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Actress and singer Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, NY. Beginning her music career at an early age, Carroll was the recipient of a Metropolitan Opera scholarship for studies at New York's High School of Music and Art at a mere ten years of age. While still a teenager, Carroll began working part-time as a model, a TV actress, and as a nightclub singer, leading to her Broadway debut (the Harold Arlen/Truman Capote production House of Flowers) and her film debut (the modern version of Bizet's opera Carmen with an all-black cast Carmen Jones) both in 1954. More movie work came her way (including the 1959 film version of Porgy & Bess), as well as a Tony Award in 1962 for her work on the Broadway production No Strings. Beginning in the late '50s, Carroll launched a successful recording career, issuing albums on a regular basis throughout the next two decades (including such titles as 1957's Diahann Carroll Sings Harold Arlen, 1960's Diahann Carroll and Andre Previn, and 1962's The Fabulous Diahann Carroll, among many others).
In the late '60s, Carroll starred in the TV sitcom Julia, for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award and the recipient of a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. The '70s saw Carroll give arguably the finest acting performance of her career in 1974's Claudine, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. Carroll would return to TV work in the mid-'80s with her portrayal of businesswoman Dominique Devereaux on the hit nighttime soap opera Dynasty, while she earned her second Emmy nomination for a guest appearance on the comedy series A Different World (also during the same decade, Carroll published an autobiography, 1986's Diahann). In the '90s, Carroll starred in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard and toured the U.S. performing classic Broadway standards in Almost Like Being in Love: The Lerner and Loewe Songbook. 2001 saw the release of the 16-track compilation Nobody Sees Me Cry: The Best of the Columbia Years.