Paul Winfield (1939-2004) "Sounder" (1972)
The dynamic Emmy Award-winning character actor who worked in film, theater and TV ("Picket Fences," "King," "Roots: The Next Generation") earned a lead actor nomination for 1972's family drama "Sounder," in which he played the loving sharecropper father Nathan Lee Morgan.
Cicely Tyson (1933-) "Sounder" (1972)
The legendary African American actress, who earned a Tony last year for "A Trip to Bountiful" and is best known for her Emmy Award-winning turn in the landmark 1974 TV movie "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," received a lead actress nomination for "Sounder" as the resilient Rebecca Morgan, the wife of a sharecropper in Louisiana, circa early 1930s, who tries to keep her family together despite tremendous odds.
Diana Ross (1944-) "Lady Sings the Blues" (1972)
The chart-topping singer who came to fame as the lead singer of the Supremes, earned a lead actress nomination for her 1972 film debut in "Lady Sings the Blues," playing legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday.
Diahann Carroll (1935-) "Claudine" (1974)
Carroll actually made her film debut in 1954's "Carmen Jones" and was an established recording artist, Broadway star ("No Strings") and groundbreaking sitcom star ("Julia") when she earned a lead actress nomination for the charming 1974 romantic comedy "Claudine." She played the mother of six living in Harlem who finds love with a dashing garbage collector (James Earl Jones).