“Diahann Carroll, who more than half a century ago transcended racial barriers as the star of “Julia,” the first American television series to chronicle the life of a black professional woman, died on Friday at her home in West Hollywood, Calif.,” The New York Times reported on Oct. 4th.
The story continued, “Her publicist, Jeffrey Lane, said the cause was complications of breast cancer. Ms. Carroll, 84, had survived the cancer in the 1990s and become a public advocate for screening and treatment.”
Airing on NBC from 1968 until 1971, “Julia” was “Popular with both black and white viewers, [and] in its first season reached No. 7 in the Nielsen ratings, the highest position it attained in its three seasons on the air,” the Times said.
The Times story added that “Widely known for her elegant beauty and sartorial glamour, Ms. Carroll began her professional life as a singer and continued to ply that art. She sang on television, in nightclubs, on recordings and on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award” for best actress in the Richard Rodgers musical “No Strings” in 1962. She was the first African American to win that award.
Carroll is also well-remembered for playing “the scheming, moneyed Dominique Deveraux on ABC’s prime-time soap opera ‘Dynasty’ in the 1980s,” the Times said.
Here’s the opening from “Julia”:
Here’s Carroll’s beautiful version of “Quiet Nights” from an unknown TV show in the late 1950s or early 1960s (found on YouTube):