Dynasty (1984-87)

Think of the eighties and it's very, very possible that one of the first thing that springs to mind is Dynasty. With all the intrigues, beautiful ladies (with padded shoulders no less), handsome men, unbelievable story twists and turns... Dynasty together with Dallas defined the 80's. Everything was glamour and glitter, it was OK to wanna be rich, rich, rich - and it was OK to be a STRONG woman (still is, I hope). But not everyone wanted to be a bitch, that is, except for Joan Collins and Diahann Carroll. Ms. Carroll has stated many times that she wanted to be the "first Black bitch on TV", and it was with that in mind she called her agent and asked him to give Aaron Spelling a call. Mr Spelling was interested, but said she had to wait. Then, some time later, Ms Carroll with company wanted to go to a restaurant - it was already booked by Mr Spelling, but when asked if she belonged to that company she said yes without thinking twice. Mr. Spelling welcomed her woth open arms, saying they were already discussing adding her to the cast. A few weeks later she was in - and Dominique Deveraux was born. (Actually they first thought of calling her Johnny of all names, but they agreed they wanted something else, and that's when they came up with Dominique.)
  Diahann loved being part of the show from day one. She loved playing powerful and bitchy, and she loved wearing all those fancy dresses. She already knew Joan Collins from way back, and she found new friends in the other actors and actresses. Diahann / Dominique was soon seen on magazine covers, discussed at works and schools - finally someone who could be a match for Alexis!
  Ms. Carroll stayed on Dyanasty from 1984 to 1987. Looking back, the promise of a "black bitch" wasn't quite fulfilled. As the episodes roled by, Dominique lost the edges, and became more and more "lame" (not because of Diahann's acting, but because of the scripts). The catfights with Alexis stopped, and (after finally being accepted as Blake Carrington's half sister) she became more and more someone who stepped in to save Blake from financial troubles from time to time, or it focused on Dominique's problem with her men and her daugther. But no matter what, Diahann brought even more class and style to a (after all) stylish series, and it's hard to forget that first scene when the camera slowly zoomed in on her face - a mysterious, elegant and strong woman making a worthy entrance!

More on Dynasty

Dominique's daughter Jackie was played by actress Troy Beyer. She had previously been seen in "Sesame Street", "Knots Landing" and the film "The Day Is Ours". In a 1986 Jet magazine, Troy said about Diahann: "When she walks into a room, she has such a dynamic presence. She's such a beautiful, strong woman. I have a dream of one day being a fine, respected actress and that's what she is."
When Diahann first appeared on Dynasty, her love interest was played by Billy Dee Williams. His name was Brady Lloyd. It soon ended in divorce though, since he couldn't stand Dominique's Diahann and Billy Dee Williamsobsession with the Carrington family. Pictured here is Diahann Carroll and Billy Dee Williams picking up an award on behalf of the entire Dynasty team.
Other love-interests for Dominique was played by Calvin Lockhart (pictured further below) and Ken Howard (who played Garrett Boydston, the father of Dominique's daughter). For the trivia lover, here's some more facts: Dominique Deveraux's birth name was Millie Cox. She owned a record company (but one wonder when she ever could have time to run it...). She was the child of Tom Carrington (also Blake's father) and his Black maid. 
  Diahann Carroll wore jewelry and clothing worth a staggering $650.000 in the first episode she appeared in. Diahann earned more than £20,000 a week in the role but eventually left, upset Dominique's bitching had never had enough bite.

The following is taken from an interview made by TV Guide's Daniel R. Coleridge in July, 2006:

Coleridge: By the way, I heard why you opted out of CBS' recent Dynasty Reunion: Catfights & Caviar, but I'd prefer to hear your version.
Carroll: Well, I'd like to hear what you heard?

I heard you were "appalled" by the compensation the reunion's producers offered.
Carroll: Well, you heard absolutely correct! [Laughs] I didn't see the reason for a Dynasty reunion at this point. I'd like for people to remember us as we were. None of us are as we were. We have aged. I thought that it would be lovely, if we were going to come back, for everyone to be excited about it. But you have to be excited financially, as well as emotionally. I was not excited financially.

So did you watch?
Carroll: I'm going to be very honest with you. I did not watch it.

Was that intentional or did you just forget the reunion was on?
Carroll: I really forgot about it. When I heard about it, I didn't think it was going to be interesting. I don't know how you could throw something together.... [Pauses] No, I forgot about it. How well did it do? I don't even know that!

Less than six million viewers. Abysmal.
Carroll: I see. Oh, dear. There's such a thing as accepting the fact that something has had its day. Let it go with dignity. Dynasty was a romp in the first place. If we can't add to the fun and the quality of the romp, leave it alone.

The late Aaron Spelling did a fabulous job with Dynasty. One of his best moves was casting you as Blake Carrington's long-lost, illegitimate, black half sister, Dominique Devereaux.
Carroll: I'm very happy that, in my career, I had the opportunity to get to know and work with Aaron Spelling. He was a joy. I thought Dominique brought a shot in the arm when Dynasty needed it. I had a hell of a good time when I was there. I loved the whole cast. It's a wonderful memory.

CAST & CREDITS

Cast:
John Forsythe.......................Blake Carrington
Linda Evans.......................Krystle Carrington
Joan Collins.......................Alexis Carrington
Diahann Carroll....Dominique Deveraux Lloyd
John James.....................................Jeff Colby
Pamela Sue Martin.........Fallon Carrington (1)
Emma Samms................Fallon Carrington (2)
Gordon Thomson................Adam Carrington
Jack Coleman...............Steven Carrington (2)
Heather Locklear..........Sammy Jo Carrington
Pamela Bellwood...Claudia Blaisdel Carrington
Michael Nader..............................Dex Dexter
Kate O'Mara...........................Caress Morrell
Catherine Oxenberg....Amanda Carrington (1)
Troy Beye..........Jacqueline "Jackie" Deveraux
Billy Dee Williams........................Brady Lloyd

Series created by Esther Shapiro & Richard Shapiro

DVD RELEASE

Dynasty season one through five has been released on DVD (season three in two parts in 2008, season four in two parts in 2009-10, season five in two parts in the summer of 2011). Season six was released in Europe in January 2011, no release date for the U.S. yet. Ms. Carroll first appears in the last couple of episodes of the fourth season.

PICTURES

EXTERNAL LINKS (Opens in new window)

Dynasty on IMDB.com
Dynasty on Wikipedia



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