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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Janet Carroll born 24 December 1940

Janet Carroll (December 24, 1940 – May 22, 2012) was an American film, stage and television character actress. 
Janet Carroll's career spanned more than four decades and included major roles in Broadway musicals and Hollywood productions, but was perhaps most recognized for her portrayal of the oblivious mother of Joel (Tom Cruise) in the 1983 film Risky Business. 

Carroll was born Janet Carol Thiese in Chicago, the daughter of Hilda Catherine (née Patton) and George Nicholas Thiese. She received formal theatrical training and began acting professionally in the late 1960s, appearing in numerous productions in local theatres. She then became a regular at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, where she acted during five seasons. 

Vocally, she began classical training at age 12 with Dr. Greta Allum in Chicago. Over the years she continued building and expanding her voice and repertoire in formal study with Douglas Susu-Mago. With a fluent  3 1⁄2-octave vocal range, she was able to sing everything from opera to jazz and Broadway style to gospel music and Dixieland genre. 

Notably, Carroll sang as a first soprano with the esteemed Canterbury Choral Society in New York City featuring sacred choral masterpieces of J. S. Bach, Antonín Dvořák and Gustav Mahler at Carnegie Hall and other venues across NYC. 

Carroll then performed in Kansas City and Chicago, assuming significant roles in such musicals as Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Gypsy, Hello, Dolly!, Mame, South Pacific and The Pajama Game, before moving to California, where she continued her stage work, winning a Drama-Logue Award for her performance as Klytemnestra in Ezra Pound’s Elektra.


Besides Risky Business, Carroll appeared in more than 20 other films over the next three decades. She developed her television
career with recurring roles on the series Hill Street Blues, The Bronx Zoo, Murphy Brown, Married... with Children, Melrose Place  and Still Standing and guest appearances in many other television roles. 

From 2004 through 2005, Carroll starred on Broadway creating the role of Aunt March in the original musical Little Women, which is based in the 1869 novel of the same title written by American author Louisa May Alcott. She promoted brands such as Century 21, Diet Coke, Outback Steakhouse and Holiday Inn, among others, in television advertisement spots.

In addition to her acting career, since 1982, she performed as a singer at Jazz Festivals throughout the United States and Canada, being accompanied by her seven piece format, while interpreting traditional jazz, swing, blues, and classic ballads or the Great American Songbook. 

She performed in Victoria and Vancouver summer festivals in British Columbia, as well as in Monterey, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Santa Catalina Island, and New Orleans stages, along with concerts at United Service Organizations shows, At the Redding Jazz Festival, she was honoured with an award for Best Vocalist. In 2004, she was the featured performer at the Porrath Foundation for Cancer Patient Advocacy Event tribute to film star Rhonda Fleming. 

After twelve years of formal training Janet Carroll was ordained and licensed at the West Los Angeles' Church of Inner Light. An active participant in social issues, Carroll was a longstanding member of the Screen Actor's Guild and American Federation of
Radio Artists and Actors Equity Association. She also served as the Artistic Director of The Jazz Series at Simi Valley's Cultural Arts Centre.  

In 1992, Carroll collaborated as a singer on the album This Joint Is Jumpin' Live! – Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, a recording project led by Dixieland trombonist and actor Conrad Janis. She later released her solo albums Presenting... Janet Carroll and the Hollywood Jazz Cats (1992), I Can't Give You Anything But Love (2000), I'll Be Seeing You (2000) and Lady Be Good (2010). 

By 2011, she was preparing the production of her fourth and fifth records titled A Tribute to the Great Ladies of Song! and Scorch Your Shorts Torch Songs!. She was diagnosed with brain cancer later that year and took a leave of absence. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy without success. 

Carroll died from brain cancer at her home in Manhattan, aged 71.  (Info Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Janet Carroll – Lady be Good” go here:

1. The Lady Is A Tramp/Oh, Lady Be Good
2. Black Coffee
3. Willow Weep For Me
4. I Love Paris
5. Skylark
6. I Thought About You
7. What Is This Thing Called Love?
8. I Just Don’t Know
9. Mountain Greenery
10. Georgia On My Mind
11. Takin’ A Chance On Love
12. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You/Till There Was You
13. Besame Mucho
14. Fore Day Creep
15. You’ll Never Know

Janet Carroll may not be a name that jumps out to seasoned jazz fans, but the veteran singer/actress has built an extensive résumé in film, television, and on-stage, in addition to several earlier self-produced jazz albums. The gifted alto has performed extensively with jazz bands, and this 2010 Arbors release is a sure bet at getting her much wider recognition in the jazz world. Starting with Cole Porter's whimsical "The Lady Is a Tramp," she sticks closer to its original (though somewhat dated) lyrics, but injects them with a personal touch and sense of humor, then seamlessly segues into "Lady Be Good." She captures the essence of "Black Coffee" (a hit for Peggy Lee and other female vocalists), with Warren Vaché adding a playful second voice on muted cornet. One of the biggest surprises is her choice of Ida Cox's "Fore Day Creep." She dives headfirst into this vintage blues from the '20s, with David Finck providing a delicious walking bassline and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen adding gritty backing while she inserts amusing asides. The midtempo setting of "What Is This Thing Called Love" is a refreshing departure from the usual racehorse tempi on record dates, opening in a bossa nova mood then transforming into bop. Carroll is also very relaxed when she sings the original Spanish lyric to the bittersweet "Besame Mucho." Her final selection is a dreamy rendition of "You'll Never Know," backed solely by Mike Renzi's elegant piano. (AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden)