She became the first African-American woman to star in her own television series, Julia, in 1968. Sources say Diahann Carroll is now devastated that she may never sing again.
The 78-year-old icon is reported to have been diagnosed with dementia –said to be in the “early stages of the disease.”
Here’s how Diahann once revealed how she took her Dynasty role:
“I picked up the phone, called my manager at the time, and I said ‘I think that I would like to play the first black bitch on television.’
They’re all having such a good time — doing nothing, but wearing pretty clothes and behaving unkindly towards each other, and I’d like to get in on that … Forget that I’m female, forget that I’m black.
Write it exactly the way you would write for a rich white man who wants to continue to be successful, and is ruthless — and you’ll have her, that’s her.”
Here’s what a close friend to Diahann Carroll had to say about the legendary actress’ work during her last film:
“It is such a sad thing to watch. Sometimes she gets confused because she can’t remember someone or where she is at the moment. It’s heartbreaking. It was difficult for her to get through it. But back then she was not so far gone and worked hard to finish the project.
Diahann knows that was the last time she could do a movie, but she still hopes to make cameo appearances. She knows anything more than a line or two could turn into a disaster.
Diahann can’t remember all the lyrics to songs anymore. She hums in her home, but that’s it. Fortunately, Diahann is surrounded by very close, loving friends who will make sure she is taken care of properly and with dignity.”
Here’s what The Enquirer is reporting:
“Diahann Carroll’s last major movie was ‘Peeples,’ a Tyler Perry project with ‘Scandal’ star Kerry Washington. It was released earlier this year. The four-times-married actress – who also appeared on the prime-time soap ‘Dynasty’ is estranged from her only daughter, writer Suzanne Kay Bamford.”