View Single Post
Old 10-04-2019, 07:06 PM   #4
Forum Celebrity
Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
Posts: 36,229

Diahann Carroll, the first black woman to star in her own TV series, dies at 84

Carroll, the Tony-winning and Emmy- and Oscar-nominated Julia and Dynasty star, died today of cancer in Los Angeles. Carroll transcended racial barriers in fall 1968 playing the title role on NBC's Julia, the first American TV series to chronicle the life of a black professional woman. Julia starred Carroll as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse with a young son. The show was a hit in its first season, reaching No. 7 in Nielsen ratings thanks to its black and white viewership. "There was nothing like this young successful mother on the air," Carroll once told PBS. "And we thought that it might be a very good stepping stone." Julia aired for three seasons and 86 episodes through 1971. Carroll would go on to star on Dynasty, playing the scheming, moneyed Dominique Deveraux. But it was her role in Julia that she remained most enduringly known, earning an Emmy nomination in 1969. "Julia divided critical consensus," Margalit Fox writes in Carroll's New York Times obituary. "It was praised in some quarters as groundbreaking and criticized in others as reductive, Pollyannaish and accommodationist ó condemned, in short, for glossing over the stark realities of life that black Americans faced daily. Though Ms. Carroll publicly defended Julia, she acknowledged that in portraying the black experience it made many concessions to the middle-class white viewers it hoped to attract. She also said afterward that her experience playing the character had been both a professional boon and a professional hindrance. The series made her one of the most visible performers of her day, booked regularly on TV talk and variety show. But in addition, it entailed her becoming a de facto spokeswoman not only for Julia but also seemingly for her race, an onus for which she had never bargained." Carroll also appeared on numerous other TV series, including guest roles on A Different World and Grey's Anatomy -- both of which earned her Emmy nominations -- and, most recently, a recurring role on USA's White Collar.


More stars pay tribute to Diahann Carroll, including Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, Hilarie Burton and Viola Davis

"I love you for eternity. With all my heart. I am because of you," Washington tweeted with a picture of her holding hands with the groundbreaking actress, who died today of cancer at age 84. Henson tweeted: "thank you for paving the way!!! It was an honor to know you Queen!!! Your legacy will live on through us all!!!" Hilarie Burton, who appeared with Carroll on her last TV series, USA's White Collar, tweeted: "Working with Diahann Carroll was one of the great honors of my career. Funny, classy, stunning, warm. The first scene we shared, I opened an apartment door to find her. She winked at me. Pure mischief. I lost my words. She made this world a more glamorous place." Davis wrote on Instagram: "My greatest blessing is that I had the honor to connect with you on a personal level. You shared your humor, your mess, your mistakes, your talent....You were authentic. As a woman and actress of color that will be your legacy. You left it all on the floor and we were shifted by it. Rest well Queen #DiahannCarroll. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
TMC is online now   Reply With Quote