Pioneering Actress Diahann Carroll Dead At 84

Diahann Carroll has died.

The 84-year-old actress and singer, who made history becoming the first African-American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series, passed away in her Los Angeles home on Friday (October 4) after a long bout with cancer, her daughter, Suzanne Kay, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Carroll was known for her performances both on Broadway and in Hollywood. The acclaimed actress rose to fame starring in some of the earliest major studio films to feature black casts, including Carmen Jones in 1954 and Porgy and Bess in 1959.

In 1962, the Bronx native, who was a breast cancer survivor, became the first black woman to win a Tony Award for Best Actress for her role in the Broadway musical No Strings. She also made history with the 1968 comedy series Julia, playing a nurse (the first non-stereotypical leading role for an African-American woman) whose husband had been killed in Vietnam, which earned her an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe. And in 1974, she received an Academy Award nomination for her role in the film Claudine.

Throughout her nearly seven-decade career, Carroll starred in a number of award-winning shows including, ABC's Dynasty, its spinoff The Colbys, A Different World, Grey's Anatomy, White Collar, and dozens more.

Our thoughts are with Carroll's family during this difficult time. May she rest in peace.

Photo: Getty Images

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