Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Lee Daniels, Debbie Allen Remember "Icon" Diahann Carroll: "We Will Forever Sing Your Praises"

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Diahann Carroll

Dionne Warwick also mourned her longtime friend, who died Friday after a long battle with cancer: "My personal world has taken a downward spiral. Losing my dear friend and mentor comes as a true hurt to my heart!! I know I’ll miss her as I’m certain all that knew her will."

Hollywood stars took to social media Friday to pay tribute to Diahann Carroll. The pioneering actress died Friday after a long battle with cancer. She was 84.

With her role as widowed nurse Julia Baker on NBC's Julia, Carroll became the first African American female to star in a nonstereotypical role in her own primetime network series. 

The actress was also known for her role as fashionista Dominique Deveraux on three seasons of ABC's Dynasty — the first prominently featured African American character on a primetime soap — and its spinoff, The Colbys.

Carroll's longtime friend Dionne Warwick said in a statement, "My personal world has taken a downward spiral. Losing my dear friend and mentor comes as a true hurt to my heart!! I know I’ll miss her as I’m certain all that knew her will. Rest in peace my dear friend."

Oprah Winfrey wrote in part, "Thanks for helping clear the path for me and so many others."

Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes shared in a statement to THR, "The power and impact of Diahann Carroll is immeasurable. As the first, she escorted the tv drama into the 20th century. Her Julia Baker is queen mother to Olivia Pope's existence. Her Dominque Devereux is fairy godmother to Olivia's fierce style. Because of her, I could. Writing her as Preston Burke's mother was the honor of a lifetime. Knowing her was everything. A hero has gone to glory."

Debbie Allen took to Twitter to remember Carroll. "Diahann Carroll you taught us so much," she captioned two photos of the actress. "We are stronger, more beautiful and risk takers because of you. We will forever sing your praises and speak your name."

Dana Delany also paid tribute to Carroll by reminiscing about meeting the actress. "I once met the legendary Diahann Carroll at a luncheon in Toronto," Delany wrote. "I told her that when she starred in Julia, people used to say my mother looked like her. Without blinking an eye, she said 'Was she very beautiful?' Ms Carroll was a Goddess."

Ava DuVernay remembered Carroll as an "icon." DuVernay tweeted photos of Carroll, writing, "One of the all-time greats. She blazed trails through dense forests and elegantly left diamonds along the path for the rest of us to follow. Extraordinary life. Thank you, Ms. Carroll."

Meanwhile, Lee Daniels paid tribute to Carroll by sharing a photo of the two of them together. "I’m at an utter loss of words right now. The impact you have had on me, Hollywood, America, the World is telling that God exists," he tweeted.

Tyler Perry paid tribute to Carroll by noting that he had plans to dedicate a soundstage at his new studio in Carroll's honor. "In less than 24 hours I was scheduled to dedicate a sound stage at my new studio to Diahann Carroll. As I sat reviewing her video tribute, I got a request to call her daughter when she told me of her Mother’s passing. I did what I could to try and comfort her in this difficult time, but I know no words could soothe, however I prayed that it would," he captioned a photo on Instagram of the two. "I hung up the phone and sat back for a moment and was about to be overcome with sadness. Just as that was about to happen, I received a wave of gratitude. I was so thankful in my soul because I got to be on the planet at the same time as this barrier breaking, race shattering, mythical beauty, that will forever be Diahann Carroll."

"Thank you Ms. Carroll for how you showed the world that black people are special, strong, beautiful and powerful. I know you will live on in our hearts, but I’m so glad to know that your name will live on at Stage 5 at Tyler Perry Studios," Perry continued in the post. "Thank you for letting me honor you, and thank you for lending your legend to my studio to inspire generations to come. Rest well, as I know you are traveling to heaven on a first class cloud. You wouldn’t have had it any other way."

Read below to see what others had to say about the late actress.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In less than 24 hours I was scheduled to dedicate a sound stage at my new studio to Diahann Carroll. As I sat reviewing her video tribute, I got a request to call her daughter when she told me of her Mother’s passing. I did what I could to try and comfort her in this difficult time, but I know no words could soothe, however I prayed that it would. I hung up the phone and sat back for a moment and was about to be overcome with sadness. Just as that was about to happen, I received a wave of gratitude. I was so thankful in my soul because I got to be on the planet at the same time as this barrier breaking, race shattering, mythical beauty, that will forever be Diahann Carroll. Thank you Ms. Carroll for how you showed the world that black people are special, strong, beautiful and powerful. I know you will live on in our hearts, but I’m so glad to know that your name will live on at Stage 5 at Tyler Perry Studios. Thank you for letting me honor you, and thank you for lending your legend to my studio to inspire generations to come. Rest well, as I know you are traveling to heaven on a first class cloud. You wouldn’t have had it any other way. God bless you. Love to your family.

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