Carol Sutton, 'Steel Magnolias’ Actress, Dead at 76 From Coronavirus
By Liz Calvario
Carol Sutton, known for her roles in Steel Magnolias and Queen Sugar, has died. She was 76. The actress died this week of complications from COVID-19. The news was confirmed by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
"Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades," LaToya said in a statement. "The world may recognize her from her performances in movies and on TV -- whether it's Treme or Claws, or Runaway Jury or Queen Sugar -- but we will always remember her commanding stage presence, her richly portrayed characters, and the warm heart she shared with her fellow cast and crew in productions such as 4000 Miles and A Raisin in the Sun. May she rest in God's perfect peace."
Sutton began her acting career in the late 1960s in Dashiki Project Theatre productions. She performed in many New Orleans productions like The Last Madam, A Raisin the Sun and Native Tongues. In 1974, she made her on-screen debut in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and appeared in movies like Ray, The Help,Monster's Ball, The Last Exorcism and as Nurse Pam in Steel Magnolias, among others.
Sutton also had roles in TV series like Going to California, Treme, American Horror Story, True Detective, Lovecraft Country, Queen Sugar and more.
Following the news of her death, Ava DuVernay paid tribute to Sutton, posting a Queen Sugar clip with the late star.
"On behalf of the QUEEN SUGAR family, we celebrate the life of the stellar Carol Sutton," the director wrote. "It was our honor to welcome this veteran actress of stage + screen to our show as Aunt Martha in Episode 409, Stare at the Same Fires.' We bless her. May she rise and rest in peace and power."
On behalf of the QUEEN SUGAR family, we celebrate the life of the stellar Carol Sutton. It was our honor to welcome this veteran actress of stage + screen to our show as Aunt Martha in Episode 409, “Stare at the Same Fires.” We bless her. May she rise and rest in peace and power. pic.twitter.com/OMbRExLvMz
A legend in theater & film from New Orleans has passed away. Carol Sutton had over 100 film and television credits along with a lifelong presence in the theater community.She was a mentor to us all and her work by example built a career on par with Maggie Smith. RIP beloved Carol pic.twitter.com/7Q0dIMoSOb