July 17, 1935
Diahann Carroll Johnson Is an American born actress and singer. She was born. She has had one of the most successful career that has spanned nearly six decades.
Carroll was born in Bronx, New York, on July 17, 1935 to John Johnson, and Mabel Johnson. The family moved to Harlem and that is where she grew up. She attended Music & Art High School. In many interviews about her childhood, Diahann Carroll recalls her parents’ support of her and that they enrolled her in dance, singing and modeling classes. At the age of 15 she was modeling for Ebony magazine. She stood 6 ft and had a lean build. After graduating from high school she enrolled in New York University, majoring in sociology.
After appearing in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts such as the famous 1954 film Carmen Jones and , House of Flowers a Broadway musical. 1959 Porgy and Bess. She made a guest appearance in the series Peter Gunn, in the 1960 episode “Sing a Song of Murder” In September 9, 1960 she wed record producer Monte Kay. Their union produced a beautiful daughter named Suzanne Kay Bamford. Suzanne profession these days is a freelance media journalist. Then in the 1961 she was part of the cast of the film Paris Blues In 1962, she won the Tony Award for best actress the first ever win for an African American Woman at that time, first for the role of Barbara Woodruff in the Samuel A. Taylor and Richard Rodgers musical No Strings. Diahann also she starred in Julia on Broadway in the year of 1968. This also took off as a television series JULIA. IT was presented as an American sitcom. The series starred Diahann which depicted her as a single mother raising her child. Her husband, Army Capt. Baker, an O-1 Bird Dog artillery spotter pilot had been shot down in Vietnam, her occupation role was that of a nurse in a doctor’s office and the show was notable for being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. Previous television series featured African American lead characters, but the characters were usually servants. The ratings were 1968-1969 #7 in the nielson rating and in 1969-1970 the show ranked #28 then fell out of the top spot. The sitcom ran for 86 episodes equivalent to 3 series on NBC from September 17, 1968 to March 23, 1971. The series was produced by Savannah Productions, Inc., Hanncar Productions, Inc., and 20th Century-Fox Television. That role won her the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress in a Television Series” in 1968. In 1973 she surprised the press by marrying Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman. Several weeks later, she filed for divorce, charging her husband with physical abuse. In 1975, she married Robert Deleon, a managing editor of Jet magazine. She was widowed two years later when Deleon was killed in a car crash. Diahann fourth and final marriage was to singer Vic Damone in 1987. The union, which she
admitted was turbulent, saw a legal separation in 1991, reconciliation, and divorce in 1996.
During these changes in her life she was still pursuant with her passion and was cast as Dominique Deveraux on the popular prime time soap opera, DYNASTY the half-sister of Blake Carrington. She later on had roles in 1989 the THE COLBYS the spinoff of DYNASTY and also in 1991 A DIFFERENT WORLD starring Lisa Bonet which was also a spin off from the COSBY show. In 1996 Diahann played the role of Eleanor Potter, the wife of Jimmy Potter, portrayed by Chuck Patterson, in The Five Heartbeats, a musical drama film. In 2006, she appeared in the television medical drama Grey’s Anatomy as Jane Burke, the demanding mother of Dr. Preston Burke. In December 2008, she was cast in USA Network’s series White Collar as June a savvy widow. In 2010, Carroll was featured in UniGlobe Entertainment’s breast cancer docudrama entitled, 1 a Minute, and appeared as Nana in two Lifetime Movies: At Risk and The Front, movie adaptations of two Patricia Cornwell novels.
Diahann Carroll was present on stage for the 2013 Emmy Awards, to briefly speak about her retrospective of being, supposedly, the first African-American, nominated for a Primetime Emmy Awards: She stated “talented Kerry Washington, better win!” Kerry Washington then stated that: “Diahann Carroll was the first black performer ever to be nominated for an Emmy. She was one of the four that was nominated which was : the first nominated in 1963 Ethel Waters for a guest appearance on Route 66, in 1962, Harry Belafonte nominated in 1956 and 1961 and winning in 1960 and Sammy Davis, Jr. who was nominated in 1956 with Belafonte.
Diahann was to return to the Broadway stage in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun but canceled being part of the cast due to hectic scheduling that was able to fit to her needs at the time.
Diahann starred in 17 television programs, 14 fillms, 10 Broadway shows, 14 albums. In 1962 Tony Award for Best Actress – No Strings, in 1968 Golden Globe Award for Best TV Star – Female – Julia, and in 2011 Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame