Saturday, May 18, 2024

Diahann Carroll Dead at Age 84: Timeless Beauty Was First African American Woman to Star in Own TV Series


Diahann Carroll has died at age 84, from cancer according to reports. She was the first African American women to star in her own TV series, “Julia.” She was also wildly popular as the character Dominique Devereaux, the sister of John Forsythe’s Blake Carrington, on “Dynasty.” (She herself described the role as “the first black bitch on TV”).

But Carroll, who was a real beauty, was also a superstar on stage, performing as a singer. She had an amazing life that included a marriage to singer Vic Damone (her fourth and last husband) and a love affair with British news personality David Frost.

Carroll won a Tony Award in 1962 for for best actress in a musical for “No Strings.” She was nominated for an Oscar in 1975 for the great movie, “Claudine.” She won a Golden Globe in 1969 for “Julia.” She was nominated four times for Prime Time Emmy Awards, most recently for “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2008. She was also nominated for “Julia,” for “A Different World,” and the classic TV series “Naked City.”

An elegant presence wherever she appeared, Diahann Carroll was a trailblazer. Whenever I met her, I can tell you, she radiated the word “star.” What a great lady. May she rest in peace. She will be truly missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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