Saturday, October 5, 2019

Oscar-Nominated actress, Diahann Carroll dies at 84

Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actor and singer who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant lead role in a TV series as Julia, has died. She was 84.

Carroll’s daughter, Susan Kay, told the Associated Press her mother died on Friday in Los Angeles of cancer. During her long career, Carroll earned a Tony award for the musical No Strings and an Academy Award nomination for Claudine.

But she was perhaps best known for her pioneering work on Julia. Carroll played Julia Baker, a nurse whose husband had been killed in Vietnam, in the groundbreaking situation comedy that aired from 1968 to 1971.

Although she was not the first black woman to star in her own TV show (Ethel Waters played a maid in the 1950s series Beulah), she was the first to star as someone other than a servant. NBC executives were wary about putting Julia on the network during the racial unrest of the 1960s, but it was an immediate hit.