Diahann Carroll Biography: Cause Of Death, Net Worth, Husband, Age, Children, Photos, Movies, Songs, Books

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Diahann Carroll was a multi-talented and trailblazing American entertainer who excelled in singing, acting, modelling, and activism.

She rose to fame in the 1950s as a singer and model, later becoming a Broadway, film, and television star.

She was the first African-American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and the first to star as a non-stereotypical black character in her TV show.

She earned an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and five Emmy nominations for her diverse and groundbreaking roles.

She was admired for her beauty, elegance, grace, and courage throughout her long and successful career.


  • Full name: Carol Diahann Johnson
  • Other names: Diahann Carroll
  • Date of birth: July 17, 1935
  • Age: 89 years old
  • Gender: Female
  • Place of birth: New York City, New York, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Actress, singer, model, activist
  • Height: 5 ft 5 in (165 cm)
  • Parents: John Johnson (father), Mabel Faulk (mother)
  • Siblings: N/A
  • Spouse: Monte Kay (1956-1963), Fred Glusman (1973), Robert DeLeon (1975-1977), Vic Damone (1987-1996)
  • Children: Suzanne Kay (daughter)
  • Relationship status: Single
  • Net worth: $28 million

Early Life and Education

Diahann Carroll was born in New York City on July 17, 1935, to John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk, a nurse.

She was an only child but had a close bond with her cousin Helen, who was like a sister to her. She grew up in Harlem, attending the Harlem School of the Arts and the High School of Music and Art.

She showed an early talent for singing and performing and won a scholarship to study at the Metropolitan Opera when she was ten.

She also participated in various talent shows and radio programs and was discovered by a talent scout when she was 15.

She enrolled at New York University but dropped out after a semester to pursue a career in show business.

Personal Life

Diahann Carroll had a complicated and turbulent personal life, marked by four marriages, several affairs, and a battle with breast cancer.

She married her first husband, Monte Kay, a record producer, in 1956 and gave birth to her only child, Suzanne Kay, in 1960.

They divorced in 1963 after she had a nine-year affair with Sidney Poitier, a famous actor.

She married Fred Glusman, a boutique owner, in 1973, but the marriage lasted only two months. She married Robert DeLeon, a Jet magazine editor, in 1975, but he died in a car accident in 1977. She married Vic Damone, a singer, in 1987, but they separated in 1991 and divorced in 1996.

She also dated David Frost, a TV host, from 1970 to 1973 and had other brief romances with celebrities such as Sammy Davis Jr., Duke Ellington, and Harry Belafonte. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and underwent surgery and radiation therapy.

She became a spokesperson for breast cancer awareness and prevention and wrote a memoir about her experience titled The Legs Are the Last to Go. She died on October 4, 2019, at the age of 84, from complications of cancer.


Diahann Carroll had a long and illustrious career in various entertainment fields, spanning over six decades.

She started as a singer and model in the 1950s, recording several albums and appearing in magazines such as Ebony and Jet.

She made her film debut in Carmen Jones, a musical adaptation of Bizet’s opera, in 1954, and her Broadway debut in House of Flowers, a musical by Harold Arlen and Truman Capote, in 1954.

She won critical acclaim and a Tony Award for her role in No Strings, a musical by Richard Rodgers, in 1962, becoming the first African-American woman to do so.

She also starred in films such as Porgy and Bess, Paris Blues, Hurry Sundown, and Claudine, for which she received an Oscar nomination.

She made history by starring in Julia, a TV sitcom about a widowed nurse and her son, in 1968, becoming the first African-American woman to lead her TV show as a non-servant character.

She also appeared in TV shows such as Dynasty, A Different World, The Colbys, and Grey’s Anatomy, earning five Emmy nominations. She was also a humanitarian and an activist, supporting causes such as civil rights, AIDS, and breast cancer.


Diahann Carroll received many awards and honours for her achievements and contributions to the entertainment industry and society. Some of the most notable ones are:

  • Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for No Strings in 1962.
  • Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for Julia in 1969.
  • Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for Claudine in 1975.
  • Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Julia in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
  • Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for A Different World in 1989.
  • Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Grey’s Anatomy 2008.
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for Eve’s Bayou in 1998.
  • NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Grey’s Anatomy 2009.
  • NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • Kennedy Center Honors in 1998.
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1960.
  • National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004.
  • Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011.

Net Worth

Diahann Carroll had an estimated net worth of $28 million.

She earned wealth from her successful actress, singer, model, and activist career.


Diahann Carroll died on October 4, 2019, at 84, in her home in Los Angeles, California. She passed away from complications of breast cancer, which she had been battling for 22 years.

She was surrounded by her daughter, grandchildren, and longtime partner, Robert DeLeon. She was cremated, and her ashes were given to her family.

She was mourned by her fans, friends, and colleagues, who paid tribute to her legacy and influence.


Diahann Carroll faced controversy and criticism for her choices and portrayals, especially from the black community.

Some felt that she was too assimilated into white culture and that her roles were unrealistic and apolitical.

She also received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan and other racist groups for her interracial relationships and roles.

She defended herself by saying that she was trying to create opportunities and open doors for other black performers and was proud of her heritage and identity.

Social Media

  • Instagram: @therealdiahann_carroll
  • Twitter: @MsDiahann


  • Carmen Jones
  • Porgy and Bess
  • Paris Blues
  • Hurry Sundown
  • Julia
  • Claudine
  • Dynasty
  • The Colbys
  • A Different World
  • Soul Food
  • The Courage to Love
  • White Collar
  • Grey’s Anatomy


  • Best Beat Forward
  • Porgy and Bess
  • No Strings
  • Fun Life
  • The Time of My Life
  • Nobody Sees Me Cry


  • Diahann: An Autobiography (1986)
  • The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying, and Other Things I Learned the Hard Way (2008)

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