skip navigation
Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Claudine DVD Diahann Caroll was nominated for an Oscar for her riveting portrayal of the... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Carmen Jones DVD A sultry plant worker drives a wartime soldier to murder in Jacksonville, Fla.... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Patricia Cornwell's At Risk... Based on the novel by one of the world's best-selling authors, the Lifetime... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Patricia Cornwell's The Front... Based on the novel by one of the world's best-selling authors, the Lifetime... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Eve's Bayou DVD This moving tale of family conflict is a first-rate drama. Samuel Jackson is the... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

From The Dead Of Night DVD A brush with death has left fashion designer Joanna (Lindsey Wagner) with some... more info $6.99was $6.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Carol Diahann Johnson Died:
Born: July 17, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, singer, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A consummate and multi-award-winning performer on film, television, record and stage, Diahann Carroll's life was marked by a series of landmark achievements for black talent, and in particular, black female talent, for over 40 years. She was the first African-American woman to win a Tony for her turn in 1961's "No Strings;" four years later, she made history again with "Julia" (NBC, 1968-1971), the first series to star a black woman in a role other than a domestic servant. She was also the first African-American performer to replace a white actress in a Broadway play with "Agnes of God" in 1983 and the first to play Norma Desmond in the musical version of "Sunset Blvd." Along the way, there were countless honors for her work in television and film, as well as critically acclaimed nightclub appearances and a best-selling autobiography in 2008. Carroll's legendary body of work in nearly every entertainment medium proved her to be among the most acclaimed and more importantly, historically significant African-American entertainers in modern history.

A consummate and multi-award-winning performer on film, television, record and stage, Diahann Carroll's life was marked by a series of landmark achievements for black talent, and in particular, black female talent, for over 40 years. She was the first African-American woman to win a Tony for her turn in 1961's "No Strings;" four years later, she made history again with "Julia" (NBC, 1968-1971), the first series to star a black woman in a role other than a domestic servant. She was also the first African-American performer to replace a white actress in a Broadway play with "Agnes of God" in 1983 and the first to play Norma Desmond in the musical version of "Sunset Blvd." Along the way, there were countless honors for her work in television and film, as well as critically acclaimed nightclub appearances and a best-selling autobiography in 2008. Carroll's legendary body of work in nearly every entertainment medium proved her to be among the most acclaimed and more importantly, historically significant African-American entertainers in modern history.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Sing Your Song (2011)
5.
 Courage to Love, The (2000) Pouponne
7.
 Jackie's Back! (1999)
8.
 Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years (1999) Sarah L "Sadie" Delany
9.
 Sweetest Gift, The (1998) Mrs Wilson
10.
 Eve's Bayou (1997) Elzora
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1941:
Began singing at age 6 with her Harlem church choir
1945:
Won a scholarship from the Metropolitan Opera at age 10
:
Modeled for Johnson Publications
:
Auditioned for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show using the more exotic sounding name of Diahann Carroll
1953:
Won another TV talent show appearance which earned her a week's engagement at the Latin Quarter nightclub
:
Toured with Lou Walters' "Jazz Revue"
1954:
Screen debut opposite Dorothy Dandridge as the femme fatale in Otto Preminger's all-black, updated movie version of "Carmen"
1954:
Broadway debut as the virginal protege of a brothel owner (played by Pearl Bailey) in the Harold Arlen-Truman Capote musical "House of Flowers"
1959:
Portrayed Clara in Preminger's "Porgy and Bess," starring Sidney Poitier as Porgy and Dandridge as Bess; Pearl Bailey also starred
1961:
Acted opposite Poitier in Martin Ritt's "Paris Blues"; also starred Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
1962:
Won a Tony Award for her role in "No Strings"; was the only musical for which Richard Rodgers wrote both the music and lyrics
1967:
Third film with director Otto Preminger, "Hurry Sundown"
1968:
Starred in own NBC TV series, "Julia" (was the second African American actress to star in her own series); nominated for an Emmy Award in 1969
1974:
Received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for John Berry's "Claudine"
1976:
Headlined the short-lived CBS variety series, "The Diahann Carroll Show"
1982:
Re-teamed with director John Berry for "Sister, Sister," an NBC TV movie scripted by Maya Angelou
1983:
Returned to Broadway to star in "Agnes of God"; replaced actress, Elizabeth Ashley
1984:
Joined the cast of the popular prime-time soap "Dynasty" (ABC) as Dominique Deveraux, the half-sister of Blake Carrington (John Forsythe)
1985:
Reprised the role of Dominique Deveraux for the "Dynasty" spin-off "The Colbys" (ABC)
1988:
Cast in a recurring role as Marion Gilbert in "A Different World"; received an Emmy nomination in 1989
1991:
Returned to features in Robert Townsend's "The Five Heartbeats"
1995:
Starred in the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" (first and only African-American to play the lead role of Norma Desmond)
1997:
Appeared as a voodoo priestess in "Eve's Bayou" starring Samuel L Jackson and Lynn Whitfield
1998:
Acted in the Showtime movie, "The Sweetest Gift"
:
Toured the USA in a concert tour featuring the music of Lerner and Loewe
1999:
Co-starred as Sadie Delaney in the CBS TV-movie "Having Our Say"
2000:
Played Natalie Cole's mother in the NBC biopic "The Natalie Cole Story"
2003:
Has a recurring role as Aunt Ruthie on the Showtime series, "Soul Food"
2006:
Cast in a recurring role as the demanding mother of Dr. Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) on "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC); received an Emmy nomination in 2008 for Guest Actress in a Drama
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

High School of Music & Art: New York , New York -
New York University: New York , New York -

Notes

"Her singing and her appearance immediately gave me the idea of starring her in a musical in which she would play a chic, sophisticated woman of the world. She would not represent a cause or be a symbol of her race, but a believeable human being, very much a part of a stratum of society that the theatre thus far had never considered for a black actress". --Richard Rodgers about writing "No Strings" for Carroll ("Musical Stages" 1975).

"And I really believe that it was important for me to do 'Agnes of God'. I think that out of 'Agnes of God' came 'Dynasty'. [Lew Erlicht, the head of ABC Entertainment] came to see me in 'Agnes of God' shortly before I closed, and when I closed I was trying to pull myself together again, because for 'Agnes' I was on stage for the entire play, and I began to watch television again, which was not my habit. And I saw 'Dynasty', and I called Aaron [Spelling] and told him that he definitely needed me. I thought it would be very wise to be the first black bitch on television, and to do it properly, not to hedge it. Make sure she was really not likeable, but quite lovely. Well, in the meeting, the gentleman who had the responsibility to say yea or nay, was the one who had seen me in 'Agnes of God'!" --Diahann Carroll in THEATERWEEK, January 1-7, 1996

"My dear, after a certain point, glamour is just maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!" --Carroll to columnist Liz Smith in May 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Monte Kay. Casting director, TV producer. Divorced.
companion:
Sidney Poitier. Together for nine years; Poitier was married.
companion:
David Frost. Together for three years.
husband:
Fredde Glusman. Las Vegas clothier. Divorced after four months.
husband:
Robert DeLeon. Magazine editor. Managing editor of JET magazine; married from 1975 until his death in a car crash in 1977; 15 years her junior.
husband:
Vic Damone. Singer. Born in 1928; met in 1979; married in January 1987; filed for legal separation on April 1, 1991 after four years of marriage and twelve years together; reconciled; filed for divorce in September 1996; divorced.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Frank Johnson. Subway conductor.
mother:
Mabel Johnson. Nurse for retarded children.
daughter:
Suzanne Ottilie. Born c. 1966; father, Monte Kay.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Diahann: An Autobiography"

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute