Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Many Faces of Diahann Carroll

Miss Diahann Carroll celebrates a birthday today. As she is ageless, we won't reveal the year.

Starting her career as a gangly, appealing ingenue, Carroll quickly matured into an exquisite beauty, often compared to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Following successful forays into film (1961's Paris Blues, with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Sidney Poitier) and Broadway (1962's No Strings, for which Carroll won the Tony Award), delicious Diahann made her biggest splash to date by starring in Julia, becoming the first African American actress to star in her own series, in a role other than that of a domestic. (Hattie McDaniels had starred as Beulah in the early 1950's.)

Julia ran from 1968-1971, and earned Carroll an Emmy nomination (1968) and a Golden Globe win (1969). During the 1970's, she kept busy with occasional film work (1974's Claudine, for which she earned an Oscar nod) and many romances, marrying twice and creating a firestorm of publicity with her engagement to television host David Frost.

The 1980's brought a renewed burst of recognition as Carroll joined the cast of Dynasty. As Dominique Devereaux, Carroll played "the first black bitch on prime time," and was a sensation.

Carroll's other television work included an Emmy nomination for her recurring guest role on A Different World and, more recently, a stint on Grey's Anatomy. She also starred in the acclaimed Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Blvd. musical. A breast cancer survivor, in recent years Carroll has been an active spokesperson for awareness and detection. She is also, happily, still performing; we can tell you that she sounds just splendid, looks absolutely gorgeous, and is the perfect combination of ladylike hauteur and warm gentility. As it should be. We love you, Diahann Carroll!


  1. Oh, yeah. I saw her at (Michael) Feinstein's cabaret last winter, and as we were waiting to be admitted into the cabaret room, she suddenly came out (she had been doing final rehearsals) and passed right by us. Lemme tell ya, that skin is FLAWLESS up close. She had on an elegant black pantsuit, Hermes scarf, big "Jackie O" sunglasses and a Diahann Carroll Wig, and looked just stunning.

  2. She is so elegant. Old school fabulous. I got to meet her at QVC once when she was selling leather handbags on air. Very gracious lady.

  3. I can't imagine her any other way, Dray.

  4. Strange she would hawk handbags on QVC though.

  5. We all need to pay the rent! She has a line of wigs, too, and I think a clothing line at Penney's.


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