Ellen Holly

Ellen Holly

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Ellen Holly

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Ellen Holly (born January 16, 1931) is an American actress.



Holly began her career on stage appearing in the Broadway productions of Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright and A Hand Is on the Gate before embarking on a television and film career. She guest starred on Sam Benedict and The Nurses before landing the role of actress-turned-Judge Clara "Carla" Hall on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, a role she played from 1968 to 1981, and again from 1983 to 1985.Schemering, Christopher. The Soap Opera Encyclopedia, September 1985, pg. 158-166, ISBN 0-345-32459-5 (1st edition) Holly came to the attention of Agnes Nixon, the creator of One Life to Live, after writing a letter to the editor of The New York Times about what it was like to be a light-skinned African American. Nixon created the role of Carla and offered Holly a role on her new show.

When Holly began on One Life to Live in October 1968, her African-American heritage was not publicized as part of the storyline; her character, named Carla Benari, was a touring actress of apparently Italian American heritage. Carla and a Caucasian physician, Dr. Jim Craig, fell in love and became engaged. But she was falling for an African-American doctor. When the two kissed onscreen, it was reported that the switchboards at ABC were busy by fans who thought that the show had shown an African-American and Caucasian kissing. The fact that...
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