Diahann Carroll Biography
Diahann Carroll born Carol Diahann Johnson, is an American television and stage actress and singer. She was born on July 17, 1935 in the Bronx, New York, to John Johnson and Mabel. She grew up in Harlem.
She enrolled in dance, singing, and modeling classes. By the time Diahann Carroll was 15, she was modeling for Ebony. She attended Music and Art High School. After graduating from high school, Diahann Carroll attended New York University, majoring in sociology.
Carroll got her big break when she appeared as a contestant on the Dumont Television Network program, Chance of a Lifetime, hosted by Dennis James. Carroll’s film debut was a supporting role in Carmen Jones (1954) as a rival to the sultry lead character played by Dorothy Dandridge. That same year, she starred in the Broadway musical, House of Flowers. In 1959, she played Clara in the film version of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, but her character’s singing parts were dubbed by opera singer Loulie Jean Norman.
She is well known by the public for her starring role as the title character in Julia (1968) which was one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a nonstereotypical role.
In 1962, Diahann 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 the film Claudine. Her title role in the 1968 television series Julia, won her the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress In A Television Series” in 1968, and a nomination for an Emmy Award in 1969.
Diahann Carroll Age – Diane Carroll Age
She was born on July 17, 1935.
Diahann Carroll Husbands – Diahann Carroll Spouse
Carroll married four times, first to record producer Monte Kay. They had first met when he worked as casting director for House of Flowers. Mr. Kay was from Brooklyn and Diahann’s father had serious problems accepting his daughter wanted to marry a white man, but he soon came over it. In 1973, Carroll married Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman. Several weeks later, she filed for divorce, charging Glusman with physical abuse. In 1975, Carroll married Robert DeLeon, a managing editor of Jet. She was widowed two years later when DeLeon was killed in a car crash. Carroll’s fourth marriage was to singer Vic Damone in 1987. The union had a legal separation in 1991, reconciliation, and divorce in 1996.
Diahann Carroll Daughter Suzanne Kay
The union between Carroll and her first husband record producer Monte Kay produced a daughter, Suzanne Kay Bamford. She was born on September 9, 1960. She became a freelance media journalist.
Diahann Carroll Grandchildren
Diahann is the grandmother of daughter Suzanne’s two children.
Diahann Carroll Net Worth – Diane Carroll Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of $28 million.
Diahann Carroll Wigs
Diahann Carroll has a gorgeous collection of wigs for African American women features classic, elegant styles. Diahann Carroll Collection offers wigs (which looks so full and natural and feels as light as air) and human hair wigs for black women to look their best and feel confident.
Diahann Carroll Quotes
- “And for each and every performance (and each and every wedding, for that matter), I was always on time, always prepared, and always, always coiffed and dressed.”
- “You have to keep your sanity as well as know how to distance yourself from it while still holding onto the reins tightly. That is a very difficult thing to do, but I’m learning.”
- “You cannot be a legitimate nightclub performer, as far as I’m concerned, in sensible shoes. To me, high heels have always been symbols of sensuality…I like the way I feel in them. And when you become a senior citizen, there’s great pleasure to be had in the fact that even when the tummy isn’t as taut as it used to be, the legs are still shapely and slender. They really are the last things to go, you know.”
- “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”
- “Some people might say I’m too image-conscious. They don’t think that walking around in beaded dresses and heels adds up to a meaningful life. I don’t do that everyday. But I do it more than your favorite senior citizen…I’m nothing is not materialistic, and have been since I was young. My idea of a good time is shopping, and nobody is going to make me feel guilty about it.”
- “But it also became quite clear that we were the only blacks on the Paramount lot. It was only temporary for this “black movie” (there was usually one every few years) that our presence in Hollywood was wanted. We all knew there’d be little place for us after the movie wrapped. Everyone on staff was polite, but thought of us as outsiders.” (On working on the film Carmen Jones)
- I’ve spent about that amount of time trying to tell the public that there was purpose in… my business, my career and the roller coaster ride… how the people I associated with worked together.
Diahann Carroll Movies and TV Shows
Diahann Carroll Movies
- Carmen Jones – 1954
- Porgy and Bess – 1959
- Goodbye Again – 1961
- Paris Blues – 1961
- Hurry Sundown – 1967
- The Split – 1968
- Claudine – 1974
- Sister, Sister – 1982
- The Five Heartbeats – 1991
- Color Adjustment (documentary) – 1992
- Eve’s Bayou – 1997
- Over The River…Life of Lydia Maria Child, Abolitionist for Freedom (documentary as narrator) – 2008
- Tyler Perry Presents Peeples – 2013
- The Masked Saint – 2014
- The Greatest Showman – 2017
- Chance of a Lifetime – 1954
- The Red Skelton Hour – 1954
- Peter Gunn – 1960
- The Man in the Moon – 1960
- The Garry Moore Show – 1960
- Naked City – 1962
- The Eleventh Hour – 1963
- The Judy Garland Show – episode #21 – 1964
- Frank Sinatra-A Man And His Music Television Special – 1968
- Julia – 1968–1971
- The Diahann Carroll Show – 1976
- The Love Boat – 1977
- Star Wars Holiday Special – 1978
- Dynasty – 1984–1987
- The Colbys – 1985–1986
- From the Dead of Night – 1989
- A Different World – 1989–1993
- Murder in Black and White – 1990
- Sunday in Paris – 1991
- Lonesome Dove: The Series – 1994–1995
- A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle – 1994
- The Sweetest Gift – 1998
- Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years – 1999
- Jackie’s Back – 1999
- The Courage to Love – 2000
- Sally Hemings: An American Scandal – 2000
- Livin’ for Love: The Natalie Cole Story – 2000
- The Court – 2002
- Soul Food – 2003–2004
- Whoopi – 2004
- Grey’s Anatomy – 2006–2007
- White Collar – 2009–2014
- Diahann Carroll: The Lady. The Music. The Legend – 2010
Diahann Carroll News
Diahann Carroll: Return of the dynasty diva
Updated: 18:35, Tue, Dec 29, 2015
Diahann Carroll is scared. “I’ve never been so terrified,” says the Hollywood diva. “And yet I’ve never felt so alive.”
She was the first black actress to star in her own TV series, has won a Golden Globe, a Tony award on Broadway and was nominated for an Oscar but at 80 the aristocratic beauty is taking on her biggest challenge yet.
“I always swore I’d never do reality TV but here I am,” she says of her new series The Grands, following Carroll and two octogenarian friends on their misadventures around Manhattan, which she hopes will come to British screens in 2016.
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“It’s more than a little terrifying because there’s no script but it’s also very exciting to find out that you’re still alive and your brain is nimble enough to do it. It really gives me life but it’s filled with anxiety, which I don’t need at my age.”
She is driven to challenge herself after suffering a crushing blow: the death of her acclaimed six-decade singing career.
“Unfortunately I’ve been told to stop performing by my doctors,” says the velvet-voiced star of movie musicals including Carmen Jones and Porgy And Bess.
“I have acid reflux, which is very damaging to the vocal cords. I could spend all day every day and every dime I earn trying to correct it but I’ve had to accept it’s part of my ageing process. It’s a pain in the neck,” she says, pun intended.
“I can still sing in the shower but it’s not possible for me to perform for 90 minutes on stage any longer. I love singing and I miss it terribly.”
A fighter, she is throwing herself into her new reality TV series, plus a leading role in feature film The Masked Saint, opening in the US next week and coming to the UK.
“I still enjoy acting and still get excited, though it’s very challenging and I get quite nervous.”
Carroll still carries herself with the patrician elegance she displayed for four seasons on classic Eighties TV show Dynasty as Dominique Devereaux, the nightclub owner decked in diamonds and furs.
“I was the first black b**** on television and it was so great, such fun. The wardrobe was wonderful. There was something of me in Dominique, she was a career woman with a daughter and they didn’t get along that well. Dominique was a very controlling woman and I was absolutely controlling.
“I was so sad to see it end. The cast were outstanding, John Forsyth, Linda Evans and of course Joan Collins.”
Carroll’s on-screen clashes with Collins were so vituperative that many suspected the duo truly loathed one another.
“I did not hate the b****,” she laughs. “Leave some mystery.”
On screen and off Carroll rarely takes the easy path. “I’m attracted to challenging work. Evidently with husbands I was also attracted to that sort of challenging, frightening, not-possible-but-we’re-going-to-try-it-anyway relationships.”
Husband No3 was magazine editor Robert DeLeon, who died in a car crash in 1977 after two years of marriage.
“I think that I made all the mistakes I could make in a relationship,” she sighs.
“I was constantly leaving and you cannot marry and then repeatedly go back on the road. Each marriage I thought I was wiser and wouldn’t make the same mistakes but I did.”
Husband No4 was crooner Vic Damone, who loved golf more than her in a 1987 marriage that lasted four years.
“All relationships are turbulent,” she shrugs. “Maybe I enjoy the drama in a relationship.” During her first marriage she launched a passionate on-off affair with actor Sidney Poitier that endured nine years.
“We considered marriage but putting two hard workers in one household is a bad idea,” she says. “We understood it would be impossible.”
In the early-Seventies she was engaged to British TV host David Frost, recalling: “We were wonderful together but he travelled constantly and so did I. We concluded that marriage wouldn’t make any sense.”
Carroll was the first black female star of her own show on American TV, portraying a working single mother when her sitcom Julia debuted in 1968, yet she notes that it was more than four decades before Kerry Washington became the next black female TV lead in Scandal.
“There hasn’t been great progress in racism on television,” says Carroll.
“I tried very hard not to make every job about racism because it’s there, it’s the elephant in the room and I can’t walk away from it ever. But I still experience racism on many levels. I might have had a very different career if I had been white.”
A self-confessed “hopeless romantic” she won’t say if there is a man in her life but concedes: “It’s healthy to be involved with a partner.”
Carroll is trying to avoid the confrontations she once embraced. “One of the joys of getting older is realising that I don’t have to be as controlling. I can walk away from situations where I used to stand my ground and fight.”
A breast cancer survivor who underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy in 1998 Carroll campaigns for a cure and assures: “Cancer does not have to be a death sentence.
“I treasure the fact that I’m still alive and have enough left in my brain to think – maybe not so clearly all the time but it’s there – and still enjoy life and laughing. I’m very grateful for all those things.”