Claudia Lonow Played Diana on "Knots Landing." See Her Now at 58.
The actor moved from in front of the camera to behind it.
For years, Claudia Lonow was known as Diana on Knots Landing, one of the children of lead character Karen Cooper Fairgate MacKenzie (Michele Lee). Lonow sums up her time on the show concisely on her website: "Favorite episodes include: the one where she has kidney failure and is saved by Donna Mills's kidney; the one where she runs away with the town murderer, 'Chip,' and drives her mother to drugs; and the one where she almost loses her virginity, but instead winds up donning clown make up and singing 'Put On A Happy Face' with her mom."
Clearly, the nighttime soap featured a wide variety of over-the-top storylines. And while Lonow's real life isn't quite as dramatic, her story has taken a few turns over the years when it comes to both her personal and professional lives. In the years since Knots Landing ended, Lonow gave up acting for a career behind-the-scenes in television. Read on to learn more about her life today.
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She stopped acting years ago.
Following her time on Knots Landing, Lonow appeared in only a few projects, including episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 and 7th Heaven, as well as the Knots Landing miniseries in 1997. Around this time, she was also a standup comedian, which is how she got into writing.
"Lonow's next career was waitressing," her website reads. "She did stand up comedy for a while, working across the country and doing some television. When she gave her best joke to Sarah Silverman, and Silverman killed with it, a writer was born."
Lonow said she was done acting while speaking on a panel in 2012 (via Deadline). "No, my days in front of the camera are behind me," she said, "though I have a loyal following of about 20 followers on Twitter."
She created her first TV series in the late '90s.
Lonow created, wrote, and produced the series Rude Awakening, which aired on Showtime from 1998 to 2001. On her site, Lonow describes the show as a "semi-autobiographical" series "about a former nighttime soap opera television actress who gets sent to rehab." Lonow herself struggled with cocaine and alcohol use. "I was kind of a chunky teenager on television and trying to lose weight, and that was one way I dealt with it," she told the Los Angeles Times of using cocaine in a 1999 interview. "And that kinda made me edgy, so I started drinking to counterbalance that."
She was able to get sober after getting help from therapy groups. "I was really a drunk," she explained. "I would drop off all my clothes at the dry cleaners and forget which one. Crazy things like that. And I was running out of money. I realized I was coming to a point when my life would radically change. I had a moment of clarity when I knew that I would not be able to handle this if I'm still drinking and doing drugs. I realized I had to get some help."
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It isn't the only show inspired by her own life.
In addition to Rude Awakening, Lonow created the series Good Girls Don't and How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life). How to Live with Your Parents, which aired for one season on ABC, was also autobiographical.
"Everything is based in reality. It's unbelievable, I know," she told The Hollywood Reporter of the series in 2012. "It started out as just sort of like a life crisis situation and now it's a crazy thing that I just can't seem to get out of … I'd read about these new shows coming out about the people who move in with their parents and I'd be like, 'Wait, I should be the one who's doing this because I'm the one who is actually living with my parents. I didn't read some trend article in a magazine. I'm a trend-setter.'"
Lonow has also written for and produced other TV shows in addition to the ones she created, including The War at Home, Accidentally on Purpose, and Sean Saves the World. She's written articles for HuffPost, as well.
Her daughter has followed in her footsteps.
Lonow has one child, a daughter named Isabella Roland, who is also an actor. Roland currently appears on the HBO Max comedy series The Sex Lives of College Girls as Carla, and Lonow celebrated her daughter's new role on Instagram. She captioned a series of photos of Roland on set, "Official mom kvell: my spawn @iz_ball is recurring as Carla on @mindykaling new show @thesexlivesofcollegegirls — this is a case of time being a flat circle in an amazing way."