Mind Blown: It’s ‘Nun’ Other Than Motown’s Supremes on TV
It's not often that a trivia buff like me has his mind blown, but a video clip this morning posted on Twitter did just that. Here are Diana Ross and the Supremes playing singing nuns on NBC's adventure series "Tarzan".
(Nandy Ross via YouTube)
NBC broadcast the episode fifty-four years ago tonight. IMDb describes the plot this way: "A nun returns to her village to bring medicine and treat the sick. She is torn between her tribal heritage and those who oppose her new life."
Now, it's not all that strange to have pop stars and sports stars appear on TV shows, and especially back in the 1960's, but still, the biggest female singing group in pop music history playing singing nuns is a bit of a stretch (and remember, don't confuse this with "The Singing Nun" and her charting topping song "Dominique" in 1964. By the way, the Singing Nun really was a nun, in France).
Here's something that might make this make more sense. Looking at Diana Ross' credits, this Tarzan episode is her first acting credit. There's another one in 1971 on a Danny Thomas sitcom, and then her third acting credit is "Lady Sings the Blues", where Ross was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of blues legend Billie Holiday.
Another interesting side note, even though Ross was nominated for an Oscar, she only appeared in two more starring roles in movies: Mahogany, in 1975 (and her "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To) also was a number one song, and The Wiz, the remake of The Wizard of Oz, with Michael Jackson.
One last trivia tidbit from that Tarzan episode. Look for a young James Earl Jones. You can't miss his voice.
And a h/t to Ken Coleman, @HistoryLivesDet for this fascinating find.