Diahann Carroll: Fans and Celebrities Honor the 'Julia' Star Who Died at 84 after Battling Cancer
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.
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."
Diahann Carroll you taught us so much. We are stronger, more beautiful and risk takers because of you. We will forever sing your praises and speak your name. Love Love Love, Debbie💕 pic.twitter.com/1LBUUa2Ql3— Debbie Allen (@msdebbieallen) October 4, 2019
This one cuts deeply. My mom & Ms Diahann were friends since they were 14. She was a pioneer on so many levels. She made me believe I could be on television! I loved & cherished and idolized her like a daughter.... 💔💔— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) October 4, 2019
RIP Diahann Carroll thank you for the gift of your life🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/StN2c5vGDN
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."
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. pic.twitter.com/YXjh7d3LWU— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 4, 2019
Tony & Golden Globe award winning, Oscar & Emmy nominated pioneering actress Diahann Carroll has passed at 84. It was an honor to get to meet and talk with her. Her show, JULIA, made tv history with her at the helm. #RIP pic.twitter.com/HIZsnmfITg— Al Roker (@alroker) October 4, 2019
"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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Diahann Carroll. One of the original “disruptors” in Hollywood. First African-American woman to win a Tony Award. First African-American woman to star in her own TV show. I remember her heart and her dry sense of humor. Always a word of encouragement with a healthy dose of sarcasm. Years ago, pre marriage and kids, I was sitting next to her on the set of Soul Food waiting to shoot the next scene. Suddenly she leaned over to me and motioned towards @nicoleariparker who was reading her script not twenty feet away. “What are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger. Go get her!” Needles 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. Rest in peace, Miss Carroll. ❤️🙏🏾
"[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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I was a little girl when I saw a woman of color on TV for the first time. It was #DiahannCarroll in “Julia,” a story of a widowed nurse and the first portrayal of a black working woman on TV. I can still feel the impact of that moment to this day. Diahann’s powerful body of work not only paved the way for me, but she is a true testament to women of color in entertainment, and her affect on this world will be felt for years to come.
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.
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."
Ex @voxdotcom Diahann Carroll’s role as Julia was the 1st time a BW was in a lead role on a TV series - she was the first not depicted in a domestic role. Groundbreaking. BW finally saw themselves clothed OUTSIDE OF DOMESTIC UNIFORMS. Mattel made a Barbie. This is #AmericanStyle pic.twitter.com/vv6NJGqKjx— Shelby Ivey Christie (@bronze_bombSHEL) January 14, 2019
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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