Steel Magnolias star and ‘Queen of New Orleans theater’ Carol Sutton dead at 76 after months-long battle with COVID-19
- New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Sutton’s death on Friday
- Sutton died on Thursday night after a months-long bout with COVID-19
- She had been hospitalized at Touro Infirmary in her native New Orleans
- Sutton appeared in Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, Ray, and Queen Sugar
- Treme co-star Wendell Pierce and filmmaker Ava DuVernay paid tribute to her
Carol Sutton, 76, died in her native New Orleans on Thursday night after a month-long bout of COVID-19
Carol Sutton, the actress who starred in the hit film Steel Magnolias and appeared in Queen Sugar, Ray, Monster’s Ball, and The Pelican Brief, has died after a months-long bout with COVID-19.
Sutton was hospitalized in recent months at Touro Infirmary in her native New Orleans while being treated for COVID-19. She passed away on Thursday night at the age of 76.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed Sutton’s death.
‘Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades,’ the mayor wrote in a statement.
‘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 was born in New Orleans in 1933.
She started her acting career in the late 1960s after joining the local Dashiki Project Theatre, which sought to advance ‘an accurate portrayal of the black experience for the Black community.’
Sutton performed in several on-stage productions in New Orleans, including The Last Madam, Native Tongues, and A Raisin in the Sun.
‘Among actors in New Orleans, there was Carol Sutton – and there was everybody else,’ David Cuthbert, a retired Times-Picayune critic, told NOLA.com.
‘She opened her mouth, and out came truth. Wherever she was on stage, that was center stage.’
Sutton was recently featured in Ava DuVernay’s dramatic series Queen Sugar, which airs on the OWN channel
DuVernay paid tribute to Sutton on Twitter, calling her ‘stellar’
Wendell Pierce, the actor who starred in HBO’s The Wire and co-starred alongside Sutton in Treme, tweeted: ‘A legend in theater & film from New Orleans has passed away’
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed Sutton’s death
Cantrell wrote: ‘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 1974, she made her on-screen debut in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
In 1989, she played played Nurse Pam in the hit comedy film Steel Magnolias starring Sally Field and Dolly Parton.
More recently, she made appearances in episodes of True Detective and Lovecraft Country.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the creator of Queen Sugar which airs on the OWN channel, tweeted: ‘On behalf of the QUEEN SUGAR family, we celebrate the life of the stellar Carol Sutton.
‘It was our honor to welcome this veteran actress of stage + 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.’
Wendell Pierce, the actor who starred in HBO’s The Wire and co-starred alongside Sutton in Treme, tweeted: ‘A legend in theater & film from New Orleans has passed away.
‘Carol Sutton had over 100 film and television credits along with a lifelong presence in the theater community.
‘She was a mentor to us all and her work by example built a career on par with Maggie Smith.
‘RIP beloved Carol.’