Actors and fans share tribute to Diahann Carroll "Julia" "Dynasty" "Grey's Anatomy" dies at 84

Diahann Carroll, an Academy Award-nominated actress and singer, passed away on Friday at the age of 84. Carroll was known for breaking entertainment industry barriers and beloved for her memorable roles in “Julia”, “Dynasty”, and most recently “Grey’s Anatomy”. Fellow actors and fans are posting tributes to pioneering actress Diahann Carroll.

Fox News reported that Carroll’s death was confirmed by her daughter Susan Kay, who said that she died at her home in Los Angeles, California after a long battle with cancer.

A Distinguished Career

Carroll had a long and distinguished acting career that garnered her a Tony Award for the show “No Strings”. Plus an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for the film Claudine. However, she is arguably best known for her groundbreaking role on the television show “Julia.” In the sitcom, Carroll portrayed Julia Baker, a nurse whose husband was killed in Vietnam. The role was a pioneering one because it marked the first time a black woman starred in her own television show playing someone other than a maid. Ironically, Carroll originally did not want to take role on the show that would make her a household name.

“I really didn’t believe that this was a show that was going to work,” she said in 1998. “I thought it was something that was going to leave someone’s consciousness in a very short period of time. I thought, ‘Let them go elsewhere.'”

Though television executives were nervous about putting “Julia” on TV given the racial unrest of the 1960s, it went on to be a huge hit. However, some critics of the show said that Carroll’s character of Julia was not a realistic portrayal of a black American woman in the 1960s. But the respected actress vehemently disagreed with critics on this point.

“They said it was a fantasy,” Carroll recalled. “All of this was untrue. Much about the character of Julia I took from my own life, my family.”

Carroll’s Oscar Nomination

The Hollywood Reporter stated that Carroll’s Oscar nomination came for her work in Claudine, a movie in which she played a scrappy woman who raises six children on welfare and falls in love with a garbage collector, played by James Earl Jones. Few may know but the part had originally been written for Carroll’s good friend Diana Sands. Sands suggested Carroll for the role when she was diagnosed with cancer.

“The producers said, ‘How can she do this role? No one would believe she could do it,” Carroll said. “I remember the headline in the paper: ‘Would you believe Jackie Onassis as a welfare mother?’ … The very coupling of the name Jackie Onassis and Diahann Carroll is very interesting, if you think about it. Their question was, how do we make anyone believe that she has [six] children? And to be nominated for an Academy Award, to do that, it was the best, the best.”

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Tributes Pour In For Diahann Carroll

Tributes are pouring in for Carroll on social media. These tributes certainly show just how much peers and public loved Carroll.

Rest in peace, Diahann Carroll. Your legacy lives on in your work and all of us.

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