Diahann Carroll in Dynasty, 1984-87. Photograph: ABC photograph Archives/Walt Disney tv via Getty Images
Diahann Carroll in Dynasty, 1984-87. Photograph: ABC picture Archives/Walt Disney tv via Getty Images

When Dominique Deveraux an initial met Alexis Colby in episode 87 of the TV soap opera dynasty in 1984, another high hurdle in the direction of racial equality was overcome. Dominique was glamorous, sophisticated, wealthy and also intelligent, however just as conniving together Alexis. She additionally just occurred to be afri American. Play by Diahann Carroll, that has died aged 84 that cancer, she to be a complement for Joan Collins’ Alexis, doubling the “nasty” in Dynasty.

You are watching: Is rocky carroll related to diahann carroll

Carroll was among the foremost afri American gibbs to malfunction long-seated prejudices in casting. She to be the first black show to have actually her own sitcom, v Julia, which ran for 86 illustration (1968-71), and also the very first to success an Emmy in the group of finest actress in a leading function in a comedy series. She additionally won a Tony for her performance in the Broadway music No Strings, written specifically for she by Richard Rodgers, which emphasize an interracial romantic without stating colour.

Born in the Bronx, brand-new York, she to be the first child of man Johnson, a subway conductor, and also his wife, Mabel (nee Faulk). Once their daughter to be an infant the family members moved to Harlem, whereby she flourished up.

She began singing in ~ the period of six with a Harlem church choir, a few years later becoming a recipient of a city Opera scholarship for studies at the brand-new York High school of Music and also Art. After ~ graduating she attended brand-new York University, majoring in sociology.


Diahann Carroll’s Dominique, right, proved a match for Joan Collins’ Alexis in Dynasty. Photograph: ABC photograph Archives/Walt Disney television via Getty ImagesAt the very same time, having actually done modelling for Ebony magazine, she won a talent dispute using the name of Diahann Carroll. This resulted in her performing on radio and also television and in nightclubs while tho in she teens. Her big break came in 1954 when Truman Capote decided her because that a leading component in the Broadway musical home of Flowers, based on his quick story and also for i m sorry he wrote the book and lyrics. Carroll, that played a young sex worker in a Caribbean island bordello, had actually the best numbers, A Sleepin’ Bee and also I Never has actually Seen Snow.

In the exact same year Carroll made her film debut in otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones (music supplied by Georges Bizet) in i beg your pardon she play a girlfriend of Dorothy Dandridge in the location role, performing in the quintet Whizzin’ Away along De Track. Carroll was dubbed by Bernice Peterson due to the fact that her own voice was not considered operatic enough, and also she was dubbed again (this time by Loulie Jean Norman) as Clara, the young mommy “singing” the famous lullaby Summertime in Porgy and Bess (1959), Preminger’s big-screen adaptation the George Gershwin’s opera.

Martin Ritt’s Paris Blues (1961) presented Carroll v her first co-starring role, as an American traveler in Paris who, v her girlfriend (Joanne Woodward) meets two fellow American jazz football player (Sidney Poitier and also Paul Newman). She falls for one of them, however fails to persuade him to return with her come the “racist” us (at the very same time, Poitier and Carroll were having an work in genuine life).

Diahann Carroll to sing Quiet Nights and also Quiet Stars
Again for Preminger, in hurry Sundown (1967), set in landscape 1940s Georgia, she played an elegant neighborhood schoolteacher who had actually gone north and been corrupted. Despite a devastating script, Carroll come off slightly much better than her co-stars, Michael Caine and Jane Fonda, in this condescending melodrama on gyeongju relations.

After a traditional heist film, The break-up (1968), in i beg your pardon Carroll to be the wife of a robber (Jim Brown), come Claudine (1974), a romantic comedy and also one of the few mainstream movie starring black color actors in the 1970s that was not defined as “blaxploitation”. Carroll, who a doubter described as being of an “unglamorised loveliness”, to be witty, warm-hearted and also self-deprecating as a Harlem widow top top welfare through six kids to bring up, who is courted by a rubbish collector play by James Earl Jones. Surprisingly, after gift Oscar-nominated as finest actress for Claudine, Carroll did not return to function films because that 16 years.

The factor was her lucrative work ~ above television, namely the popular sitcom Julia, in i m sorry she play a widowed middle-class solitary mother. The duty came in for some criticism for being apolitical, and a far cry from the truth of most black lives. However Carroll’s optimistic portrayal outweighed the negative.


Diahann Carroll starring with Sidney Poitier in Paris Blues, 1961. Photograph: united Artists/Sportsphoto /AllstarThere followed many guest appearances in TV collection and the role of Maya Angelou’s selfish mommy in an adaptation the the acclaimed autobiography I recognize Why the Caged Bird Sings (1979). However, it to be her function as the sleek Dominique Deveraux, i m sorry Carroll asserted made her “the first black bitch top top television” in the glossy dynasty (1984-87) and also its spin-off The Colbys, that lugged her best fame. Together the character own a music company and was a effective singer, the soap also gave Carroll the opportunity to display screen her vocal talents, currently apparent indigenous her numerous albums and also club appearances.

Among her various other TV series was A Different world (1989-93), a spin-off from The Cosby Show, in which she appeared in eight episodes as the mommy of a southern belle; The Lonesome Dove (1994-95) and Grey’s Anatomy (2006-07), because that which she received a element Time Emmy nomination.

Carroll to be married and divorced four times: come the document producer Monty Kay, v whom she had actually a daughter, Suzanne; to a las Vegas boutique owner, Freddie Glusman, whom she divorce on grounds of physical abuse; come a controlling director the Jet magazine, Robert DeLeon, who spent large amounts of she money prior to dying in a automobile crash; and finally to the crooner Vic Damone, who neglected she for golf. She was involved to the brothers broadcaster David Frost native 1971 come 1973. Much about these relationship was revealed in her memoir The Legs room the critical to walk (2008).

See more: How Do You Join The Crips ? How Do You Join A Gang Like The Crips Or Bloods

She is endured by Suzanne, a journalist, and also two grandchildren, August and Sydney.

Diahann Carroll (Carol Johnson), actor and also singer, born 17 July 1935; died 4 October 2019