Innately elegant, beautiful, with appalling agreeable and affecting skills, Diahann Carroll, who died of blight Friday in Los Angeles at 84, could accept coasted forth in a multi-faceted career, benumbed the top tier.
Instead, with her intelligence, confidence and drive, she crusaded for civilian rights and calmly became a showbiz avant-garde — starring in Broadway’s aboriginal interracial agreeable romance, on television as the aboriginal African-American woman to advance her own series, and scoring in films area she was Oscar-nominated as an absolute African-American woman.
Born in the Bronx on July 17, 1935, a alum of Manhattan’s acclaimed High School of Music and Art, Carroll alone out of academy to archetypal and afterwards actuality spotted singing on TV, she was accustomed a one-week booking by Lou Walters (father of Barbara) in the Latin Quarter nightclub. When one anniversary continued to four, a career was launched.
Carroll had fabricated her Broadway admission in the mid-50s in a acclaimed bomb alleged “House of Flowers” which had a book by Truman Capote and music by Harold Arlen. She was so good, Richard Rodgers (who with accomplice Oscar Hammerstein created Broadway history with “The Sound of Music,” “South Pacific” and “Oklahoma!”) promised to address a appearance for her.
“No Strings,” Rodgers’ aboriginal abandoned appearance (Hammerstein had died), bankrupt ancestral barriers casting Carroll as a alluring appearance archetypal in Paris adverse Richard Kiley (soon to be acclaimed as “The Man from La Mancha”) in a apricot romance. The 1962 appearance won her the Best Extra Tony award.
In the 1968 TV alternation “Julia,” Carroll starred as a assistant and distinct mother (her bedmate had been dead in Vietnam). At a time of protests, “Julia” remained defiantly bourgeois and ran for three seasons.
In movies, Carroll was featured in 1959’s “Porgy and Bess” and again starred adverse Sidney Poitier in “Paris Blues” (’61). She becoming a well-deserved Best Extra Oscar choice for 1974’s “Claudine” — alone the fourth atramentous extra nominated in that category. Claudine, a distinct mother of six on welfare, was additionally a strong, absolute woman falling in adulation with James Earl Jones’ debris collector.
Her heralded acknowledgment to alternation television came in the caliginosity soap “Dynasty” as Dominique Deveraux, a conniving architect who frequently went arch to arch with Joan Collins’ Alexis Carrington.
While she occasionally alternate to the stage, including the 1982 Broadway hit “Agnes of God” and in Toronto as absurd bashful awning brilliant Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard” (1995), Carroll’s best all-encompassing assignment was on the baby awning with TV movies and alternating alternation roles, including Emmy nominations for “A Different World” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Married four times, she partnered with accompanist Vic Damone in nightclubs afore their divorce. Carroll is survived by her daughter, biographer and announcer Suzanne Kay, and two grandchildren.
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