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Diahann Carroll talks race and makeup while filming “Julia”

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Carroll tells the story of when she spoke up in an early makeup session for the TV show “Julia.”

- I remember going to the makeup and hair department when I was flown in to do 'Julia.'

So this very wise man, I think his name was Daniel Striepeke as I recall, said, 'Let's start with the beginning.'

And we went into the room, and the lovely people who were running the makeup and hair department, she said to me, 'You don't have to worry.

We have you completely covered because Lena Horne was here last week, and we have her makeup, we kept it.'

And I sat with my... I'm a New Yorker, and you didn't hear mistakes like that very often.

And I said, 'So did you use the makeup that you had for Ann Sheridan, did you use that on on Marilyn Monroe?

It would've saved us all a lot of money.'

(chuckles) And she said, 'No, what are you talking?'

And I said, 'Well, they're both blondes.

They're both white. You could've used them.'

And she said, 'Ohhh.'

I said, 'We got it. If you look at me carefully and if we do a color chart, as we should, you'll see that many Black Americans have many different colors, and let's start from the beginning.

And as we build this person whose name is Julia, we'll find out what her color is, and what her hair texture is, and all of the things we need to know.

It's hard to take from someone else's chart.'

And Danny Striepeke was such a comforting man to know at that time.

And he said, 'We won't make that mistake again.'