Known as a Hollywood
Sweetheart, Diahann played an infamous actress in “Julia” and was awarded her historic Tony Award, plus
an Oscar nomination for her performance in ‘Claudine.’
Carroll died at her home in
Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, her daughter, producer-journalist
Suzanne Kay, told Hollywood Reporter.
Carroll became the first
African-American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own
primetime network series. (Several actresses portrayed a maid on ABC’s Beulah in the early 1950s.
In reference to her role in “Dynasty”,
Diahann stated “They’ve done everything! They’ve done incest,
homosexuality, murder. I think they’re slowly inching their way toward
interracial,” she recalled in a 1984
piece for People magazine. “I
want to be wealthy and ruthless … I want to be the first black bitch on
Carroll made perhaps her
biggest mark on the big screen with her scrappy title-role performance in Claudine (1974), playing a
Harlem woman on welfare who raises six children on her own and falls for a
garbage collector (James Earl Jones).
Hollywood will miss her flare
for elegance, glamour and contribution to the industry. She opened countless doors
and paved the way for more to come. She truly will be missed.