for her role of promiscuous daughter Corinne Tate on Soap, a sitcom that parodied soap operas, between 1977 and 1980. Born as Diane Canova Rivero, her professional surname is the maiden name of her mother, actress and singer Judy Canova. She was raised in the Greater Los Angeles Area, where she graduated from Hollywood High School.

In 1980, ABC executives offered Canova her own television series, starring alongside Danny Thomas in I'm a Big Girl Now. The show lasted just one season. Canova's acting career entered a slump for years before she was cast as Sandy Beatty in Throb!, a successful sitcom which was broadcast in syndication from 1986 to 1988. She played "Jenny" in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical Company in 1995.


Canova spent a number of years as a member of the Church of Scientology, an organization she later began to criticize. She found the Scientologists straightforward in their desire for money, declaring in 1993 in a Premier magazine interview, "The first time I walked in those doors, they said, 'Just give us all the money in your bank account.'" She also criticized the Church's counseling practice called auditing, when she said "They're telling you, 'Don't spend $100 an hour on a shrink's couch, it'll ruin your mind.' Auditing is so much better?"

For the most part, Canova has retired from acting and is living in Connecticut. Her last role was in the 1998 movie One True Thing. She occasionally voices for cartoons in video shorts but now mostly works on various plays in Redding, Connecticut for local public schools. Her and her second husband Elliot Scheiner, who is a record producer, fell in love with the area. When Diana was asked what keeps her in the sleepy suburb, she answered: "So many things keep me here — the trees, the birds, the quiet, the short road to New York City — but most of all, it's the kids I get to work with year after year"...

25 comments:

  1. Thank you Mrs.Canova for playing in the tv eposides of Throb. It brough so much peace and joy to watch that show. I was just a kid at the time going through a bad childhood. but, It brought me to learned everything will be ok. Thanks to you. I have become a strong women and a mother of 3 from childersmary3@gmail.com

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  2. Working behind the scenes could be just as rewarding-good luck to you Diana! My family enjoyed your TV appearances (and also the career of your mom, Judy Canova, a talented comedienne also.)

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  3. She is still gorgeous

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  4. Ms Canova, Loved you in "SOAP" =0) I'm also a fan of old radio shows. Love your mom's radio show with Mel Blanc,etc. I know there are some episodes out there, but if you own the rights to the show, I would really love to see a boxset come out in the future. Thanks =0)

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  5. Ms. Canova, I use to watch SOAP all the time. The first time I saw you I had a huge boyhood crush on you even though I was 6 years old in 77. I still watch the series now on NETFLIX. I wish you would comeback to television again the shows that are on now are good but they are not as funny or ground breaking as SOAP was. Anyways thank you for the great childhood memories. Peter Topa

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  6. I had the great pleasure of working with Ms Canova in 1974 when she was working with the Tony Urbano Marionettes, and I was sort of their traveling photographer... she was sweet and friendly, already a real pro.

    Thanks for putting this page together - I followed her career for a while and had wondered where she wound up...

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  7. So glad to hear that a very nice, talented woman is living a nice sweet peaceful life!

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  8. I always like her. She seems happy. That make me happy.

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  9. Dr. Barry FischerMay 25, 2014 at 6:05 AM

    I agree you're STILL gorgeous and I love your artistic work! You are one of my favorites! Ironically, your mom, has ALWAYS been my favorite Film actress. I am 14 days older than you (May 16th, 1953), so here's a pre-HaPpY BiRtHdAy wish! Cannot find you with an e-mail or Facebook page, so I'm writing on this site I FINALLY found. Hope your Memorial is relaxing. barryfischerdance.com

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  10. Found this page after a search on what Ms. Canova was up to, she was Starsky's date at a bowling alley on Starsky and Hutch rerun on COZI TV.
    I too thought she was beautiful in SOAP.

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  11. I saw Diana Canova and Steve Landesberg in Birmingham MI in a Jules Pfeiffer Play around 1980 ...Loved her in Soap also ! My Mom remembered her Mom Judy Canova!

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  12. I to as a young man had a crush on you. You were great in soap in fact that was the only reason I watched it.I was a severly abused child. But watching a show with you in it helped the pain.

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  13. I Loved you on soap and fantasy island. We were both born in 1953 you on June 1 me on Sept 5

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  14. You were in a Murder, She Wrote episode. Ur character was named Abby. U were a writer on a cop series. I remember thinking that if u were close to being like ur character I would like to hv you as a friend. Stay Happy, Diana

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  15. Very nice website! I wonder has this question come up - have you ever been mistaken for Lydia Reed? She disappeared from showbiz in the 60s.. then you appeared - in that Statue of Liberty costume! early 70s, which could have lead a few tv viewers to this conclusion. She, likewise, could have been mistaken for you - who were better-known at the time - as well.

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  16. One thing about her: she seems to like marrying Jews.

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    1. Spoken like a true IDIOT!

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  17. Saw you last night in an episode of Murder She Wrote. Brought back to mind just how much I was in love w/ you during the soap years. Of course, I've matured, but the years haven't hurt you @ all!

    Denny Ballek, Pensacola

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  18. Be still my heart! Oh what a crush I had on Diana. I was 17 and she was 24! WOW! So glad to hear she is happy and well. Dreams do come true!

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  19. She was in Charlotte back in the 80s and a local TV reporter did the worst interview with her. Since there was a small town near called Conover, NC, he wouldn't get off the subject of how incredibly similar the names were. But they weren't and who cares?? I was so embarrassed for Diana, and she was noticeably irritated. At the end of the interview he said "Thank you, Diana ...CONOVER!" Her jaw tightened as she replied "CANOVA!" She kept it classy while the oaf made a fool of himself.

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  20. I recall her as Richie Cunninghams tall date in the first season of Happy Days ( I think they had her on mini-stilts to make her taller). She always did a great job in whatever she was in.

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  21. I agree, I also was taken by her great looks. I was 16 or 17 when I fell for her. As a teenage boy , I was in love.

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  22. She is an outstanding human being and very talented. I'm old enough to remember her Mother Judy Canova, as a young boy in WW II I would listen to her sing and be silly. Diana has that enteratinment gene!

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  23. Glad to hear she's broken from Scientology. I remember her fondly as I do her mom. (I was born in '52 but watched Judy Canova's movies on TV over the years.) Wondered where she was but am so pleased to learn she has a good life and is still doing what she enjoys.

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