Diahann Carroll, Legendary Oscar-Nominated Actress, Dead at 84

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Diahann Carroll, the Tony-winning and Oscar-nominated actress, has died. She was 84.

The legendary entertainer died on Friday morning at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, her daughter, Suzanne Kay, confirmed in a statement.

"Carroll was a consummate entertainer and beloved icon whose career spanned nearly seven decades. She paved the way for many and never allowed anyone to limit or define her. She was the winner of a Tony Award and Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar and Emmy awards," the statement reads. "Ms. Carroll was the first African American woman to star in her own television show and was in the first interracial love story on Broadway. Her film work includes Claudine, Carmen Jones, and Porgy and Bess."

Carroll -- who made history as the first African American in a lead role to win a Tony Award for her role in No Strings -- will be celebrated posthumously on Saturday with a dedication of her own stage at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

The stunning actress broke barriers in Hollywood, starring in 1968's Julia and becoming the first black woman in history to star in her own TV series.

Upon hearing news of her death, celebrities and dear friends expressed their condolences, including Perry.

"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," Perry wrote alongside a photo of the two. "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."

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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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"My personal world has taken a downward spiral.  Losing my dear friend and Mentor comes as a true hurt to my heart!!" Dionne Warwick said in a statement given to ET. "I know I’ll miss her as I’m certain all that knew her will.  Rest in Peace my dear friend. Dionne Warwick, longtime close friend and fellow artist."

Ava DuVernay, among others, also took to Twitter to share touching words about the iconic actress.

"Diahann Carroll walked this earth for 84 years and broke ground with every footstep. An icon. One of the all-time greats," DuVernay wrote. "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."

 Carroll is survived by her daughter, Suzanne, and her grandchildren, August and Sydney.

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