Diahan Carroll, the Emmy nominated actress known for her groundbreaking roles in television and film, passed away in Los Angeles on Friday at the age of 84.
Carroll's daughter, Suzanne Kay, confirmed her mother's death to the Associated Press, revealing the cause of death was breast cancer.
The Bronx native, born Carol Diahannn Johnson, quickly developed her talents as a young child singing in church. She was awarded the Metropolitan Opera scholarship at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art at just 10 years old and by the age of 16, she changed her name for a talent scout audition.
In 1954, the trailblazer landed the role of Myrt in an all black rendition of Carmen Jones, becoming the first black woman to win a Tony Award for lead actress in a musical for her production of "No Strings."
But that wouldn't be her only first. In 1968, Carroll starred in Julia, her own television sitcom where she played a nurse and widow. Her character on the show marked her the first black woman to land her own television sitcom where she didn't play the stereotypical role of a servant or domestic worker. Her work on the sitcom earned her an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for "Best Newcomer."
Her performance in the 1974 film "Claudine" also earned the actress some Golden Globe nominations and an Academy Award nod.
Other notable characters Carroll played throughout the years include her role as Dominique Deveraux on the soap opera "Dynasty," and Marion Gilbert, Whitney Gilbert's mother on the college sitcom, "A Different World."
In Carroll’s personal life, she was married four times. Her first marriage to record producer Monte Kay brought into existence her daughter Suzanne in 1960, but would end after her affair with Sidney Poitier.
In 1973, she wed and divorced Las Vegas boutique owner Fred Glusman. She tied the knot again with writer Robert DeLeon in 1975, but became a widow when he died in a car crash two years later. Finally, in 1987, she and singer Vic Damone jumped the broom. They eventually ended their marriage in 1996.
Roughly a year later, Carroll was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent 12 weeks of radiation and became an activist for the cause.
Rest in peace.