On this day in 1935, Diahann Carroll was born

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Actress Diahann Carroll at the Emmy Awards in Pasadena, Calif. on Sept. 22, 1985. (AP Photo/ Nick UT)
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Diahann Carroll was born in the Bronx, New York, on July 17, 1935. When she was an infant, the family moved to Harlem, where she grew up. She attended Music & Art High School, along with schoolmate Billy Dee Williams.

By the time Carroll was 15, she was modeling for Ebony magazine. After graduating from high school, Carroll attended New York University and eventually hit it big in Hollywood.

Carroll starred in “Carmen Jones” in 1954 and “Porgy and Bess” in 1959. She was a trailblazer, who, in the 1960s, became one of the first Black women to star in a television series.

Diahann Carroll, shown Jan. 18, 1960 started singing as a child in a church choir, went on to success in a Broadway musical, “House of Flowers,” and many television shows. Now she wants to concentrate on her acting career and is taking dramatic lessons between singing engagements. (AP Photo/David Pickoff)

In 1974, she became only the fourth Black actress to receive a Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination for “Claudine.” Over a career that spanned five decades, Diahann Carroll broke barriers and opened doors for Black actors.

Although we lost Carroll in 2019, at the age of 84, her legacy lives on.


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