Diahann Carroll Passes the Torch to Kerry Washington at Emmys

Image: Diahann Carroll Passes the Torch to Kerry Washington at Emmys Diahann Carroll, left, and Kerry Washington.

Monday, 23 Sep 2013 03:53 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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For all the memorable and quirky moments at Sunday's Emmy Awards, the special one with Diahann Carroll and "Scandal" lead Kerry Washington may have flown under the radar.

The pairing of the presenters was significant because of its history. It was 1969 when Carroll was nominated for the outstanding actress Emmy for her role in "Julia," the NBC sitcom where she was the African-American lead actress, E! News notes.

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Washington's nomination for her leading role on the Shonda Rhimes-created "Scandal" the first for an African-American, male or female, is the first in more than four decades.

"That pass-the-torch moment wasn't lost on Carroll, who went on to win a Golden Globe for her work on 'Julia' and expressed hope that such a long gap for African-American performers won't be repeated," said Josh Groosberg of E! News.

While Washington lost out to Claire Danes for the outstanding actress in a drama series award Sunday night, Carroll, 78, said she hopes progress can be made.

"We're all very grateful to the Emmys because they've been on our side," Carroll told The Associated Press, referring to the program's recognition of African-Americans. "At the same time, we'd like it to be a little more with what's going on in the world."

Carroll earned her first Emmy nomination in 1963 for outstanding actress in a miniseries or movie for an episode in the police drama "Naked City."

Before landing the lead role of Olivia Pope on "Scandal," Washington has had numerous performances on the big screen, including co-staring in Quentin Tarantino's award-winning "Django Unchained" last year. She also starred as Ray Charles wife opposite Jamie Foxx in 2004's "Ray" and appeared in "The Last King of Scotland" in 2006, where Forrest Whitaker won his Academy Award.

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Related stories:

Neil Patrick Harris: Review of Emmys Host 'Lukewarm' This Year

Emmy Awards 2013: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Modern Family,' 'House of Cards' Win

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