Diana Ross

Diana Ross on Screen: Her Best Acting Performances


Dec. 25 2023, Published 4:13 p.m. ET

Diana Ross is best known for her musical prowess. The highly successful singer was part of the vocal music group The Supremes. The singer also pursued a rewarding solo music career after parting ways with her group.

In addition to dominating the music scene back in the seventies and eighties, the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough Singer” was also able to pursue her dreams of appearing on the big screen. She had roles in several notable film projects, including The Wiz, Mahogany, and the sensational Lady Sings the Blues.

Read on to learn more about Diana’s best movie roles.

Diana Ross’ Best Screen Performances

In a 1994 interview published by the Baltimore Sun, Ross claimed that she always considered herself an actress, even though it did not come naturally.

After enjoying years of success as part of The Supremes, Diana Ross launched a career in TV and film back in the ‘70s. Some of her best roles include:

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‘Lady Sings the Blues’

This is considered to be one of Ross's most epic screen performances to date. The singer’s debut film role involved playing the immense Billie Holiday. Her part in this impressive biopic earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. In the movie, Ross had to play different ages, sing, and also act like a strung-out heroin addict. In addition to receiving much praise for her performance, Ross also won a Golden Globe courtesy of her exceptional acting skills in this spectacular film.

One of the most epic moments in the film comes when the “Love Hangover” star performs “God Bless the Child” at Carnegie Hall.

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While it was not a big hit with the critics, this film still gave Ross all she needed to shine. The film, which was directed by Berry Gordy (Motown founder), follows the life of an aspiring fashion designer (played by Ross) who is torn between moving to Rome to work with fashion photographer Sean McAvoy as a model or staying in Chicago with her boyfriend. On top of flexing her acting prowess, the movie allowed Ross to show off her stand-out fashion sense – as she designed all of her character’s outfits in the film.

‘The Wiz’

Diana Ross also got to play a major role in the 1979 all-Black remake of The Wizard of Oz. In the movie, the “Endless Love” hitmaker excels in her role as Dorothy. Her character is a shy teacher from Harlem who finds herself magically transported to the Land of Oz – a dream version of the city of New York.

While this version of the story comes with some modern updates – including an action-packed chase through the subway — Dorothy is joined by her regular accomplices, the Tin Man (played by Nipsey Russell), the Cowardly Lion (played by Ted Ross) and the Scarecrow (played by Michael Jackson).

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In addition to the above big screen appearances, Diana Ross also appeared in several TV movies, including Out of Darkness and Double Platinum. While promoting the former, Diana Ross stated, “I’ve been searching for a way to get back into acting.” However, she continued by saying, “But there weren’t a lot of films for Black females,” — explaining her hiatus from acting.

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