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Hal Kanter Dies: Julia Creator, Elvis Presley Director, Oscar Telecast Writer

Hal Kanter (see photo), creator of the groundbreaking television series Julia, starring Diahann Carroll (photo) as a nurse, died Sunday, Nov. 6, of complications from pneumonia at Encino Hospital in the Los Angeles suburb of Encino. Kanter was 92. Julia (1968-71) marked the first time a black actress had an important role in an American television series playing something other than a maid (e.g., Ethel Waters and Louise Beavers in the 1950s series Beulah). As quoted in the Los Angeles Times obit, Kanter said he didn't want to make profound political statements with each Julia episode. But political statements were made all the same, as Kanter explained: There is a fallout of social comment. Every week we see a black child playing with a white child with complete acceptance and without incident. One of the recurring themes in the thousands of letters we get is from people who thank us for

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