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Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film Lady Sings the Blues (1972); she recorded its soundtrack, which became a number-one hit.She also starred in two other feature films, Mahogany (1975) and The Wiz (1978), later acting in the television films Out of Darkness (1994), for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and Double Platinum (1999).
After her mother recovered, her family moved back to Detroit.
Her 1980 album Diana produced another number-one single, "Upside Down", as well as the international hit "I'm Coming Out".
Ross' final single with Motown during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US number-one Pop hit, the duet "Endless Love" featuring Lionel Richie, whose solo career was launched with its success.
Later, following local success via live performances at sock hops, etc., Ross approached former neighbor (and rumored childhood former boyfriend), William "Smokey" Robinson, who insisted that the group audition for him first.
Robinson agreed to bring the Primettes to Motown, in exchange for letting him and the Miracles hire the Primettes' guitarist, Marv Tarplin, for an upcoming tour.