DIAHANN CARROLL Biography - Musicians


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Name: Carol Diahann Johnson                                                             
Born: July 17, 1935 Bronx, New York, U.S.                                               
Diahann Carroll (born July 17, 1935) is an American Academy Award-nominated,           
Golden Globe- and Tony Award-winning actress and singer. Born Carol Diahann             
Johnson in The Bronx, New York, she attended Manhattan's School of Performing           
Arts, along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams. Her family moved to the Harlem         
neighborhood of New York City when she was one and a half years old.                   
Carrol's first film assignment was a supporting role in Carmen Jones in 1954,           
playing a friend of the sultry Carmen played by Dorothy Dandridge. 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 along with such distinguished             
actors as Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., and Pearl Bailey.         
All singing voices were dubbed in the film, with the exception of Pearl Bailey,         
with the opera singer Loulie Jean Norman standing in for Carroll. 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 probably best known for her title role in Julia in 1968. This               
landmark accomplishment established Carroll as 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 for the role in 1969, and won the           
Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress In A Television Series” in 1968.[1] Her       
first Emmy nomination came in 1963 for her work in Naked City. Some of Carroll's       
other earlier television work includes appearances on shows hosted by Jack Paar,       
Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson, Judy Garland and Ed Sullivan, and The Hollywood           
Palace variety show.                                                                   
In the 1980s, Diahann was signed on to join the star ensemble of the glitzy             
nighttime soap opera Dynasty and its spin-off The Colbys, as the jet setter,           
Dominique Deveraux, the half-sister of Blake Carrington played by actor John           
Forsythe. Carroll mused at the lavish wardrobing on these shows, comparing it to       
the US$50 budget for her nurse's uniform on Julia.[citation needed] It was for         
her recurring role as Marion Gilbert in A Different World that she received her         
third Emmy nomination 1989. In 2006, Carroll was cast in the television comedy/drama   
Grey's Anatomy as Jane Burke, the demanding mother of Dr. Preston Burke.               
Carroll starred in the Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical             
version of the classic film Sunset Boulevard . She played the lead role, crazed         
silent movie star Norma Desmond, with the role of Joe Gillis played by Rex Smith.