One of the many awe-inspiring things about Tyler Perry’s film studio (besides the fact that a Black man owns one of the largest major film studios in the country — wow), is that he named the 12 sound stages after Black pioneers in the film and entertainment industry. One of those trailblazers is Diahann Carroll.
Prior to her passing on Friday, October 4, Perry already had plans dedicate sound stage 5 to Carroll. He shared reflections to his Instagram page following the news of her untimely death.
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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.
While celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry and Will Smith were some of the legends in attendance to dedicate their respective sound stages, Perry stood in for Carroll and encouraged the crowd to cheer loudly because he wanted the icon to “hear us in heaven.”
Perry and Carroll worked together in Craig Robinson’s 2013 film, “Peeples,” where Carroll played the matriarch, Nana Peeples.