One of TV's first, Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll
Wed, 1935-07-17

On this date in 1935, Diahann Carroll was born. She is an African American actress and singer.

She was born in the Bronx, New York, and first appeared on stage in "Carmen Jones" (1954) and "Porgy and Bess" (1957). She also played in two successful TV series, as the working-mother title character on "Julia" (1968–71). She was the first black American actress to star in her own 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," and won a Tony award for the 1962 musical "No Strings" that was tailored especially for her by Richard Rogers.

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). Most recently 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 has recovered and last year play Maria in the TV movie "The Natalie Cole Story."

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Carroll, Diahann