She then starred in the Broadway musical House of Flowers. In 1959, she played Clara in the film version of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess along with such distinguished actors as Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., and Pearl Bailey. All singing voices were dubbed in the film, with the exception of Pearl Bailey, with the opera singer Loulie Jean Norman standing in for Carroll. In 1974 she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Claudine. Carroll is probably best known for her title role in Julia in 1968.
This landmark accomplishment established Carroll as the first African American actress to star in her own television series where she did not play a domestic worker. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for the role in 1969, and won the Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress In A Television Series” in 1968 Her first Emmy nomination came in 1963 for her work in Naked City. Some of Carroll's other earlier television work includes appearances on shows hosted by Jack Paar, Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson and Ed Sullivan, and The Hollywood Palace variety show. In the 1980s, she starred in the series Dynasty and The Colbys, as the jet setter, Dominique Deveraux-Lloyd. It was for her recurring role as Marion Gilbert in A Different World that she received her third Emmy nomination 1989.
In 2006, Carroll made a guest appearance in the television comedy/drama Grey's Anatomy as the demanding mother of Dr. Preston Burke. Carroll starred in the Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of the classic film Sunset Boulevard. She played the lead role, crazed silent movie star Norma Desmond, with the role of Joe Gillis played by Rex Smith. Read more on Last.fm.
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