Diahann Carroll, who is perhaps best known as the star of Julia, the first American television series to follow the life of a professional black woman, died on October 4. In addition to her work on Julia, Carroll was a veteran of the screen and stage, and won a Tony for her role in the musical “No Strings.” She also starred in films featuring Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, James Earl Jones, and Michael Caine.
But my favorite Diahann Carroll role was her turn on Dynasty as Dominique Deveraux, where she complained about the taste of Alexis Carrington Colby’s “burnt” champagne in a white, one-shouldered fur cape so brilliantly that I’m pretty sure she must have brought that cape to the set from her own personal collection. The quiet way she says “Ciao” to Alexis has all the power of death threat with the kind of cutting composure that makes Real Housewife shade feel like children playing dress-up in oversized high heels. To celebrate the power of Carroll’s devastatingly stylish screen presence, let us enjoy some images that capture a bit of that fur cape je ne sais quoi:
Here she is intimidating the shit out of Halle Berry:
Making Morgan Fairchild look like an extra.
Causing David Frost, who she dated for three years, to clutch his tie in renewed surprise at his good fortune to be so near that single exposed shoulder.
And finally, a nascent experimentation with the fur look that would one day make Alexis Carrington Colby eat it.
Thanks for all of these, along with everything else, Diahann.