Je Ne Sais Quoi: Diahann Carroll

DIAHANN CARROLL is an Oscar-nominated actress and singer whose pioneering career opened the door in Hollywood for so many talented actresses working today. My first memory of DIAHANN was watching her as Dominique Deveraux on ABC’s Dynasty. I thought she was so beautiful and glamorous (and so did my Dad). DIAHANN has had a stellar career, but I also find her life story thoroughly fascinating because she is one of those rare women who possesses je ne sais quoi or that certain indescribable something that makes her beyond alluring.

DIAHANN made her broadway debut in Truman Capote’s House of Flowers and she won a Tony for Richard Roger’s No Strings.

In 1968, DIAHANN became the first African American actress in TV history to star in her own NBC series, Julia which proved challenging since many in America were not ready to accept her in the role.

After film roles in Carmen, Porgy and Bess, and Hurry Sundown, DIAHANN starred in Paris Blues with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and Sidney Poitier.

Having first met on the set of Porgy and Bess and later working together in Paris Blues, Sidney and DIAHANN engaged in what DIAHANN called the “l’Affair Poitier” which would span close to nine years.

The great jazz musician Duke Ellington worked on the film score for Paris Blues, so one night in Paris he invited DIAHANN out to dinner and educated DIAHANN on the proper way to eat and enjoy caviar.

Marlon Brando met DIAHANN on the set of her first film, Carmen and they exchanged words when he patted her backside, but they eventually went on a few dates and remained friends.

After surviving breast cancer, DIAHANN admits to being wiser and more conscious of how she spends her days and schedules more time with her family and friends.

Of meeting JFK in 1962, DIAHANN said, “If I had known then, what I know now about him…” Years later, DIAHANN would be invited to spend a weekend in Greece with Aristotle Onassis, his new wife, Jackie and her sister Lee Radziwill.

DIAHANN relished her role on Dynasty often referring to her character Dominique Deveraux as an “overdressed black bitch”, but she loved every bitchy minute.

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