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youtube.com/The Bobbie Wygant Archive
Source: youtube.com/The Bobbie Wygant Archive

Selma Diamond — Remembering Life and Death of the Beloved 'Night Court' Actress

Rebelander Basilan
Aug 02, 2020
06:00 P.M.
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Selma Diamond was best known for her role as Selma Hacker on the hit television series "Night Court." Her high-range, raspy voice also made her a successful actress.

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Diamond was born in August 1920, in Montréal, Québec, Canada, according to IMDb. Before she became an actress, she was a writer for television shows.

Diamond was a graduate of New York University. She initially sells cartoons and fiction to the "New Yorker" magazine to make a living.

Selma Diamond during an interview with host Johnny Carson on November 20, 1984. | Photo: Getty Images

Selma Diamond during an interview with host Johnny Carson on November 20, 1984. | Photo: Getty Images

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She was then hired by NBC as a writer for one of its radio shows, "The Big Show." She later wrote for television such as "Ozzie and Harriet," "The Milton Berle Show," "The Perry Como Show," and "Caesar's Hour," which earned her a nomination for an Emmy in 1956.

Her first movie appearance came when she was invited to join the cast of "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" in 1963. She provided the telephone voice of the wife of Spencer Tracy, as reported by The New York Times.

Diamond often made an appearance on both the Jack Paar and Johnny Carson versions of the "Tonight" show. In a 1965 interview, the actress talked about the result of her appearances.

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Robert Blake and Selma Diamond during an interview with host Johnny Carson on November 20, 1984. | Photo: Getty Images

Robert Blake and Selma Diamond during an interview with host Johnny Carson on November 20, 1984. | Photo: Getty Images

"When I walk along a street, a lot of viewers greet me by my first name," she said. "To them, I seem to have become one of those people identified by just one name. You know, like Picasso, Garbo, Drano."

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Diamond also did several television work and was a regular in the 1980 series "Too Close for Comfort" before joining the cast of "Night Court" (1984).

The actress had entered Cedars Sinai Medical Center on May 1 for treatment.

For her spectacular performance in "Night Court," she received a nomination for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

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On May 13, 1985, Diamond passed away from lung cancer in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was 64 years old. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the actress had entered Cedars Sinai Medical Center on May 1 for treatment.

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Carl Reiner, the director and actor who worked with Diamond as a writer on "Caesar's Hour," opened up about the actress during an interview.

"She was very terse," said Reiner. "Even in her work on 'Night Court,' she didn't go into any long routines. She would just walk in and drop a few plums."

Diamond's other notable projects include "My Favorite Year," "All of Me," "Bang the Drum Slowly," "Lovesick," and "The Twilight Zone."

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