- Category : Singer - Popular
- Type : GE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Small (19)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Obscuration 1
Diahann Carroll ( born July 17, 1935) is an American television and stage actress and singer. She has had a long, successful career that has spanned nearly six decades.
After appearing in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts such as Carmen Jones (1954) and Porgy and Bess (1959), she starred in Julia (1968), one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role. Later she created the role of Dominique Deveraux on the popular prime time soap opera, Dynasty.
She is the recipient of numerous stage and screen awards and nominations. Carroll has been married four times and became the mother of a daughter in 1960. She is a breast cancer survivor and activist.
Carroll was born Carol Diahann Johnson in The Bronx, New York, to John Johnson of Aiken, South Carolina and Mabel Faulk of Bladenboro, North Carolina. When Carroll was an infant, the family moved to Harlem, where she grew up. She attended Music & Art High School, along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams. In many interviews about her childhood, Diahann Carroll recalls her parents' support of her and that they enrolled her in dance, singing and modeling classes. By the time Diahann Carroll was 15, she was modeling for Ebony magazine. She stood 6ft and had a lean build. After graduating from high school, Diahann Carroll attended New York University, majoring in sociology.
At the age of 18, Carroll got her big break when she appeared as a contestant on the Dumont Television Network program, Chance of a Lifetime. On the show which aired Friday, January 8, 1954, Carroll took the $1,000 top prize on the strength of her rendition of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein song, "Why Was I Born?" She went on to win the following four weeks. Engagements at Manhattan's Café Society and Latin Quarter nightclubs soon followed.
Carroll's film debut was a supporting role in Carmen Jones (1954) as a friend of the sultry lead character. She then starred in the Broadway musical, House of Flowers. In 1959, she played Clara in the film version of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, but her character's singing parts were dubbed by opera singer Loulie Jean Norman. She made a guest star appearance in the series Peter Gunn, in the episode "Sing a Song of Murder" in 1960. She starred with Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in the 1961 film Paris Blues. In 1962, she won the Tony Award for best actress (a first for a black woman) for the role of Barbara Woodruff in the Samuel A. Taylor and Richard Rodgers musical No Strings. In 1974, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Claudine.
Carroll is best known for her title role in the 1968 television series Julia, which made her the first African American actress to star in her own television series where she did not play a domestic worker. She was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1969, and won the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress In A Television Series" in 1968. Her first Emmy nomination had come in 1963 for Naked City. Some of her other earlier work included appearances on shows hosted by Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Judy Garland and Ed Sullivan, and on The Hollywood Palace variety show.
In 1984, Carroll joined the nighttime soap opera Dynasty as the jetsetter Dominique Deveraux, half-sister of Blake Carrington (played by actor John Forsythe). Her high profile role on Dynasty also reunited her with actor Billy Dee Williams, who briefly played her onscreen husband Brady Lloyd. Carroll remained on the show until 1987, simultaneously making several appearances on its short-lived spin-off, The Colbys.
She received her third Emmy nomination in 1989 for the recurring role of Marion Gilbert in A Different World. In 2006, she appeared in the television medical drama Grey's Anatomy as Jane Burke, the demanding mother of Dr. Preston Burke. In 1991, Carrol played the role of Eleanor Potter, the wife of Jimmy Potter (Chuck Patterson), in "The Five Heartbeats," a musical drama film in which Jimmy is the manager of the group. In this role Carroll was a doting, concerned, and protective wife. She starred alongside actor and musician Robert Towsend, Leon Michael Wright, and others.
She appeared as Nana in 2010 Lifetime Movies At Risk and The Front, movie adaptations of two Patricia Cornwell novels.
In December 2008, Carroll was cast in USA Network’s series White Collar as June, the savvy widow who rents out her guest room to Neal Caffrey.
In 2010, Carroll was featured in UniGlobe Entertainment's breast cancer docudrama entitled, 1 a Minute,
Carroll married four times, the first, to record producer Monte Kay. The union produced a daughter, Suzanne Kay Bamford (born September 9, 1960), who became a freelance media journalist.
In 1973, Carroll surprised the press by marrying Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman. Several weeks later, she filed for divorce, charging Glusman with physical abuse. In 1975, she married Robert DeLeon, a managing editor of Jet magazine. She was widowed two years later when DeLeon was killed in a car crash. Carroll's fourth and final marriage was to singer Vic Damone in 1987. The union, which Carroll admitted was turbulent, saw a legal separation in 1991, reconciliation, and divorce in 1996] Carroll for a time also dated and was engaged to British television host and producer David Frost.