Diahann Carroll, Oscar-nominated actress, dies at 84

Saturday, 05 Oct, 2019

Diahann Carroll leaves London for Paris for a singing engagement on November 4, 1957.

But she was perhaps best known for her pioneering work on "Julia".

However, when Carroll learned that Hal Kanter, the veteran screenwriter who created the show, thought she was too glamorous for the part, she was determined to change his mind.

Diahann was married four times and was engaged to British television host and producer, David Frost, from 1970 until 1973.

In 1983, she was the first black actress to replace a white actress in a dramatic role on Broadway in Agnes of God.

Carroll's professional career continued to flourish in groundbreaking fashion.

Born July 17, 1935 in New York's Bronx borough, Carroll proved a gifted singer from a young age, and worked as a model as well as in musical theater before being cast in the 1959 screen adaptation of "Porgy and Bess".

Regardless, Caroll's career showed no sign of slowing down.

"I really didn't believe that this was a show that was going to work", she said of Julia. In 1962 she won the best actress Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical No Strings - a first for a black woman.

In the realm of television, Carroll truly shined.

Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as "Julia", has died.

After she was treated for breast cancer in 1998, she spoke out for more money for research and for free screening for women who couldn't afford mammograms.

She later appeared in 1980s hit Dynasty as the scheming Dominique Deveraux.

Julia, in which she played the title role, was the first U.S. sitcom to centre on a black woman. But Judy was nearing the end of her career, and life, as she would pass away five years later.

With Diahann Carroll's death having been announced Friday, and with Judy Garland mania in as full a swing as it's likely to ever be in the 21st century, due to the biopic "Judy" having just landed in theaters, there could be no better moment in history - at least since 1964 - to take a look back at the time when these two legends met up for a television duet. More recently, she had a number of guest spots and small roles in TV series, including playing the mother of Isaiah Washington's character, Dr Preston Burke, on Grey's Anatomy. The series was more interested in delving into political subject matter that was avoided by The Cosby Show and its commentary on class and race was hugely impactful for audiences of the late '80s and early '90s.

Richard Rodgers spotted her during one of her frequent singing appearances on Jack Paar's Tonight Show and made a decision to compose a Broadway musical for her. In 1986, she wrote an autobiography Diahann! with Ross Firestone.

And the role would have implications for future generations, Carroll told Ebony. While Mozelle emphasizes peacefulness and charity, Elzora makes no bones about the fact that she is a capitalist through and through. "I would have loved more opportunity to do film". It is thanks to Carroll's appearance that the character is as scary, memorable, and amusing as she is.

"I once met the legendary Diahann Carroll at a luncheon in Toronto".