Emmy- and Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Diahann Carroll, who won critical acclaim as the first black woman to star in a non-servant role in a TV series as “Julia,” has died. She was 84.
Carroll’s daughter, Susan Kay, told The Associated Press her mother died Friday in Los Angeles of cancer.
Carroll was perhaps best known for her pioneering work on “Julia,” where she played Julia Baker, a nurse whose Army pilot husband had been shot down and killed in Vietnam. The groundbreaking situation comedy aired from 1968 to 1971 and was the first time a black woman had ever starred in a non-servant role on television.
Carroll was known as a Las Vegas and nightclub performer and for her performances on Broadway and in the Hollywood musicals Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess when she was approached by an NBC executive to star in “Julia.”
Carroll was then nominated for a lead actress Oscar for the titular role in 1974’s “Claudine,” starring alongside James Earl Jones. She went on to join the cast of “Dynasty” in 1984 for three seasons, playing Dominique Deveraux, the half-sister of John Forsythe’s Blake Carrington.