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The Uggams-siance!

I was familiar with Leslie Uggams as an occasional punchline in the 00’s, but despite 3 decades of not doing anything significant she has managed to find her second win. I’m most familiar with her from the Deadpool movies and Fallout, but she also had a significant role in the Academy Award winning film American fiction.

Is she well-regarded as an actress? Why did she never catch fire despite being one of the first black actresses to win a Tony?

by Anonymousreply 89June 1, 2024 2:56 AM

[quote]Why did she never catch fire despite being one of the first black actresses to win a Tony?

Maybe because she was known more as a singer?

by Anonymousreply 1May 25, 2024 3:53 PM

Even with her work in Roots in the 1970s, I always think of her as a bigger star in the 1960s.

by Anonymousreply 2May 25, 2024 3:57 PM

Diahann Carroll had her 'black balled' from the industry. She wanted no competition.

by Anonymousreply 3May 25, 2024 4:10 PM

[quote] Diahann Carroll had her 'black balled' from the industry.

She was burnt.

by Anonymousreply 4May 25, 2024 4:20 PM

Leslie had a short lived CBS variety program around 1969. THATS where she gained her greatest fame. Before that, child singer, Mitch Miller Show regular 1961. She starred in the Arthur Laurents written musical in 67, got the role after Lena Horne bailed out. TV guest shots singing and some acting, Roots, etc.

In other words, Leslie Uggams worked a lot, but she was never a big STAR.

by Anonymousreply 5May 25, 2024 4:31 PM

I saw her on Broadway in the 80s in “Jerry’s Girl,” the Jerry Herman revue that also starred Chita Rivera and Dorothy Loudon (I saw the Sunday matinee after which Chita got into her accident). Ingram’s had a glorious voice, obviously the best singer of the three, but she was the least interesting onstage. I thought she was excellent in “American Fiction.”

by Anonymousreply 6May 25, 2024 5:27 PM

Yet the number I remember most is her If He Walked Into My Life, r6.

by Anonymousreply 7May 25, 2024 5:30 PM

OK maybe she was never a BIG star but all over the variety shows in the 1960s.

by Anonymousreply 8May 25, 2024 5:33 PM

[quote]Ingram’s had a glorious voice

Not sure who you're talking about, R6

by Anonymousreply 9May 25, 2024 6:20 PM

Leslie talking about the moment that made her a gay icon.

Truthfully, she's also said to be quite difficult to work with. It couldn't have helped her.

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by Anonymousreply 10May 25, 2024 6:28 PM

Hucka-bejeepers, OP!

I was about to create a thread about Miss Uggam’s late-career revival - but you beat me to it.

by Anonymousreply 11May 25, 2024 6:28 PM

[quote]I was about to create a thread about Miss Uggam’s late-career revival - but you beat me to it.

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 12May 25, 2024 6:35 PM

Uggams was slated to play 'Kim Carter' on "Here's Lucy", but dropped out when she couldn't agree with Lucille Ball on a salary. Lucie Arnaz won the role.

by Anonymousreply 13May 25, 2024 6:37 PM

She's very good in "American Fiction". If she was "difficult" that should have guaranteed her "gay icon" status or at least a place as some semi-famous gay's hag.

by Anonymousreply 14May 25, 2024 6:39 PM

R9. Sorry, autocorrect strikes again (and bad proofreading). It should be Uggams not Ingram.

by Anonymousreply 15May 25, 2024 6:55 PM

Leslie in 1954 with the Williams Brothers on Sid Caesar's show.

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by Anonymousreply 16May 25, 2024 6:55 PM

Are you joking, R13? How could Uggams play Lucille Ball's daughter?

[quote]Truthfully, she's also said to be quite difficult to work with. It couldn't have helped her.

I've never heard or read anything like that, R10, and I'm older than dirt. Give an example or link. Lena was by far one of the most difficult singers and she worked and worked almost to her death.

by Anonymousreply 17May 25, 2024 6:59 PM

My friends gave me this a few years ago, and it’s one of my most prized possessions.

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by Anonymousreply 18May 25, 2024 7:00 PM

Talented but not the real deal. Has had a long and distinguished career, though.

by Anonymousreply 19May 25, 2024 7:01 PM

She's worked a lot in theatre during the past few decades. I also saw her in Jerry's Girls and the only thing I remember is Leslie sitting on top of a piano singing If He Walked Into My Life. She was thrilling (and I'm gonna MARY myself right here).

by Anonymousreply 20May 25, 2024 7:08 PM

“June is busting out a lah de lah!”

by Anonymousreply 21May 25, 2024 7:09 PM

Nope, r20, she stood, with the long staircase behind her. It was simple and elegant.

by Anonymousreply 22May 25, 2024 7:10 PM

r16 I had no idea there was another set of Williams Brothers.

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by Anonymousreply 23May 25, 2024 7:13 PM

Close friends with De'Andre Warwitch.

Automatic CUNT in my book.

by Anonymousreply 24May 25, 2024 7:14 PM

I get her mixed up with Lola Falana.

by Anonymousreply 25May 25, 2024 7:17 PM

R25, Lola was sexy, Leslie was Doris Day.

by Anonymousreply 26May 25, 2024 7:19 PM

Total professional. The cue card guy slipped on the wet grass. Although, you'd think she'd know the words to a classic song.

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by Anonymousreply 27May 25, 2024 7:26 PM

I remember when Sherwood Schwartz offered her the role of 'Ginger Grant' on 'Gilligan's Island' but she wanted top billing in the opening credits. He reminded her it was 'Gilligan's Island' not 'Ginger's Island' so she quit negotiations.

by Anonymousreply 28May 25, 2024 8:08 PM

She also turned down one of the lead roles in Nanny and The Professor because she thought Phoebe Figalilly was “a silly name.”

by Anonymousreply 29May 25, 2024 9:36 PM

I saw her in Jerry's Girls with Carol Channing and Andrea McArdle. She was very impressive.

by Anonymousreply 30May 26, 2024 12:17 AM

I don't understand the title of this thread. Can someone explain it to me without being bitchy? TIA,

by Anonymousreply 31May 26, 2024 12:18 AM

R31 I don't know, but I initially read the thread title as "the Uggams seance."

I thought she had died and people were trying to make contact.

by Anonymousreply 32May 26, 2024 12:36 AM

[quote]I saw her in Jerry's Girls with Carol Channing and Andrea McArdle. She was very impressive.

I'm glad she resolved her issues with McArdle. I know it was pretty prickly for a while when McArdle was cast as 'Annie' and Uggams wasn't, despite an impressive audition by Uggams. Everyone thought she was a shoe-in.

by Anonymousreply 33May 26, 2024 12:43 AM

R33 Keep your day job.

by Anonymousreply 34May 26, 2024 12:45 AM

[quote]She also turned down one of the lead roles in Nanny and The Professor because she thought Phoebe Figalilly was “a silly name.”

I had heard she totally impressed the casting director with her Irish dance she did at the audition.

by Anonymousreply 35May 26, 2024 12:46 AM

R33 It's shoo-in.

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by Anonymousreply 36May 26, 2024 12:58 AM

But what is "Uggams-siance"...?

Are you there, OP?

by Anonymousreply 37May 26, 2024 1:06 AM

I thought she had her shoe in. She just needed to get the other shoe in and the part was hers.

by Anonymousreply 38May 26, 2024 1:06 AM

very little of Leslie's early recorded output / approx 12 studio albums has been made available to stream / and never available on CD

Columbia, Atlantic, and one for Motown in 1975. I was curious how they tried to market her through the years...... and

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by Anonymousreply 39May 26, 2024 1:34 AM

1962 on Columbia

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by Anonymousreply 40May 26, 2024 1:35 AM

Timing is everything. Columbia signed her in 1962, and then in October of that same year they signed a 20 year old from Brooklyn named 'Barbra Streisand'. Uggams was forgotten.

by Anonymousreply 41May 26, 2024 1:42 AM

Just saw her in American Fiction (which I really enjoyed) and she was beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 42May 26, 2024 1:48 AM

[quote]12 studio albums has been made available

Oh, Huckabee be Jesus...

by Anonymousreply 43May 26, 2024 2:04 AM

R41 Eydie Gorme must have had the same fate at Columbia. I was thinking about that when Steve Lawrence passed away earlier this past year...

by Anonymousreply 44May 26, 2024 2:36 AM

My dad used to have to travel to NYC a lot for work between 1965 and 1972, and he would always try to see a Broadway show when he went. he said the most exciting thing he ever saw when he did that was Leslie Uggams sing "My Own Morning" in Hallelujah, Baby! He didn't like the book of the show that much, but he loved the music and he loved Uggams singing it.

He didn't see many musicals, though he did very much like the original Broadway production of 1776. Mostly he saw comedies that most people have forgotten now, like Luv and Last of the Real Hot Lovers.

by Anonymousreply 45May 26, 2024 2:45 AM

R44 In her memoir, Aretha Franklin explained how she was signed on to Columbia before Streisand (I think nine months before) and they had big plans for her. Once Streisand came along they pushed her aside, claimed they didn't know how to market her, and ignored her. All the attention was on Streisand. Not surprised if Uggams, Gorme and others were part of the 'fallout'.

by Anonymousreply 46May 26, 2024 2:50 AM

A poor man’s Diahann Carroll. No warmth whatsoever. All calculation.

by Anonymousreply 47May 26, 2024 3:45 AM

I once watched her in a truly awful plane hijacking movie with Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, and James Brolin.

by Anonymousreply 48May 26, 2024 4:11 AM


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by Anonymousreply 49May 26, 2024 5:26 AM

Title explanation: The Renaissance period was known as a time of rebirth following the Middle (or Dark) Ages. It is particularly remembered for embracing and promoting art and culture…

I was just commenting on the rebirth of Leslie Uggams’ career, and her current impact on the arts (particularly film and TV).

by Anonymousreply 50May 26, 2024 5:27 AM


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by Anonymousreply 51May 26, 2024 5:31 AM

She was originally cast as Laura Palmer in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks but the role had to be recast when it was discovered she had a severe allergy to plastic sheeting.

by Anonymousreply 52May 26, 2024 5:40 AM

[quote]A poor man’s Diahann Carroll. No warmth whatsoever. All calculation.

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by Anonymousreply 53May 26, 2024 5:41 AM

R53 She was sensational in that!

by Anonymousreply 54May 26, 2024 5:49 AM

R54 She was kind of awful there. She has an amateur quality. The jerky imprecise generalized movements and the brassy voice. It would have been nice if a choreographer had worked with her for the instrumental interlude. She's looks great though and has a winning vibe.

by Anonymousreply 55May 26, 2024 6:21 AM

Loved her as Kizzy in Roots and love her in the Deadpool films.

by Anonymousreply 56May 26, 2024 6:27 AM

R54 Here she is 2 years earlier on Hullabaloo wearing the same dress. But note that she's been choreographed and it's so much better. She handles it nicely and again, looks fantastic. But she's really not much of a singer.

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by Anonymousreply 57May 26, 2024 6:29 AM

R45 I love that story about your Dad! What a wonderful time for the straight shows, too! I’ll bet he saw some really memorable things! What nice memories!

by Anonymousreply 58May 26, 2024 6:32 AM

[quote] A poor man’s Diahann Carroll. No warmth whatsoever. All calculation.

R47 is Miss Carroll posting from a gown fitting in heaven. Uggams' voice had her running scared.

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by Anonymousreply 59May 26, 2024 10:21 AM

[quote] But she's really not much of a singer.


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by Anonymousreply 60May 26, 2024 10:24 AM

She has cancer, you know.

by Anonymousreply 61May 26, 2024 11:28 AM

Diahann Carroll had WARMTH???

by Anonymousreply 62May 26, 2024 12:22 PM

It is very hard to overstate how white the television landscape was circa 1960 when Leslie Uggams broke through on Mitch Miller.

She has to be one of the last living black tv stars that came up through the 1950s, right?

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by Anonymousreply 63May 26, 2024 12:32 PM


Well,Miss Carroll had warmth indeed! Maybe not in her personality but it was provided by a luxurious fur-coat, a well heated limousine and a couple of vodka stingers.

As for poor mens version of Miss Carroll -visually Miss Uggams in a fake leather jacket and that tragic hair is sadly proofing the point.

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by Anonymousreply 64May 26, 2024 1:59 PM

I found Leslie Uggams to be sickening sweet on all levels.

by Anonymousreply 65May 26, 2024 2:54 PM

Leslie....she Kizzie! You stay put!

by Anonymousreply 66May 26, 2024 3:01 PM

R65 Remove the word “sweet” and you have just about everyone’s opinion of you, Arthur

by Anonymousreply 67May 26, 2024 3:01 PM

Did Mitch MIller make her take moustache rides?

by Anonymousreply 68May 26, 2024 3:24 PM

R50 Oh. Okay, now I understand. Your spelling didn't help, I guess, but now that you explained it I get it. Thanks.

by Anonymousreply 69May 26, 2024 4:45 PM

Eydie Gorme already had hit songs in the 1950s. I don't know when she was with Columbia but she won a couple of Grammys, didn't she? I see here she was born in 1928. Barbra Streisand was born in 1942. That might have something to do with it. I am not even a Streisand fan but clearly she was a once-in-a-lifetime, potential mega-star. Eydie was a very fine singer but who thinks of her in the same league as Streisand?

by Anonymousreply 70May 26, 2024 4:49 PM

R70, that's because Streisand was in a hit Broadway show and had CBS TV specials as well as records in the 1960s. There was much more product. I always thought Steve Lawrence was an albatross around Eydie's neck. She had to do EVERYTHING (or almost everything) with him. Eydie was also raising her sons in the 1960s, she not as driven as Streisand.

by Anonymousreply 71May 26, 2024 5:23 PM

R47 hold my beer…

by Anonymousreply 72May 26, 2024 5:36 PM

[quote] proofing the point


by Anonymousreply 73May 26, 2024 5:39 PM

She had a recurring role more recently on the NBC series "New Amsterdam".

by Anonymousreply 74May 26, 2024 5:46 PM

R71 I don't think those were the reasons. Streisand had unbelievable natural magnetism and star quality. Eydie Gorme just wasn't that type of personality and her looks weren't stunning, either.

by Anonymousreply 75May 26, 2024 6:13 PM

^ In case you didn't know, Streisand's looks weren't "stunning" either.

by Anonymousreply 76May 26, 2024 6:59 PM

I liked her in the miniseries Backstairs At The White House (1979)

by Anonymousreply 77May 26, 2024 7:07 PM

[quote]^ In case you didn't know, Streisand's looks weren't "stunning" either.

They were to us.

by Anonymousreply 78May 26, 2024 7:27 PM

[quote]In case you didn't know, Streisand's looks weren't "stunning" either.

Barbra had a *look*...

Eydie didn't

by Anonymousreply 79May 26, 2024 7:38 PM

Barbra has stunningly beautiful eyes and skin. Eydie? Not so much. She had dead eyes, for starters.

by Anonymousreply 80May 26, 2024 7:56 PM

Barbra had a unique look but she’s never been a beautiful woman. She’s spent most of her life and ours obsessing over it.

by Anonymousreply 81May 26, 2024 7:59 PM

R80 = the dead eyes troll

Everyone with brown eyes has “dead eyes.” You must try something else, dear. This is oh so tiresome.

by Anonymousreply 82May 26, 2024 8:10 PM

I think Barbra Streisand is a beautiful person.

by Anonymousreply 83May 26, 2024 8:35 PM

R83 = Jason, ensuring his place in the will…

by Anonymousreply 84May 27, 2024 12:18 AM

R84, Jason needs to do more than that, on every forum on the internet. Babs has a soft spot for those “grandchildren” who eat up all of her bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 85May 27, 2024 1:36 AM

R76 Yes, they were striking. She photographed well, and had movie star looks, however unusual. Eydie looked like a housewife from Syosset.

by Anonymousreply 86May 27, 2024 2:20 AM

She's still working at 81, good for her.

by Anonymousreply 87May 27, 2024 2:28 AM

Haha, R86. I always looked at Eydie and thought B’nai B’rith chairwoman in Levittown but close enough.

by Anonymousreply 88May 27, 2024 8:35 PM

filmed on June 1 2020

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