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One Time for the Birthday Legend: Ms. Diahann Carroll Turns 83

Ms. Diahann Carroll. 

There really isn't more to say because her name alone has so much weight to it in the entertainment industry. In celebration of Ms. Carroll's 83rd birthday, which I might add she still looks fabulous, I want to give a run through of a few of her classic projects that made me fall in love with her, plus her impact as a Black actress.

The Legend
Last year, I stumbled across a panel discussion where Ms. Carroll discussed her longevity in her career, and the state of Black women in today's media. I watched the two-hour discussion in awe and felt inspired from the gems I received. I was just 22 years old at the time (now 23), but I know a great deal of Ms. Carroll's body of work. I've watched just about every profile and interview imaginable, and yet I still feel like I should know more about her! The TV show A Different World is where I first discovered this legend through it's reruns growing up, where she portrayed actress Jasmine Guy aka Whitley Gilbert's mother, and since then I began connecting the dots to her other projects. 

Claudine & Its Impact
Ms. Carroll's 1974 film Claudine, which earned an Academy Award nomination, is such a timeless film. Seeing Claudine for the first time back in 2013 was life changing for me. Also, it was the same year I discovered Julia, Ms. Carroll's hit TV show. Claudine is the type of film that's an instant favorite. The movie sheds a light so many issues African-Americans face, and embodies the black experience specifically through the lens of a single mother raising her kids on Welfare. This narrative still resonates today. Just do yourself a favor and watch the film, and go ahead and binge watch the groundbreaking show Julia while you're at it. Julia was a groundbreaking TV show because it painted a black woman making it happen for herself, and you just didn't see that type of representation on TV back then. Without Ms. Carroll's role, The Cosby Show's Claire Huxtable or Blackish's Rainbow Johnson wouldn't exist.

Just YouTube Diahann Carroll and get into her body of work.

Your Flowers, Ms. Carroll
Of course, I would love for Ms. Carroll to read this post, and know how much of an impact she'd made on me, but that'd be a stretch to pull off. Could you imagine Ms. Carroll actually reading this? LOL, I'd be a mess, but nonetheless I just wanted to express my appreciation for Ms. Carroll.

Take a look at my list of favorite roles and moments throughout Ms. Carroll's career, and share yours in the comments! 

  • Favorite Film (s): Claudine (1974) and Sister, Sister (1982)
  • Fav TV show: Julia (1968-1971) & A Different World
  • Favorite quote: "I don't comment on people who comment on me." #Yassss
  • Fun fact: She's from the Bronx
  • Fav Interview Profile: Oprah's MasterClass
  • Best award show appearances: 2013 Emmy's, BET Honors for Phylicia Rashad, & BET's ABFF Honors