Born 1935 in New York City, American actress, singer and model Diahann Carrol rose to stardom in performances in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts, including Carmen Jones in 1954 and Porgy and Bess in 1959.
In 1962, Carroll won a Tony Award for best actress, a first for a black woman, for her role in the Broadway musical No Strings. Her 1968 debut in Julia, the first series on American television to star a black woman in a nonstereotypical role, was a milestone both in her career and the medium. In the 1980s, she played the role of a mixed-race diva in the primetime soap opera Dynasty.
Carroll is the recipient of numerous stage and screen nominations and awards, including the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress In A Television Series” in 1968. She received an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination for the 1974 film Claudine.
A breast cancer survivor and activist, Carroll was scheduled to return to the Broadway stage in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun as Mama, but withdrew prior to opening citing the demands of the rehearsal and performance schedule.
American writer and artistic photographer Carl Van Vechten took these beautiful pics of a 19-year-old Diahann Carroll on March 14, 1955.