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Olivia Cole, Roots Emmy Winner and Broadway Vet, Dies at 75

Cole played Matilda in the 1977 miniseries. logo
Olivia Cole has died at the age of 75.
(© CBS Television/Wikimedia Commons)

Olivia Cole, an Emmy winner for her performance as Matilda in the 1977 miniseries Roots, died of a heart attack on Friday, January 19, at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Cole was 75 years old.

On-screen, Cole also appeared in Backstairs at the White House, The Women of Bruster Place, and First Sunday.

Cole appeared in seven Broadway shows from 1966 to 1974. She made her debut in The School for Scandal, and also appeared in Right You Are If You Think You Are, We, Comrades Three, You Can't Take It With You, War and Peace, The Merchant of Venice, and The National Health, which marked her final Broadway appearance. Off-Broadway, she played Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun in 1986.

Her final stage appearance was in the 2016 Long Wharf Theater and Hartford Stage production of Emily Mann's Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years.

Cole has no immediate survivors.


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