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Diahann Carroll Biography

Birth Name:
Carol Diann Johnson
Birth Place:
Bronx, New York, United States
Actor, singer

Fast Facts

  • Worked as a model and nightclub singer as a teenager
  • Dropped out of college in 1954 and made her Broadway (House of Flowers) and film (Carmen Jones) debuts that same year
  • Began releasing albums in the late 1950s
  • Became the first black actress to win a Tony award for best actress (No Strings in 1962), star in a TV series (Julia in 1968) and host a variety show (The Diahann Carroll Show in 1976)
  • Portrayed Dominique Devereaux in Dynasty and its spin-off, The Colbys, in the 1980s
  • Starred as the iconic Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of Sunset Boulevard
  • Launched a line of wigs, clothing and accessories in 1997
  • Is a breast-cancer survivor
  • Played recurring character Jane Burke on Grey's Anatomy
  • Released an autobiography (Diahann!) in 1986 and a memoir (The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying, and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way) in 2008


  • 2008Emmy-Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: nominated
  • 1975Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: nominated
  • 1974Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1970Golden Globe-Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: nominated
  • 1969Golden Globe-Actress in a Television Series: winner
  • 1969Emmy-Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series: nominated