Home / Entertainment / Diahann Carroll Dead: Pioneer in "Julia" and "Dynasty" was 84 years old

Diahann Carroll Dead: Pioneer in "Julia" and "Dynasty" was 84 years old

She also received a historic Tony Award and an Oscar nomination for her performance in "Claudine".

Diahann Carroll, the intriguing singer and actress who came out of the Bronx to win a Tony Award, received an Oscar nomination and wrote with her twists to Julia and Dynasty TV history. died Friday. She was 84 years old.

Carroll died in her Los Angeles home after a long battle with cancer. Her daughter, producer journalist Suzanne Kay, reported The Hollywood Reporter .

Carroll was known as a Las Vegas and nightclub actress and for her appearances on Broadway and in the Hollywood musicals Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess when she was interviewed by an NBC executive when Julia Baker, a widow, was approached nurse raising a young son, in the comedy Julia .

She did not want it. "I really did not think this was a show that would work," she said in a 1

998 chat for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. "I thought it would be something that would leave someone's consciousness in a very short time, I thought, 'Let them go somewhere else."

However, when Carroll learned that Hal Kanter, the experienced scriptwriter who created the series, she considered too glamorous, she was determined to change his mind. She changed her hairstyle and mastered the pilot script to quickly convince him that she was the right woman.

Carroll was the first African-American woman to play a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series. (Several actresses portrayed a maid on ABC's Beulah in the early 1950s.)

Baker, whose husband had died in Vietnam, worked for a medical doctor (Lloyd Nolan) at an airline. She was educated and open and dated men (including the characters played by Fred Williamson, Paul Winfield and Don Marshall) who were also successful.

Black middle-class woman raising her child, and her main concentration, is not about being in the ghetto, "Carroll noted.

" Many people were outraged by it. They felt that [African Americans] this was not the case having so many opportunities on television or in the movie to portray our plight as outsiders … They felt that suffering [real-world] was far too acute when that it would be so trivial to introduce a middle-class woman who deals with the nurse's business.

"But we felt that what we did was important, and we never left that position … although part of that criticism was of course valid, we thought that was another show We were allowed to have this show. "[194559006] Julia who premiered in September 1968, ranked 7th in the first of her three seasons, and Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work.

As the sultry fashion woman Dominique Deveraux – the first prominent African-American character in a primetime soap opera – Carroll played a much more exciting role in ABC's Dynasty and her spin-off for three seasons The Colbys who wonderfully dueled with their diva Alexis Carrington Colby (Joan Collins).

When Carroll recovered after starring in Agnes of God she had found . Dynasty – "Is not that the Biggest Scream?" She said – and hired producer Aaron Spelling for a role in his series.

"They did everything [on the show] They committed incest, homosexuality and murder, and I think they are slowly moving towards interracial," she recalled in a 1984 article for the journal People "I want to be rich and ruthless … I want to be the first black female on TV."

Carroll made with her battered title role in Claudine (1974), playing a harlem who raises six children alone and falls for rubbish, perhaps her biggest impression on the canvas collector (James Earl Jones).

The role was originally transferred to her dear friend Diana Sands. When Sands (who played Julia Baker's cousin in several episodes of Julia ) contracted cancer, she suggested Carroll take her place.

"The producers said:" How can she take on this role? No one would think she could, "said Carroll." I remember the headline in the paper: "Would you call Jackie Onassis as a welfare mother Believing? "… The connection between the name Jackie Onassis and Diahann Carroll is very interesting when you think about it.The question was how to make someone believe that she [six] has children and to be nominated for an Oscar 'It was the best, the best.'

Carol Diahann Johnson was born on July 17, 1935 at Fordham Hospital in the Bronx. Her father John was an underground When she was young, she conducted a scholarship at the High School of Music and Art with her mother, the nurse Mabel, to whom Billy Dee Williams was a classmate.

At the age of 15, she started modeling clothes for black people. Popular magazines such as Ebony Tan and Jett . Her father initially disapproved, then wondered when she told him she had earned $ 600 for a session. [19659003] Her parents drove her to Philadelphia on many weekends to win her as a candidate for the band's TV talent show Teen Club of tracker Paul Whiteman in which she first figured as Diahann Carroll.

After enrolling at NYU to study Psychology, she appeared in 1953 in the ABC Talent Show Chance to Live hosted by Dennis James and won for several weeks. One of her rewards was a regular engagement at the famous Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan.

Christine Jorgensen taught her how to "carry" herself on stage, and she moved in with her manager, trained and rehearsed every day. She soon sang in the Persian Room at the New York Plaza Hotel and at other hotspots like Ciro's, The Mocambo and The Cloister in Hollywood, The Black Orchid in Chicago and L & #; olympia in Paris She played full-time and went to Los Angeles brought to audition for Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones (1954), taking on the role of Myrtle alongside Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge.

In 1954 she made her Broadway debut as a young star of the musical Truman Capote-Harold Arlen House of Flowers . Walter Kerr in The New York Herald Tribune called it "a mournful and extraordinarily responsive invention".

She was cast to play Clara in Preminger and Rouben Mamoulian's film adaptation of Porgy and Bess (1959), but her voice was considered too quiet for the Summertime number of her Character views another singer dubbed for them.

She met Sidney Poitier in this film and began what she described as a "very turbulent" nine-year romance with him. (Carroll had her first non-singing film role in 1961, when she played a teacher alongside Poitier, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward. Paris Blues .

She became known for her phrasing, part episode her phrasing was studied by Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

In 1963, she received the first of her four Emmy Noms careers when she again portrayed a teacher in ABC's Naked City .

Richard Rodgers spotted her during one of her frequent vocal appearances in the Tonight Show by Jack Paar and decided to compose a Broadway musical for her after giving up the idea of ​​having an Asian Flower Drum Song in 1958 he wrote in 1962 No Strings a love story about an African-American model (Carroll) and a nebbish white novelist (Richard Kiley).

His first His attempt after the death of longtime collaborator Oscar Hammerstein II brought Carroll rave reviews and a Tony Award, the first to be awarded to a black woman as best actress in a lead role by a Musical.

Soon after hosting a CBS Summer Replacement Variety Show in 1976, she retired from show business and moved to Oakland. When she got the role of Dominique – the half-sister of John Forsythe's Blake Carrington – in 1984, she returned to the Hollywood map.

and you will have the character. Do not try to write what you think I am. Write for a white man who wants to be rich and powerful. And that's how we found Dominique Deveraux. More recently Carroll has had recurring roles as Jasmine Guy's mother in NBC's A Different World as Isaiah Washington's mother in ABC's Gray's Anatomy and as a Widow in the Park.

Avenue in the US White Collar . She also appeared in films such as Eve's Bayou (1997) and on stage as Norman Desmond in a musical version of Sunset Blvd

She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2011.

Carroll recorded several albums during her career and wrote the memoirs published in 1986 Diahann and Legs are the last ones: aging, acting, marrying, mothering, and other things I've learned on my way 2008.

She was married four times: with Monte Kay, a manager and casting consultant at House of Flowers to Freddie Glusman , a clothier in Las Vegas (this union only lasted a few weeks); to the editor of the journal, Robert DeLeon (he died in a car accident in 1977); and singer Vic Damone (from 1987 until her divorce in 1996). She also had a three-year romance with talk show host David Frost.

In addition to her daughter, her grandchildren survived August and Sydney.

Duane Byrge contributed to this report.

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