The legendary Diahann Carroll, whom we lost last year, was a force to be reckoned with. The dynamic actress made magic in projects like Carmen Jones, Claudine and Dynasty. She also touched every actor she worked with, including Kerry Washington who led her tribute at the 2020 Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards.

Washington, who is notoriously private about her children, shared a touching memory about her Scandal cast throwing her a baby shower in which Carroll was in attendance. The two of them had already worked together in the film Tyler Perry Presents Peeples, but Washington was still awestruck. “As I look back on it now, I know the spirit of my little girl that was inside of me was lifted up by the magic of that afternoon,” says the American Son actress. “We were surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and legends. One of our most honored guests was Diahann Carroll.”

Washington goes on to speak highly of Carroll’s legacy as the first Black actor to win a Daytime Emmy Award and the first Black woman to win a Tony. “Awards are tricky business,” she says. “Her worth was not defined by those accolades. She would have been glorious without them. But I mentioned these accomplishments because she was a trailblazer and a fighter. Her presence in the upper tiers of excellence in this business maks her not just a hero, but one of our founding mothers.”

Well said! Hats off to a legend and founding mother.

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