Diahan Carroll, Academy Award nominated actress and singer who won the critics acclaim as the first black woman to stars in a non-servant role in a TV series that “Julia,” died. She was 84.
Carroll’s daughter, Susan Kay, told The Associated Press that her mother died Friday in Los Angeles of a cancer.
During her long career, Carroll earned a Tony Award for Music “No Strings” and an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for “Claudine. “
But she was perhaps best known for her pioneering work on “Julia. Carroll played Julia Baker, a nurse whose husband had been killed in Vietnam, at the inauguration of a sitcom, broadcast from 1968 to 1971.
“Diahann Carroll sprawled the soil of this 84-year-old land and broke the ground with every step. An icon. One of the all-time greats, “Ava DuVernay’s director wrote on Twitter. “She traced the trails through the dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the way for the rest to follow us. The extraordinary life. Thank you, Mrs. Carroll. “
Although she was not the first black woman to star on her own TV show (Ethel Waters played a housekeeper in the 1950s, the series “Beulah”), she was the first star that someone one other than a servant.
NBC executives were wary about putting “Julia” on the network during the racial troubles of the 1960s, but it was an immediate success.
He has his critics, however, including some who said Carroll’s character, who is the mother of a young boy, was not a realistic portrayal of a black American woman in the 1960s.
“They said it was a fantasy, Carroll recalled in 1998.” All that was wrong. Much about Julia’s character, I took from my own life, my family. “
it’s not shy when he came to face racial barriers, Carroll won his Tony presenting a high fashion American model in Paris that has a love affair with a white American author in 1959 Richard Rodgers music “No Strings. Criticism of Walter Kerr described her as “a girl with a sweet smile, bright black eyes and a regal profile enough room on a coin. “
She often appears in plays already considered the exclusive territory for white actresses: “At the Same Time, the Next Year,” “Agnes of God” and “Sunset Boulevard” (as faded star Norma Desmond, the role played by Gloria Swanson in the 1950s movie.)
“I like to think that I opened doors for other women, even though it was not my intention to leave,” she said in 2002.
His film career has been sporadic. She started with a secondary role in “Carmen Jones” in 1954, and five years later appeared in “Porgy and Bess”, although her voice was dubbed because it was not considered strong enough for as the Gershwin opera. His other films included “Revive Again,” “Hurry Sundown,” “Paris Blues” and “The Separation.” “
The 1974 film “Claudine”, provided that its most memorable role. She played a tough guy, single mom of six who finds romance in Harlem with a scavenger played by James Earl Jones. Carroll says she got the role after the main actress goal, Diana Sables, became ill and insisted that her friend take the role (Sands died in 1973). But Carroll says those behind the movies do not see her in the role of Julia’s reason for her work and makes her audition without makeup.
” Give me a chance. Just give me the opportunity to show you that I understand, “she recalled telling them in an interview with the National Visionary Leadership Project. “I am an actress, singer, from New York City, in the streets of New York, and I am proud of my work … I would like to be given the opportunity to expand my wings. “
She would end up being nominated for her Oscar, and she recalled filming a magical experience.
“I had a good time, I almost said you do not need to pay me,” she adds.
In the 1980s, she joined in the long-time primetime soap opera “Dynasty” that Dominique Deveraux, glamor, half-sister Blake Carrington; his physical battles with Alexis Carrington, played by Joan Collins, were among the highlights fan. Another memorable role was Marion Gilbert, like the haughty mother of Whitley Gilbert (played by Jasmine Guy) on the TV series “Another World”.
“Diahann Carroll, you taught us a lot. We are stronger, more beautiful and risk takers because of you. We will forever sing your praises and speak on your behalf. Love Love Love, Debbie, “wrote the actress, dancer and director of Debbie Allen, who was a producer on” Another World “.
More recently, she had a number of guest shots and small roles in television series, including playing Isaiah’s mother Washington character, Dr. Preston Burke, on “Gray’s Anatomy” and a stump on TELEVISION broadcast “in White Collar” that the widow of the month of June.
She has also returned to her roots in the nightclubs. In 2006, she made her first club appearance in New York, in four decades, singing at Feinstein at the Regency. Reviewing a re-engagement in 2007, a New York Times critic wrote that she sang “Two Sides, Now” with “reflections on the tone of a woman who survived many storms and remember every flash and thunder. “
Carol Diann Johnson was born in New York City and attended the High School of the Performing Arts. His father was a subway driver and his mother was a housewife. She remembers when she was around 3 or 4, her parents took her to an aunt in North Carolina and left her in her aunt’s care, without notice, for a year, She says it took a while to forgive her parents, although she ends up, and was there for them in their later years.
“What happened is over, it’s done. A mature person finds a way to let go of this, “she told her OWN” Masterclass in an interview a few years ago. “They did a lot of wonderful things. They lived, gave me everything they could, and they passed on. “
She began her career as a model in a distinct industry; she got a lot of her work from publications like black, the ebony magazine. An “Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts” TV show award leads to engagements in cabarets.
In his 1998 memoir “Diahann, Carroll traced his turbulent love life, which included liaisons with Harry Belafonte, Duke Ellington, Davis Miles, Sammy Davis Jr, Sidney Poitier and David Frost. She herself committed to the Freeze, but the mission was canceled.
An early marriage to the nightclub owner Monte Kay resulted in Carroll’s only child, Suzanne, as well as a divorce. She also divorced her second husband, sales director Freddie Glusman, later marry the publisher’s magazine Robert Leon, who died.
His most celebrated wedding was in 1987, with singer Vic Damone, and the two appeared together in the nightclubs. But they separated in 1991 and divorced a few years later.
After she was treated for breast cancer in 1998, she talked for more money for research and for free screening for women who could not afford mammography.
“We all look forward to the day of mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation are considered barbarians, Carroll said of a rally in 2000.
in addition to her daughter, she is survived by the grandchildren of August and Sydney.