She Played Corinne on "Soap." See Diana Canova Now at 69.
The former sitcom star retired from onscreen acting almost 25 years ago.
As the daughter of film, Broadway, and radio star Judy Canova, Diana Canova was exposed to the entertainment industry from a young age. Her first significant TV role was playing a date of Richie Cunningham on Happy Days, after which she did episodes of shows including Chico and the Man, Starsky and Hutch, and Barney Miller. But it was being cast as Corinne Tate, the man-crazy daughter of Jessica (Katherine Helmond) and Chester (Robert Mandan), on the daytime TV parody sitcom Soap that made the younger Canova a big name. She stayed on the show until early in the final season and went on to more roles, though she hasn't acting onscreen in about a decade. Read on to learn what Canova's been up to since the early 1980s.
She was all over TV.
After Soap, Canova continued to act, mostly in television. She had a handful of main, starring roles, including as Diana Cassidy in I'm a Big Girl Now, Harriet Foot in Foot in the Door, Sandy Beatty in Throb, and then Vanessa Bailey in Home Free. And she guest-starred in shows including The Love Boat; Murder, She Wrote; and St. Elsewhere. After appearing in the 1998 drama film One True Thing, Canova shifted mostly to voice work, lending her voice to several characters mainly in animated shorts over the years. Her most recent credit is the 2011 short film How (Not) to Borrow a Car.
She also acted in theater.
Canova is also a singer and has performed in several musicals. In 1981, she appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon's They're Playing Our Song. In 1995, she was in a Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim musical Company, and she sang more of his music in a 2003 production of Putting It Together at the Cape Playhouse in Massachusetts. She also did the musicals Thumbs and I Do! I Do! at the same New England theater and has played roles in other productions in other U.S. cities.
She left and denounced Scientology.
Canova was a member of the controversial (and alleged by some to be abusive) Church of Scientology likely before much of the public had even heard of it. According to TV Guide, she slammed the organization in a 1993 interview with Premiere magazine for bleeding its members for money. "The first time I walked in those doors, they said, 'Just give us all the money in your bank account. You'll get it back tenfold,'" she recalled. "It took me years before I decided to quit. I guess finally I was so fed up with being afraid. You've heard all these horror stories … I believed them."
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She's a professor and theater director.
Nowadays, Canova is teaching the next generation of performers. The Soap star is a part-time professor of voice and music at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. Canova also directs musicals and theater for charity events, and she's led the theater program at Joel Barlow High School in Connecticut to multiple awards over the years.
She's been married to her husband for 40 years.
Canova was married first to songwriter Geoff Levin from 1976 until 1979. In 1982, she married Elliot Scheiner, a sound engineer and producer who has worked with the likes of the Foo Fighters, Van Morrison, Beyoncé, Jimmy Buffett, Phish, and Eric Clapton. They have two children, Matt and Jordie, and tend to keep their family life private outside of their community.