Diahann Carroll, Actress

Diahann Carroll is an award-winning actress who broke barriers in American television. With her role in Julia, Carroll not only became the first Black woman to star in a series, but also to portray a non-stereotypical black character.

Raised by supportive parents who enrolled her in performance classes, Carroll began her career in entertainment at a young age. Thinking that television would never be an option because of her race, she performed as a singer in nightclubs before making her Broadway debut in The House of Flowers. In 1962, Carroll became the first African American woman to win a Tony Award, which she won for her role in No Strings.

Her successful career has spanned nearly six decades. Her film work includes Claudine, for which she received a 1974 Best Actress Academy Award nomination, Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy & Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and ,Eve's Bayou.

Carroll continues to work as an actress. She wrote a memoir on her life "The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying & Other Things I Learned The Hard Way."