Born on this date: Diahann Carroll

Diahann CarrollDiahann Carroll turns 78 today, July 17, 2013. The singer and actress has had a successful career on film and stage since in the 1950s, when she starred on Broadway in House on Flowers and appeared in the film version of Porgy and Bess.

My first exposure to her was on the sitcom Julia, which I loved as a kid. I thought Julia was so pretty, and I enjoyed the relationship between her son, Corey, and his friend Earl J. Waggedorn (always referred to by his full name.)

The show serves as an amazing time capsule of how TV executives chose to present race relations in the late 1960s, compared to what was actually occurring in the United States. I ran across this post, “An Historical Myth: Julia as Groundbreaking Television Show,” on the blog American History for Travelers, which provides a fascinating, in-depth analysis of Julia’s place in media history.

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Julia merchandise: The package for Talking Julia says “I talk! I say many things! You never know what I’ll say next!”

I always loved the Julia theme music. I’m talking about the Season 1 opening with the drumming, not the later, less memorable one.

Julia Season 1 opening credits (1968-69)

Happy birthday, Diahann Carroll!


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