An Evening With Diahann Carroll PBS-TV Show

Saturday 5/7/2005

Jack Morton Auditorium The George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

This hour-long, one-on-one interview program provides a rare and insightful look into the life and career of legendary entertainer Diahann Carroll. Taped live in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium on Saturday, May 7, 2005, this program is the seventh in The HistoryMakers’ An Evening With. . . series. Television journalist, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, Gwen Ifill interviewed actress and singer Diahann Carroll with Discover Financial Services LLC serving as the event’s title sponsor.


Diahann Carroll is a true legend. She is one of America’s major performing talents with a career on the Broadway stage, as a Las Vegas headliner and as an actress in both motion pictures and on television. In the interview, Carroll tells her life story, shares her experiences working in the entertainment industry and offers her feelings about being a pioneer and inspiring future minority actresses. She talks about her sitcom Julia, working with Sydney Poitier, her Oscar nomination and her roles on the 1980s prime-time soap operas, Dynasty and A Different World. Produced by The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, An Evening With Diahann Carroll is entertaining and engaging. 


The HistoryMakers staff has created a finding aid for this event. View/Download below: 

Finding Aid To An Evening With Diahann Carroll.pdf

Diahann Carroll
Born in the Bronx, New York in 1935, singer and actress, Diahann Carroll's beauty earned her modeling roles by the time she was a teenager. She went on to roles in Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess. Carroll developed a relationship with Sidney Poitier on the set of Porgy and Bess, which would continue for the next decade. Carroll’s true breakthrough came with her being cast in the title role of the television series, Julia, garning her the honor of being the first African American to have her own TV series. Carroll continued to appear in films and on stage, both as an actress and singer to rave reviews. She also had a starring role in TV’s Dynasty . In 1995, Carroll achieved another first, becoming the first African American woman to play the role of Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Sunset Boulevard.  



Gwen Ifill
Pioneering journalist Gwen Ifill was born in Queens, New York in 1955. After earning her B.A. degree in Communications from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1977, Ifill was hired by The Boston Herald American in the midst of the city’s notorious busing crisis. After joining the Baltimore Evening Sun, she moved to covering national politics. In 1984, Ifill was hired by The Washington Post; and in 1991, she became The White House correspondent for The New York Times. In 1994, she was named the chief Congressional correspondent for NBC; and in 1999, she became the moderator of PBS’ Washington Week in Review, as well as a correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. In October of 2004, Ifill became the first African American woman to moderate a vice-presidential debate. Ifill’s first book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, was published in 2009. 


 Executive Producer

Julieanna L. Richardson



Eli Eisenberg



Honorary Co-Chairs  

Dorothy Height  

Ann & Vernon Jordan


  Event Chair 

Kathy Roberts



  Event Co-Chairs 

Antoinette Cook Bush & Dwight Bush

Marie & Wendell Johns

Singleton McAllister & Emmit McHenry

Sheran & Herbert Wilkins


  Benefit Committee 

Linda Awkard

Hillary & Tom Baltimore

Amy Billingsley

Sherry Davis

Justin Gray

Sharon Malone & Eric Holder

Judy & Peter Kovler

Ann Walker Marchant

Sharon Morrow

Laura Murphy

Carolyn Peachey

Frank Ross

Riley Temple

Genelle Trader