Diana Ross isn’t your average entertainer – and she isn’t your average 75 year old, either.

Following a birthday tribute at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, the Motown legend is currently celebrating her Diamond Jubilee with a national tour. She’s done Las Vegas a few times and New Orleans, but now she’s headed to Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan for a concert on June 22.

The Museum of the Moving Image will celebrate the double-threat Diva, her nativity, and her visit to the Big Apple with a special film retrospective, “Starring Diana Ross,” this weekend. (Remember: Miss Ross is also a celluloid hero with various major acting awards on her shelf.)

The Wiz” goes first on Saturday, June 15, at noon. The birthday girl plays the role of Dorothy, a young teacher in Harlem who gets swept away to Oz while out walking her dog, Toto, on a snowy night. Michael Jackson, Lena Horne and Nipsey Russell also star in this classic 1978 retelling of “The Wizard of Oz,” which is the first movie to be shot at Kaufman Astoria Studios after it re-opened in the 1970s.

Lady Sings the Blues” goes next on June 15 at 3 p.m. Miss Ross made her big screen debut as Billie Holiday in this 1973 film. Based on Holiday’s best-selling autobiography, it charts the jazz-and-blues singer’s traumatic youth, fraught romance with a manager, stardom, and destructive drug addiction. Miss Ross, who co-stars with Billy Dee Williams, got an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

By designing her own costumes, Miss Ross demonstrated another facet of her talent in “Mahogany,” which shows on June 15 at 6:30 p.m. The 1975 Motown production follows a rags-to-riches Chicago fashion designer and model who is forced to choose between romance and career.

A second showing of “The Wiz” closes the series on Sunday, June 16, at noon.

General admission is $15, but seniors and students pay $11. Youth (ages three to 17) can attend for $9. Children under age three can watch for free.

Miss Ross rose to international fame as the lead singer in the Supremes in the 1960s. The trio had 12 number one hits, including “Stop! In the Name of Love,” Where Did Our Love Go,” and “You Can’t Hurry Love.” In the 1970s, the Detroit native went solo, while also venturing into the Big Screen. (She had done some television acting in the late 1960s.) Over the following decades, she has kept up the pace while adding Broadway, social activism, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Presidential Medal of Freedom to her resume.

The Museum of the Moving Image is located at 36-01 35th Ave. in Astoria’s Kaufman Arts District.

Images: Diana Ross (top); Museum of the Moving Image (gallery)


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