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Wed, 07.17.1935

Diahann Carroll, Actress born

Diahann Carroll

On this date, in 1935, Diahann Carroll was born.  She was a Black actress and singer.

Carol Diahann Johnson was born in the Bronx, New York, and first appeared on stage in "Carmen Jones" (1954) and in the Harold Arlen and Truman Capote musical House of Flowers Geoffrey Holder.  She starred in"Porgy and Bess" (1957).  She won a Tony award for 1962 musical "No Strings" that Richard Rogers tailored especially for her.  

She also played in two successful TV series as the working-mother title character on "Julia" (1968–71).  She was the first Black actress to star in her sitcom and was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her role in "Claudine" (1974).  Carroll landed the role of Norma Desmond in the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard."

In 1976, she won a place in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. She continued on the small screen as a glamorous, scheming businesswoman on "Dynasty" (1984–87).   Seen in the 1998 film "Eve's Bayou," the glamorous, award-winning star of stage and screen is vowing to keep her spirits up despite having to endure painful treatment for breast cancer.  Carroll recovered and played Maria in the TV movie "The Natalie Cole Story."  In 2010 she appeared, along with several other notable women, in the breast cancer documentary “1 a Minute.”

She appeared in the Tina Gordon Chism-helmed film “Peeples” in 2013. Diahann Carroll died on October 4, 2019.  She was married four times to talent manager and music producer Monte Kay, retailer Fred Glusman, editor Robert DeLeon, and singer Vic Damone. Survivors include a daughter, Suzanne Kay, a journalist and screenwriter, and two grandchildren, August and Sydney.

Carroll was saluted in a star-studded memorial on November 24, 2019, at the Helen Hayes Theater in New York City, where she was lauded for her trailblazing work in entertainment.

To become an Actor or Actress


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