Diahann Carroll was born as Carroll Diahann Johnson on July 17, 1935 in Bronx, New York. She attended Music & Art High School with Billy Dee Williams. By the time she was 15 she began modeling for Ebony magazine she stood at 6 feet tall and had a lean figure. After she graduated from high school she began attending New York University, majoring in sociology.
Carroll's film debut would be in the 1954 film Carmen Jones she also starred in the Broadway Musical, House of Flowers. By 1959 she starred in the film version of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, in 1960 she made a guest appearance on the series Peter Gun, in 1961 she starred in the film Paris Blues with Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman.
Paris Blues was a film that way ahead of its time in my personal opinion. The cast was incredible the musical score from Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong was amazing. The film did not get the critical acclaim it deserved in my personal opinion also it touched on an intense subject America's racism and the Civil Rights Movement. Also in this film the African American characters Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll were not struggling financially he was a jazz musician and she was a school teacher. It is a good date film or if you want to eat snacks and have a glass of wine you chill and watch this film if you like throwbacks.
In 1962 she starred in the musical No Strings and she became the first African American actress to win a Tony Award. In 1968 she became the first African American actress to star in her own television series, this was significant because she did not play the role of a domestic worker. In 1969 she was nominated for an Emmy for the series, and she won a Golden Globe Award for the role of Nurse Julia. In 1974 she was nominated for an Academy Award as best actress for her role in the film Claudine.
In 1984 she became apart of the nighttime soap opera Dynasty as the feisty Dominique Deverax this role also reunited her with actor Billy Dee Williams as her onscreen husband she was on the show until 1987, and made appearance on the spin-off The Colby's.
In 1989 she joined the cast of A Different World she was a recurring character Marion Gilbert, the mother of the southern debutante Whitley Gilbert, she kept this role until 1993 when the series ended. In 1991 she starred in the film The Five Heartbeats.
She continues work today she has appeared in Grey's Anatomy, Lifetime films such as At Risk and The Font, she currently stars on the USA series White Collar. She is a breast cancer survivor, mother, and grandmother, her career has spanned for nearly six decades.
Diahann Carroll is a diamond we love you and celebrate you. I often joke and tell my friends I want to be like Diahann Carroll when I really grow up I have so much respect for this woman. She has untouchable swagger and elegance that is timeless.