Carol Sutton, the veteran actress known for her role in Steel Magnolias has died due to complications related to COVID-19. She was 76.
Sutton had been hospitalized at New Orleans’ Touro Infirmary for several days prior to her death on Thursday (Dec. 10), WGNO reports. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed the news of the actress’s death in a lengthy tribute on Friday (Dec. 11).
“Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades,” 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.”
Sutton was famously known for her role as Nurse Pam in the 1989 film Steel Magnolias. She first made her acting debut thanks to the Dashiki Project Theatre productions in the late 1960s, according to nola.com. Sutton also appeared in stage productions around New Orleans, including A Raisin in the Sun, The Last Madam, and Native Tongues.
Her critically-acclaimed movie roles include Monster’s Ball, Ray, and The Help. And she most recently appeared in episodes of Queen Sugar, True Detective and HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
Emmy-Award winning director Ava DuVernay, executive producer and creator of Queen Sugar, shared a special tribute to Sutton.
“On behalf of the QUEEN SUGAR family, we celebrate the life of the stellar Carol Sutton,” DuVernay writes, including a clip from the Queen Sugar episode starring 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.”