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Ellen Holly
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Actress
    (January 16, 1931- )
    Born in New York City, New York
    Portrayed Carla Gray on 'One Life to Live' (1968-86)
    Acted in the films 'Cops and Robberts,' 'Take a Giant Step,' and 'School Daze'
    First black actress to become a recurring cast member on a daytime TV show
    Author of 'One Life: The Autobiography of an African American Actress' (1996)
    She admits to being a perfectionist.
    She was critical of show creator Agnes Nixon in her later years.
    She claimed the network lost interest in promoting the Carla character after her story arc ran its course, reducing her to a supporting character.
    She left 'One Life to Live' in 1980, and returned in 1983, only to be fired by then-producer Paul Rauch at the end of her contract.
    She accused 'One Life to Live' co-star Erika Slezak of calling her a racial slur and got her fired from the show (Slezak vehemently denied this).
    She was a life-long member of the Actors Studio.
    She performed Shakespeare on Broadway for years, including productions of 'Taming of the Shrew' and 'Macbeth.'
    She came to the attention of 'One Life' producers after writing a letter to the editor of The New York Times about what it was like to be a light-skinned African-American.
    She returned to daytime in the long-term recurring role of a judge on 'Guiding Light.'
    The switchboards at ABC lit up with responses the moment her 'Carla' character kissed the white Dr. Jim Craig on the show.
    Her on-screen wedding to Ed Hall was the first to show two African American characters marry on a daytime soap opera.
    She was among the first to play a black character with a running story arc on a major television show (Carla is mixed-race passing for white but comes to be proud of being black).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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