Diahann Carroll, the legendary actress and singer who made television history as the first Black actress to star in a series in a non-servant role, has passed away at the age of 84.
Her daughter, producer/journalist Suzanne Kay, confirmed to Associated Press and Hollywood Reporter that Carroll died in her Los Angeles home on Friday, October 4, after a battle with cancer.
Already a veteran in theater and film, with roles in Broadway’s Porgy & Bess and in the film Carmen Jones, Carroll broke barriers by becoming the first Black actress to star in her own primetime TV series in a non-stereotypical role, when the NBC drama Julia premiered in 1968. Her role as a widowed nurse raising her young son while working at an aerospace company earned her an Emmy nomination and critical acclaim. Julia would go on to run for three seasons.
She would go on to more memorable roles on TV and in film, including her role as Dominique Deveraux in Dynasty, her Oscar-nominated title role in 1974’s Claudine, and reoccurring roles in A Different World, Grey’s Anatomy, and White Collar. She also won a Tony Award for her work in the Broadway musical No Strings, the first given to a Black actress in a lead role in a musical. Carroll was also inducted in the Television Hall of Fame in 2011.
Carroll is survived by her daughter and two grandchildren.
Check out her brilliance at work in this classic scene from Dynasty below!