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October 07, 2019

Diahann Carroll: Fans and Celebrities Honor the 'Julia' Star Who Died at 84 after Battling Cancer

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Fans and celebrities continue to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the pioneering actress Diahann Carroll who passed away on Friday, October 4.

Carroll was the first black woman to play a non-stereotypical role on TV, and her groundbreaking achievements will continue to live in the hearts of many.

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Actress/dancer Debbie Allen is one of those people impacted by Carroll’s life, and she said as much in a tweet.

Still To Come: Carroll encouraged him many years ago to approach his now-wife

"You taught us so much. We are stronger, more beautiful, and risk takers because of you," she wrote alongside photos of the late "Julia" star. "We will forever sing your praises and speak your name. Love, Love, Love, Debbie."

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Filmmaker Ava DuVernay also recognized Carroll’s iconic life and offered her gratitude to the late icon:

"Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. An icon. One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll."

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In another tweet, "Nappily Ever After" star Sanaa Lathan called Carroll a "queen" while "TODAY" co-host gushed over what an honor it was to have met the late legend.

"Soul Food" alum Boris Kodjoe also shared quite an emotional tribute, revealing that Carroll encouraged him many years ago to approach his now-wife Nicole Ari Parker while they were co-stars on the TV series.

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"[Needless] to say, I followed her advice, and whenever I saw her years after, she would rarely miss an opportunity to laugh with me about our fateful conversation," Kodjoe added. "Rest in peace, Miss Carroll."

Another fan recognized Carroll’s contributions both as an actress and a fashion icon. "Sad loss for the entertainment & beauty world," the fan tweeted. "Rest in chic Diahann Carroll. A true pioneer & legend."

"Beauty like this never dies and neither will her legacy!" singer and actress Jennifer Hudson chimed in. 

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Carroll died at her Los Angeles home at age 84, following a long battle with cancer. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the news from her daughter Suzanne Kay.

Carroll is best known for being the first African American woman to star in a primetime TV series in a non-servant role. Per Variety, she is also known for playing the conniving Dominique Deveraux on the nighttime soap "Dynasty" in the mid-80s.

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According to ESSENCE, Carroll was committed to raising the next generation of actresses, telling them at the 2009 Black Women in Hollywood Awards:

"I’ve had a hard time. I’ve had a rough time. I’m not going to deny it. Don’t let it disturb you in any way."

Carroll earned a Golden Globe in 1969 for her performance in "Julia" and earlier in 1962, a Tony award for her lead role in the musical "No Strings." During her lifetime, Carroll was also nominated for an Oscar and four Emmys.

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