Diahann Carroll: A Look Back at the Life and Career of the "Julia"/"Dynasty" TV, Film, and Stage Star

Herbie J Pilato

Photo bythe Classic TV Preservation Society

Diahann Carroll, who died in 2019, is best known for her ground-breaking TV series, Julia. But she accomplished a great deal more with a remarkable career and life.

For example, according to IMDB.com, Carroll "won first prize on television's Chance of a Lifetime (1951). [And] she and Billy Dee Williams were high school classmates at the New York City High School of Music and Art, the school that in the 1970s merged with the High School of Performing Arts (featured in Fame (1982)) to become LaGuardia High School."

As IMDB continues to report, before Carroll was a successful singer and actress, she was a model for Ebony Fashion Fair. And she won Broadway's 1962 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for No Strings, in a tie with Anna Maria Alberghetti for Carnival.

Some thirty years later, in 1989, Carroll had planned to return as a regular on TV's Dynasty in its ten season, but the once popular ABC prime-time soap was canceled after Season 9.

As IMDB further documents, Carroll was "one of ten African-American actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe, Viola Davis, and Quvenzhané Wallis."

Carroll wed four times: Vic Damone (from 1987-1996), Robert DeLeon (1975-1977), Fred Glusman (1973-1973), and Monte Kay (1956-1963).

As IMDB continues to explain, "...while performing in House of Flowers (1954) on Broadway, aged 19, Carroll became involved with Kay, the show's casting director. Her third union to DeLeon, the 24-year-old managing editor of Jet magazine, after only meeting three months previously, grew contentious early in the game. DeLeon began to drink heavily and run up debts, and the marriage ended abruptly when he was killed in a 1977 automobile accident."

Carroll's romantic relationships were "turbulent," IMDB notes. "In the early 1970s, she became romantically involved with David Frost, a popular British talk show host. In November 1972, she and Frost became engaged but she called it off and married another man, Freddie Glusman, a week later. That marriage was short-lived."

On April 3, 1990, Carroll was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7005 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

To read more about Diahann Carroll, click here.

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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