Diahann Carroll, the Oscar-nominated actress and singer 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.
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. AP/Dailymail Online