Carroll, the Tony-winning and Emmy- and Oscar-nominated Julia and Dynasty star, died today of cancer in Los Angeles. Carroll transcended racial barriers in fall 1968 playing the title role on NBC's Julia, the first American TV series to chronicle the life of a black professional woman. Julia starred Carroll as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse with a young son. The show was a hit in its first season, reaching No. 7 in Nielsen ratings thanks to its black and white viewership. "There was nothing like this young successful mother on the air," Carroll once told PBS. "And we thought that it might be a very good stepping stone." Julia aired for three seasons and 86 episodes through 1971. Carroll would go on to star on Dynasty, playing the scheming, moneyed Dominique Deveraux. But it was her role in Julia that she remained most enduringly known, earning an Emmy nomination in 1969. "Julia divided critical consensus," Margalit Fox writes in Carroll's New York Times obituary. "It was praised in some quarters as groundbreaking and criticized in others as reductive, Pollyannaish and accommodationist — condemned, in short, for glossing over the stark realities of life that black Americans faced daily. Though Ms. Carroll publicly defended Julia, she acknowledged that in portraying the black experience it made many concessions to the middle-class white viewers it hoped to attract. She also said afterward that her experience playing the character had been both a professional boon and a professional hindrance. The series made her one of the most visible performers of her day, booked regularly on TV talk and variety show. But in addition, it entailed her becoming a de facto spokeswoman not only for Julia but also seemingly for her race, an onus for which she had never bargained." Carroll also appeared on numerous other TV series, including guest roles on A Different World and Grey's Anatomy -- both of which earned her Emmy nominations -- and, most recently, a recurring role on USA's White Collar.