Diahann Carroll Biography

Diahann Carroll is a famous American television and stage actress. This biography of Diahann Carroll provides detailed information about her childhood, life, works, achievements & timeline.

Diahann Carroll
Quick Facts

Birthday: July 17, 1935

Nationality: American

Famous: Black Women Black Actresses

Age: 84 Years, 84 Year Old Females

Sun Sign: Cancer

Also Known As: Carol Diahann Johnson

Born in: The Bronx, New York

Famous as: Actress

Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females


Spouse/Ex-: Monte Kay (m. 1956; div. 1963) Fredde Glusman

father: John Johnson

mother: Mabel Faulk

children: Suzanne Kay

U.S. State: New Yorkers

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Diahann Carroll is a successful American television and stage actress and singer. She started her acting career with ‘Carmen Jones’. Later she earned critical acclaim for her remarkable acting ability in a number of films, television series and musicals. Due to her stellar performance in the title role of ‘Claudine’, she was nominated for an Oscar. In this film, she portrayed the role of a Harlem woman raising six children on her own. Her acting in the film ‘Sunset Boulevard’ also deserves special mention. Besides films, she has also left her mark as a recording artist, performing in several albums of jazz and pop music. ‘House of Flowers’ is her first Broadway musical performance. Her performance in the musical ‘Bubbling Brown Sugar’ is the proof of her acting skills. Her role in television sit com ‘Julia’, for the first time, represented a black woman in a non-stereotypical role. The popularity of this show earned her a Golden Globe award as “Best Newcomer” besides nominating her name for Emmy award. She was also nominated twice for a NAACP Image Award for her noteworthy performance in ‘Soul Food’, a popular television series.

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Diahann Carroll
Childhood & Early Life
  • Born in Bronx, New York, Carol Diahann Johnson was the first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson. She grew up in Harlem where her family shifted later.
  • With support of her parents, she attended dancing, singing and modelling classes at a very young age. At the age of ten, she received a Metropolitan Opera scholarship for studies at New York’s High School of Music and Art.
  • At the age of 15, she did modelling assignment for “Ebony” magazine. During this time, she auditioned for Arthur Godfrey’s radio programme “Talent Scouts”. Success in this contest brought her recognition.
  • After finishing her school education, she studied at New York University. At that time, she was contemplating to pursue a nightclub career.
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  • The turning point in her life came when she participated on the Dumont Television Network Program ‘Chance of a Lifetime’ in 1954. She was the winner of this show for four weeks. Due to her popularity in this program, she got job offers from Manhattan’s Caf� Society and Latin Quarter nightclubs.
  • In 1954, she made her film debut with ‘Carmen Jones’ in a supporting role. Later, she featured in the ‘House of Flowers’, a Broadway musical by Harold Arlen and Truman Capote.
  • In 1959, she portrayed the character of Clara in the film version of George Gershwin’s ‘Porgy and Bess’.
  • In the year 1960, she made a guest appearance in ‘Peter Gunn’, a television series. After making appearances on a number of shows, she acted in the night-time soap opera ‘Dynasty’ in which she played the role of Dominique Deveraux from 1984 to 1987.
  • Later, she appeared in ‘The Colbys’, an American soap opera and acted in television sitcom ‘A Different World’. She was nominated for Emmy award in 1989, for her performance in ‘A Different World’.
  • She proved her acting prowess as a popular silent movie star Norma Desmond in the film ‘Sunset Boulevard’. In 2008, she appeared as June in ‘White Collar’, a television series.
Major Works
  • In 1961, she portrayed the role of Connie Lampson in the film ‘Paris Blues’. This film is based on Harold Flender’s novel and deals with racism in America.
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  • Her acting in television series ‘Julia’, an American sitcom of 1968, earned her fame as an actress. In ‘Julia’, she played the character of an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role. The NBC broadcast its 86 episodes from the month of September.
  • In 1991, she played the role of an ideal wife Eleanor Potter in ‘The Five Heartbeats’, a musical drama. Directed by Robert Townsend, this musical deals with the rise and fall of Motown, a record company.
Awards & Achievements
  • Her outstanding performance in the musical ‘No Strings’ brought her the prestigious Tony Awards for best actress in 1962. In this musical she acted as Barbara Woodruff and she was the first black woman to win this award.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • She has married four times in her life. Her first husband was Monte Kay, a record producer, with whom she has a daughter Suzanne Kay Bamford. Suzanne is a freelance media journalist.
  • In 1973, she married Fred Glusman, a Las Vegas boutique owner. After several weeks, she filed for divorce citing physical abuse. In 1975, she got married for the third time with Robert DeLeon, a managing editor of “Jet” magazine.
  • After the death of Robert in a car accident, she tied the nuptial knot for the fourth time with singer Vic Damone in 1987. In 1996, they got divorced.
  • She dated and got engaged to David Frost, a British television host and producer, for a brief period.
  • This legendary actress is a breast cancer survivor. Her appearance in a breast cancer docudrama titled ‘1 a Minute’ in 2010, deserves special mention in this context. Directed by Indian-American actress Namrata Singh Gujral, this documentary deals with the personal experiences of celebrity cancer survivors.


Golden Globe Awards
1969 Best TV Star - Female Julia (1968)

See the events in life of Diahann Carroll in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Diahann Carroll Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com
Last Updated
- November 06, 2017

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