Diahann Carroll, the first Black woman to star on her own TV show in a non-subservient role has died at the age of 84 from complications of breast cancer.
In addition to being a sitcom pioneer, Carroll was talented actress and singer who won a Tony Award for her Broadway performance.
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Diahann Carroll ‘s daughter has confirmed her mother died today in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.
The award winning actress, who more than half a century ago transcended racial barriers as the star of “Julia,” the first American television series to chronicle the life of a black professional woman, died on Friday at her home in West Hollywood, Calif. She was 84.
According to the NYTimes, Carroll’s publicist, Jeffrey Lane, said the cause was complications of breast cancer.
Ms. Carroll had survived the cancer in the 1990s and become a public advocate for screening and treatment.
Carroll became famous from her role in “Julia,” a situation comedy broadcast on NBC from 1968 to 1971. Carroll starred as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse with a young son. The show featured Marc Copage as Julia’s son, and Lloyd Nolan as the curmudgeonly but broad-minded doctor for whom she worked.
Popular with both black and white viewers, “Julia” in its first season reached No. 7 in the Nielsen ratings, the highest position it attained in its three seasons on the air.
Carroll began her professional life as a singer, displaying her vocal talents on television, in nightclubs, on recordings and on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award.
In films, she starred opposite the likes of Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, James Earl Jones and Michael Caine. On television, she played the scheming, moneyed Dominique Deveraux on ABC’s prime-time soap opera “Dynasty” in the 1980s.