Diahann Carroll: Broadway Will Dim Its Lights to Commemorate Life and Work of the Tony Award Winner

As stars mourn the loss of legendary actress, Diahann Carroll, Broadway will pay tribute to her through a minute of darkness this week. Carroll broke ground in theater as the first African American woman to win a Tony Award for Best Actress.

The celebration of Diahann Carroll’s life continues weeks after her death. In fact, in a few days, Broadway lights will be dimmed in her honor. 

“She made just three visits to Broadway - in two musicals and a turbulent drama - but the breadth of those roles is a measure of her range and craft."

Diahann Carroll at an awards event in 2013. | Photo: Getty Images

Diahann Carroll at an awards event in 2013. | Photo: Getty Images

SHINING A STAR ON CARROLL IN THE MIDST OF DARKNESS

Carroll’s contribution to the world of entertainment will be commemorated in a special tribute On October 16. The 84-year-old who broke racial barriers in film and theater will be honored with a minute of darkness courtesy of theater owners in Broadway.

According to Broadway World, the American Airlines, Broadhurst, Helen Hayes,  Hudson, Marquis, New Amsterdam, Samuel J. Friedman, St. James, and Vivian Beaumont Theatres in New York will be dimming their lights at 7:45 pm to acknowledge the loss of Carroll who died on October 4.

“I think very often, particularly minorities, it’s almost required of them, that they are nice people and I don’t want to play a nice person.”

Diahann Carroll at the "2016 ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood." | Photo: Getty Images

Diahann Carroll at the "2016 ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood." | Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Schumacher, the chairman of The Broadway League recognizes Carroll’s “groundbreaking” contributions to the industry.“That she was a pioneer is undeniable. But she was first and foremost a gifted, Tony-winning actress of enormous warmth and charm,” he said

“She made just three visits to Broadway - in two musicals and a turbulent drama - but the breadth of those roles is a measure of her range and craft."

A lovely portrait of actress Diahann Carroll who was also a singer and fashion model taken in January 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

A lovely portrait of actress Diahann Carroll who was also a singer and fashion model taken in January 1965. | Photo: Getty Images

AN ICON ON STAGE AND TELEVISION

Carroll appeared in “House of Flowers in 1954 and in “No Strings’ in 1962. She won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical performance for the latter, the first for an African American woman at the time. 

In 1977, she toured with the production of “Same Time, Next Year” and in 1982, she joined the cast of “Agnes of God. She was also part of the Toronto production of “Sunset Boulevard” in 1995.

Tyler Perry  who named one of his soundstages in his newly launched Tyler Perry Studios after Carroll, celebrated the actress with a heartfelt tribute

Diahann Carroll during a photo shoot at the Watts Towers in Los Angeles in the 1960s. | Photo: Getty Images

Diahann Carroll during a photo shoot at the Watts Towers in Los Angeles in the 1960s. | Photo: Getty Images

On television, Carroll’s iconic role as Dominique Deveraux in “Dynasty” opened the doors for Black women to portray legendary antagonists who exhibited grace, style, and poise. Of her venomous role, Carroll once
said

“I think very often, particularly minorities, it’s almost required of them, that they are nice people and I don’t want to play a nice person.”

STARS MOURNING HER LOSS

Due to the force she exerted as a strong woman playing roles of strong women, the Black community mourned her loss by celebrating her accomplishments. 

Debbie Allen admitted, “We are stronger, more beautiful, and risk takers because of you.” Holly Robinson Peete whose mother is Carroll’s good friend recognized the late star as “a pioneer on so many levels.” 

Diahann Carroll (seated third from right) in the company of a league of Black women celebrated at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards in February 2017. | Photo: Getty Images

Diahann Carroll (seated third from right) in the company of a league of Black women celebrated at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards in February 2017. | Photo: Getty Images

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay said it best when she wrote, “She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow.”

Meanwhile, Tyler Perry who named one of his soundstages in his newly launched Tyler Perry Studios after Carroll celebrated the actress with a heartfelt tribute. "We wanted Diahann to hear us in heaven," he said as he unveiled her soundstage.

It may take a while for the community to get over the loss of this extraordinary talent who graced us with her powerful presence for almost seven decades. No doubt, her star will shine even brighter as the lights go out in Broadway this week. 

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