Diahann Carroll, the model, singer, and actress who broke barriers when she became the first black woman to star in the television “Julia” passed away Friday at the age of 84 after a battle with breast cancer, her publicist Jeffrey Lane confirmed to CNN.
Carroll was known for her talent as well as being described as beautiful and classy. Such elegance often seen on both the small and big screen throughout her career. In 1968, she starred in a show that changed the dynamic of television when “Julia” premiered on NBC. Carroll would later admit to the Television Academy Foundation in 1988, that she was not a fan at first of the groundbreaking series that earned her an Emmy nomination and Golden Globe award.
“I really didn’t believe that this was a show that was going to work,” she said of “Julia.” “I thought it was something that was going to relieve someone’s conscience for a very short period of time and I really thought ‘Let them go elsewhere.”
Her later roles included her performance as Dominique Deveraux in the 80s prime-time soap “Dynasty,” and guest appearances as Whitley Gilbert’s (Jasmine Guy) mom in the Cosby Show spinoff “A Different World. Carroll also starred in the movies, Claudine, Carmen Jones, The Five Heartbeats, and Eve’s Bayou.
In her personal life, Carroll was married four times. Her most noted unions were with record producer Monte Kay in 1956. The couple divorced in 1963, and had a daughter, Suzanne Kay who is a journalist and author. She would later marry singer, Vic Dimone in 1987. Their marriage lasted 9 years with the couple splitting in 1996.