Diahann Carroll as Dominique Deveraux
|Portrayed by||Diahann Carroll|
|First appearance||"New Lady in Town"|
|Last appearance||"Shadow Play"|
|Created by||Richard and Esther Shapiro|
|The Colbys (1985–1986)|
|Other names||Millie Cox (birth name)|
Dominique Deveraux (born Millie Cox) is a fictional character on the ABC prime time soap opera Dynasty and its spin-off, The Colbys. Portrayed by Diahann Carroll from 1984 to 1987, the character is the surprise half-sister of millionaire Blake Carrington (John Forsythe). Dominique was written out of the series at the end its seventh season, and did not return for the 1991 miniseries Dynasty: The Reunion.
With Dynasty in its fourth season, Diahann Carroll saw the success of prime time soap operas, and noted that while they had covered many issues like rape and homosexuality, they had yet to tackle racial integration. She said at the time, "I want to be the first black bitch on television." Carroll had her manager reach out to Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling, but there had been no response before she and Spelling ran into each other soon after. Barbra Streisand had asked Carroll to sing a song from Yentl at the Golden Globes ceremony, and afterwards Carroll and Spelling found themselves at the same nightclub. He said, "When Diahann came in, [Dynasty co-creator] Esther Shapiro and I looked at her, looked at each other and said, 'My God, she is Dynasty.'" Carroll told Shapiro that night, "If it's not me let it be someone, because it's time." Spelling said,"We virtually closed the deal that night while having a drink at the bar."
Joining Dynasty made Carroll the only black actress with a continuing role on a nighttime serial at that time, and Dominique the first prominently-featured African-American character on a prime time soap opera. Carroll said, "I certainly wasn't researching the number of blacks on TV, but how could you fail to see they're not there?" Appearing in the final two episodes of the fourth season, Carroll's estimated salary was $35,000 an episode, and she was contracted for at least 17 of season five's 29 shows. Shapiro said, "We wanted a part where a black could be on the same social and economic level as the other characters. The one thing we wouldn't do is put on a black woman as a victim." She added, "Our intention is to play the characters in 1984 with an emphasis on character, not color."
From the beginning, Dominique was intended as a foil for Alexis Colby, the villainess played by Joan Collins. Shapiro said, "Dominique is not out to outbitch Alexis per se." Collins said, "I think it is wonderful to have another fabulous 'over 40' in prime time. We have had a couple of bitch-to-bitch scenes which have been very good. And of course, no one knows better than I that in playing a bitch you don't have to be one." Carroll commented, "Joan and I are close enough in age and experience to realize that this is great for all of us. In the final analysis we will be good for each other." Willis Edwards, president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood chapter of the NAACP, said of Carroll's casting, "This is a major thing as far as we’re concerned. We've been fighting for something like this for years." Linda Evans, who played Krystle Carrington, said at the time, "I don't think the impact of her coming on the show will affect only blacks. I think it will be great for all the people who see her."
While pursuing a role on one of the nighttime soaps, Carroll said "I want to be wealthy and ruthless". She said in 2011 that Dynasty producer Elaine Rich "liked the idea of [Dominique] being a bitch", and Carroll said to her, "I think the most important thing for us to remember is write for a white male, and you'll have it. We'll have the character Don't try to write for what you think I am, write for a white man who wants to be wealthy and powerful. And that's the way we found Dominique Deveraux."
In a 1984 interview, Carroll said "I've never played a role quite this unlikeable. And I like that. I like that very much because I think very often, particularly minorities, it's almost required of them that they are nice people, and I don't want to play a nice person."
Carroll originated the role of singer/businesswoman Dominique Deveraux in the 1984 episode "New Lady in Town". She appeared in 71 episodes of Dynasty, and seven episodes of The Colbys. The character last appeared in the 1987 Dynasty season seven finale "Shadow Play".
To circumvent any chance the storyline would leak to the press, a number of scenes were filmed to introduce Dominique, including alternative lines revealing that she was the mother of Kirby Anders (Kathleen Beller) or the ex-wife of Alexis' former husband, Cecil Colby (Lloyd Bochner). Carroll was repeatedly featured rehearsing and/or performing songs in several episodes of both series.
Successful and wealthy chanteuse Dominique Deveraux arrives in Denver in "New Lady in Town" (1984) with a flourish, asking Fallon Carrington Colby (Pamela Sue Martin) questions about her mother, Alexis Colby (Joan Collins). In the next episode, the fourth season finale, Dominique wonders aloud to herself, "Won't it just knock their socks off when they find out I'm a Carrington?"
Dominique's husband Brady Lloyd (Billy Dee Williams) arrives in Denver in the September 26, 1984 season premiere episode, "Disappearance." He asks why Dominique is performing at La Mirage. Brady and Dominique fight when she will not tell him why she is choosing to remain in Denver. Dominique's hostility toward oil tycoon Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) is noticed by Blake's wife Krystle (Linda Evans).
Following Fallon's memorial service in "The Rescue", Dominique makes the shocking claim that she is the daughter of Blake's father Tom Carrington and his longtime mistress, Laura Matthews, and offers proof (found in a letter in an old trunk left in the care of Laura's sister Bessie), therefore making her Blake's half-sister. A financially strapped Blake makes a business deal with the very wealthy Dominique: Forty percent of Denver-Carrington in exchange for $70 million. This subsequently makes Dominique an enemy of Alexis, who has been scheming to destroy her ex-husband Blake. When Brady learns the truth, he is furious that Dominique didn't confide in him earlier.
As Blake's business partner, Dominique travels to Istanbul to meet with the shady Rashid Ahmed in order to help Blake obtain a confession from him. Despite this assistance, in episode 100, Blake tells Dominique that Tom denies that he is her father. Furious, Dominique instigates a lawsuit against Blake for misappropriation of company funds after Blake uses some of the money she invested in Denver-Carrington to prevent losing his mansion. However, episode 102, "The Will", Dominique and Blake visit their father Tom on his deathbed in Sumatra; Alexis, a favorite of Tom's, follows them. Tom meets his illegitimate daughter Dominique for the first time, and she convinces him to accept her. Tom dies, but not before including Dominique in his will, as well as making her the executor, which further infuriates Alexis (who is also a beneficiary). In episode 103, "The Treasure", Blake and Dominique discuss the matter between them and Blake finally acknowledges her as his half-sister. Dominique, in a show of gratitude, tells Blake that she has dropped her lawsuit against him. Later on, Blake summons Alexis to his office and tells her that if she persists in trying to break Tom's will, he will put his support firmly behind Dominique. Furthermore, he reiterates the fact that she is now family and that he will fight to the death for her. Alexis concedes to Blake's demands, but tells him she'll find a way to destroy Dominique regardless. Later that evening at the Carrington mansion, Blake holds a dinner gathering to formally welcome Dominique into the family. Adam goes out of his way to welcome her as well and Dominique is overcome with emotion. Later on, Amanda tells Alexis about the gathering and that she is proud to have Dominique as her new aunt, much to Alexis' annoyance. Alexis then places a call to one of her associates and orders him to find out everything he can about Dominique.
In episode 108, Dominique learns that Brady has filed for divorce and that Alexis is attempting to take over her company, Deveraux Group, Inc., after which she collapses. At the hospital Dominique learns that she needs heart surgery. She pulls through her illness and becomes closer to Blake and Krystle. Although the divorce goes through, Brady refuses to sell his shares in Deveraux Group, Inc. to Alexis, foiling the takeover. Noticing that famed photojournalist Lady Ashley Mitchell appears to have designs on Blake, she warns Ashley to keep away and advises Krystle to watch out.
Dominique is among the family guests invited to Moldavia to celebrate the wedding of her niece, Amanda, to Prince Michael, where a military coup takes place and insurgents take over the chapel and gun down the entire wedding party.
Season six (Dynasty) / Season one (The Colbys)
Dominique survives the wedding massacre, and rejects an offer by the rebel leader to remain in Moldavia to "entertain the troops and improve morale". Back in Denver, Dominique works with Blake on a pipeline deal with Jason Colby (Charlton Heston). She encounters Jonathan Lake (Calvin Lockhart), a state department employee, who reminds Dominique that they met years ago in Paris. Romance seems to be blossoming between the pair, but then a man from her past returns: Garrett Boydston (Ken Howard), Jason Colby's lawyer. Garrett tries to rekindle their romance, but Dominique is resistant. Years earlier, Dominique and Garrett had an affair. At the time, Garrett claimed that he was married and refused to leave his wife. Dominique is torn between the two men until she learns that Jonathan has aligned himself with Bart Fallmont, a politician who is fighting the pipeline project.
Dominique travels frequently to Los Angeles, and hires Monica Colby (Tracy Scoggins) to help run her L.A.-based record company. While there, she continues to see Garrett. He cannot understand her reluctance to resume their relationship.
In episode 134, Dominique's daughter, Jackie (Troy Beyer) visits her mother and asks to remain in Denver instead of returning to finishing school in Lausanne, Switzerland. In episode 136, Garrett meets Jackie and is immediately convinced that he is her father. Garrett presses Dominique but she continues to deny that he is Jackie's father. Jackie, who would like to see her mother married and happy, also wonders about the true nature of their relationship. In episode 143, Jackie runs away when she learns that her father is listed as "unknown" on her birth certificate. Alexis encounters Jackie and manipulates the girl into telling her troubles. Dominique finally admits to Garrett that he is indeed Jackie's father. Jackie returns home in episode 145 and finally learns that Garrett is her father.
In episode 146, Dominique and Garrett decide to marry. In the season finale, at their engagement party Alexis reveals that Garrett was never married before. He lied in order to avoid a long-term relationship. Dominique slaps Alexis and orders her to leave. She confronts Garrett with the story who admits that he lied so many years ago. Stunned, Dominique breaks off the engagement. Her guests continue to celebrate, unaware that the wedding is cancelled — or that a fire is raging in other parts of the hotel.
Season seven (Dynasty) / Season two (The Colbys)
During the fire, Dominique panics when she cannot find Jackie. Dex Dexter manages to rescue Jackie, but she is badly burned. Jackie provides eye witness testimony to the cause of the fire, before leaving Denver for state-of-the-art burn treatment.
During this time, Dominique helps Blake to fight Alexis, who has taken over Blake's company with the assistance of their estranged brother, Ben. She also attempts to revive her singing career. When a bad review appears in Alexis's newspaper, Dominique goes to confront her in episode 160 and a cat fight ensues.
In episode 154, Dominique meets geologist Nick Kimball, who romantically pursues her. Dominique resists him at first, but by episode 158 she gives in to his advances and they share a passionate night together. In episode 163, Nick saves Dominique from two thugs who were sent by businessman Gary Tilden to "rough her up" after she rejected a business deal from Tilden. But Dominique is still restrained about their relationship – and draws closer to Alexis's ex-husband Dex. Nick returns in episode 173 to whisk Dominique off for a romantic weekend in San Francisco, where he proposes. While Dominique contemplates marrying Nick, Jackie returns to Denver to tell her mother that Garrett is still in love with her. In episode 175, Jackie asks Nick to break it off with Dominique. When Dominique states that she will not get back together with Garrett, a defeated Jackie leaves Denver again. In episode 176, the season finale, Dominique and Nick attend the wedding of her nephew, Adam. After the ceremony, Dominique accepts his proposal and the two leave Denver.
Though not physically seen after season seven, Dominique (having revived her singing career touring Europe) is mentioned in season nine as Blake investigates the murder of Roger Grimes. Blake visits Dominique's uncle Charles Matthews, brother to her mother Laura and Aunt Bessie. Charles and his wife Jane later provide Blake with some of his father's belongings, left with them by Laura and then Bessie for safekeeping.
A Dynasty reboot premiered on The CW on October 11, 2017. In the 2018 season one episode "Trashy Little Tramp", Jeff and Monica Colby's grandmother confesses that their mother, Millie, was fathered by Thomas Carrington, making her Blake's sister.
A May 2018 press release teased that the show would introduce Blake's half-sister Dominique Deveraux, Jeff and Monica's mother, in season two.
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