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‘Steel Magnolias’ and 'Monster's Ball' actor Carol Sutton has died of coronavirus

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Carol Sutton, best known for her role as Nurse Pam in Steel Magnolias, has died aged 76.

Her death was confirmed by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, who said the actor died on Friday (December 11) due to coronavirus complications.

“Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades,” Cantrell tweeted.

“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.”

The actor will be remembered most for starring as Nurse Pam in 1989’s Steel Magnolias, but her extensive filmography includes roles in 2001’s Monster’s Ball, the 2011 film The Help and The Last Exorcism in 2010.

Born in New Orleans in 1944, Sutton’s career began in her home city when she was invited to join the Dashiki Project Theatre in the late 1960s.

The company’s goal was to present “an accurate portrayal of the black experience for the black community” in the city, which had a large African-American population.

She starred in plays including The Last Madam, Native Tongues, and A Raisin In The Sun.

Sutton made her on-screen debut in 1974 when she starred as Vivian in The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pitman.

In addition to Steel Magnolias, some of Sutton’s other notable films include Eve’s Bayou (1997), Runaway Jury (2003), Ray (2004) and 21 Jump Street (2012). In 2014 she appeared in an episode of crime drama True Detective.

Sutton most recently starred in episodes of both Queen Sugar and Lovecraft Country.

Ava DuVernay, who directed Sutton in Queen Sugar, shared a message following her death.

“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.”

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