In this video
Actress Diahann Carroll, star of groundbreaking television series Julia, discusses her journey prevailing through discrimination in an unintegrated industry to her long, successful, and trailblazing career.
Diahann Carroll is an award-winning actress who broke barriers in American television as the first African American women to not only star in a series, "Julia", 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 and recently wrote a memoir on her life "The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying & Other Things I Learned The Hard Way".
More From Diahann
"Dynasty" Gets Integrated
Carroll on how she created her Dominique Deveraux role on Dynasty after having her manager call Aaron Spelling.
Not A Television Cliché
Carroll discusses how her character Julia was not the stereotypically African American woman portrayed on TV and the reactions it received for it.
Hal Kanter's Vision
Carroll on Julia showrunner, Hal Kanter, and his decision to create the first television series centered on the life of a black professional woman.
Coping Through Humor
Carroll on how humor was one of the ways she coped with the segregation of the TV industry.
Winning a Tony
Carroll on what it meant to for her to be the first African American woman to win a Tony award.
Discarding Racist Beliefs
Carroll on the racist barriers she faced growing up and how she learned to prevails over the negative propaganda.
Perspective On Father's Accomplishments
Carroll talks about her father's ambition, and how she understands now the weight of his accomplishments.
Mother and Daughter Support System
Carroll discusses the support she received from her mother and how it gave her strength throughout her life.