Groundbreaking TV Star Diahann Carroll Dies at 84

Tony Sokol Oct 4, 2019

Richard Rodgers wrote a musical for Diahann Carroll to star in after hearing her sing on The Tonight Show.

Pioneering TV, film and stage actor Diahann Carroll, who broke barriers as the star of the 60s series Julia, died of Friday in Los Angeles at 84 due to cancer, according to the Associated Press.

Carroll performed on stages in Las Vegas nightclubs, Broadway theaters, and feature film adaptations like Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess before she was cast in the title role on the comedy Julia. Her character was the first time an African-American was cast as the star of a show in a non-servant role. Julia Baker was a nurse raising a young son as a single mother following the death of her husband in the Vietnam War. The series ran for 86 episodes on NBC between 1968 and 1971.

Carol Diahann Johnson was born in the Bronx, but grew up in Harlem,
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