The Carroll, O'Carroll, MacCarroll, MacCarvill, and MacCearbhaill clans


These Carrolls were not the only people of the Carroll name to influence the American government. The name 'Carville' is related to Carroll, and James Carville was made famous for being an advisor and strategist to President Bill Clinton. Still a political consultant and strategist working in Washington D.C., Carville is married to Republican campaigner Mary Matalin with whom he wrote the memoir: All's Fair: Love, War and Running for President. Carville is also the author of the popular 1996 book: We're Right, They're Wrong: A Handbook for Spirited Progressives.

The expressive ability of the Carrolls is not limited to just political opinions. Of the musical Carrolls, Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan (his name in Irish is Toirdhealbhach Cearbhallin) is the most famous. If you haven't heard of his music before, it may be because he was a blind, itinerant harpist who traveled around Ireland in the 17th Century. He lost his sight due to smallpox when he was 18, but that didn't stop him from pursuing a career in music. His music was unique because he took the ancient tradition of harp playing and updated it with elements of the modern and popular Baroque style. O'Carolan was friendly with Jonathan Swift and some of his most famous songs were, "A Quarrel with the Landlady," "An Ode to Whiskey," and "One Bottle More."

The Carroll name has been carried on by many writers including poet Jim Carroll, whose memoir The Basketball Diaries was made into the 1995 film starring Leonardo di Caprio as Carroll. Writer James Carroll was a priest before becoming a successful novelist and columnist for The Boston Globe. His novels Family Trade, The City Below and Mortal Friends are centered around Irish-American characters. He won the National Book Award for his 1996 memoir, An American Requiem.

Perhaps the most famous writer with the surname, English writer Lewis Carroll, wasn't even a Carroll. In fact, the author of Alice in Wonderland had a given name far less euphonious: Charles Lutwidge Dodgeson.

In addition to talented writers, some Carrolls are known to have a sharp sense of humor. Actor and novelist Brendan O'Carroll wrote the Agnes Browne Trilogy including The Mammy, The Chisellers, and The Granny. The first of these novels was made into a film, directed by and starring Anjelica Huston as the feisty young widow struggling to raise an unruly, high-spirited brood in a gritty Dublin tenement. O'Carroll himself has a successful acting career and has appeared in the films The Van and Angela's Ashes.

A Carroll who you are sure to have heard, but likely never to have seen before, is actor Eddie Carroll. He was the voice of Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket who is known for singing the classic song, "When You Wish Upon a Star," from the 1940 animated feature Pinocchio. He was also a regular cast member on the Don Knotts Show.

Not to be outdone by all the famous men bearing the name, Diahann Carroll is a fantastic African-American actress. She rose to fame on the much-loved 1980s soap opera Dynasty, playing Dominique Cox Deveraux Lloyd, the arch nemesis to Joan Collins' evil character, Alexis. Still appearing in many movies and TV programs, Carroll's mark on "Dynasty" is fitting for a family that has been quite a dynasty of its own.