Diahann Carroll has died at the age of 84 on October 4. The Hollywood star’s daughter, Suzanne Kay, told CBS News that her mother had been battling breast cancer.

The actress made her television debut in 1954 as Myrt in the drama Carmen Jones. She later rose to fame with roles in Porgy and Bess (1959) and Julia (1968). It was in the latter that the Oscar-nominated performer broke down barriers in the film industry. Her character, Julia Baker, was the first time ever in history that a black woman starred in a non-servant role.


Carroll continued to make bold appearances on award-winning shows later on in her career, such as  Grey’s Anatomy and White Collar. In the former she played Jane Burke (Preston Burke’s mother) and in the latter she played June Ellington (an elderly widow who owns The Schinasi Mansion).



The movie star’s performances have been critically acclaimed and she has made history by becoming the first black woman to win a Tony Award for best actress in No Strings. Carroll has won many other awards including NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (2009), TV Land Groundbreaking Show Award (2003), and NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture (1975).

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