Friday, September 14, 2012

Gone Too Soon

I wanted to post something about it being Nell Carter's Birthday.
I'm a bit late though since her birthday was Sept. 13th and it's now after

Anyway, she was an amazingly talented singer/actress.
Most people know her from popular culture and her tv sitcom called Gimme A Break in the 1980's.

I know her from her work on the stage mostly.
She was wonderful in "Ain't Misbehavin' ", on Broadway, on the cast recording and on the tv special.
She won a Tony Award for that show but did others.  I know her mostly from her Broadway days since she was at the top of the heap there when I was in my college "theater" years.   I had looked to her as a professional role model during that time.
She was also in the film version of "Hair" around this time.
Don't go to this link HERE if you are easily offended.  This is "Hair" we are talking about.... ;-)

She was born in Alabama, coming from a humble background and as they say, "made something of herself" in spite of her beginnings.
She gave birth once as a result of being raped at 16, was raised with her siblings by her grandmother as they were unwanted by their mother, lost her father in a tragic freak accident, had two failed marriages and her younger brother, whom she was very close with, died in 1989 from an AIDS related cancer.  Bernard was a lawyer, musician and dean of a college.  He was 42.

She got swallowed up into that Hollywood lifestyle of the late '80s and ended up addicted to cocaine like many others of the time.  She kicked the habit eventually but had many other struggles in her personal life. 
Nell survived two brain aneurysms surgeries and numerous miscarriages & infertility. She adopted 2 more children and had other adoptions fall through.  Her kids were her life from all I have read.

Nell Carter died over 9 years ago this year.  She was 54.
She's entertaining the angels above now.

I found this strange clip from her Gimme A Break series.
Seems Andy Gibb made a guest appearance on an episode back in1983.
5 years later he died of myocarditis after struggling with a drug habit and depression.  He was 30.

All taken too young.

It's not a blockbuster performance but this clip is a sweet small duet of Nell and Andy from that episode of the series he guested on.


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