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Carol Sutton, actor in 'Steel Magnolias' and 'Queen Sugar,' dies at 76

The actor spent her last months at the Touro Infirmary in her native city of New Orleans.
/ Source: Reuters

Actor Carol Sutton, who made appearances in "Steel Magnolias" and "Queen Sugar," died Thursday night of complications from COVID-19. She was 76.

The actor spent her last months at the Touro Infirmary in her native city of New Orleans, where she was treated for the virus.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed Sutton's death and remembered the late actor in a statement released on Friday. "Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades," she wrote. "The world may recognize her from her performances in movies and on TV — whether it's 'Treme' or 'Claws,' or 'Runaway Jury' or 'Queen Sugar' — but we will always remember her commanding stage presence, her richly portrayed characters and the warm heart she shared with her fellow cast and crew in productions such as '4000 Miles' and 'A Raisin in the Sun.' May she rest in God's perfect peace."

Sutton appeared in an episode of "Queen Sugar" set in Louisiana, and played Nurse Pam in the 1989 comedy film "Steel Magnolias," starring Sally Field and Dolly Parton. More recently, she held roles in episodes of "True Detective" and "Lovecraft Country."

Since her debut in the late 1960s in Dashiki Project Theatre productions, Sutton has performed on stages across New Orleans in productions such as "The Last Madam," "Native Tongues" and "A Raisin in the Sun."

She made her on-screen debut in 1974 with "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" and appeared in movies "Monster's Ball, "Ray" and "The Help," among others.

Ava DuVernay, creator of the OWN series "Queen Sugar," also celebrated the career of Sutton, tweeting, "It was our honor to welcome this veteran actress of stage and screen to our show as Aunt Martha in Episode 409, 'Stare at the Same Fires.' We bless her. May she rise and rest in peace and power."

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