Carol Sutton

Carol Dickerson Sutton


Queen of New Orleans



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Born: December 3, 1944
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.

Died:  December 10, 2020 (aged 76)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.




Carol Joan Dickerson Sutton was an actress in film, theater, and television, and was best known for her role as Nurse Pam in the film Steel Magnolias. Dickerson was born on December 3, 1944, in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Marguerite Bush and Amos Dickerson. She graduated from Xavier Prep School, and enrolled in Xavier University, but dropped out of college to marry Archie Sutton, a professional football player with the Minnesota Vikings.

In 1968 she began working with an anti-poverty agency called Total Community Action. In order to be more effective in her work, she attended Texas Southern University in Houston, where she earned a certification in early childhood development. She worked with the organization for the next forty-three years, until her retirement in 2011.

Sutton made her acting debut in the late 1960s in the Dashiki Project Theatre Productions, founded by Theodore Gilliam, and based out of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in New Orleans, where her husband was a member. Her first play was “A Hand is On the Gate.” She moved on to television in 1974 in the Autobiography of Jane Pittman. Throughout her career, Sutton appeared in over one hundred films and television shows, including playing a policewoman in The Pelican Brief with Denzel Washington, a judge in The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid, and most recently “Aunt Martha” in Ava DuVernay’s hit show Queen Sugar. Sutton was featured in the Alicia Keys video “The Fire We Make” in 2013. Sutton was honored with a Big Easy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. She took on the role of stage manager for a 2015 production of “Our Town,” at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre’.



Lifetime Achievement Award


The annual ceremony recognized achievements in acting, directing, and choreography, as well as lighting, costume, and set design, for the dozens of productions that ran throughout New Orleans over the past year. At the event, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Carol Sutton, an actress whose decades of experience were an inspiration to many of the young actors in the room. Carol began her acting career at Dillard University four decades ago and has been involved in a multitude of stage productions ever since. Although nominated several times, Sutton had never won a Big Easy. “I felt like the Susan Lucci of the Big Easy Awards,” she joked in her acceptance speech. In addition to her work in New Orleans theaters, Sutton has made a name for herself on the big screen as well. She has appeared in 54 movies and television programs since 1974, including stand-out performances in the TV movie The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and films such as Monster’s Ball, Runaway Jury, Ray, and, most recently, The Help, in which her character delivers a poignant speech about life as a maid in Jackson, Miss. Sutton can be seen on screen right now in the New Orleans-shot film adaptation of 21 Jump Street, in which she plays a principal at the high school the two main characters, played by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, attend. She noted, “I went from the maid to the principal!” –

“Carol Sutton was practically the Queen of New Orleans theater, having graced the stages across the city for decades,” Cantrell wrote. “The world may recognize her from her performances in movies and on TV — whether it’s ‘Treme’ or ‘Claws,’ or ‘Runaway Jury’ or ‘Queen Sugar’ — but we will always remember her commanding stage presence, her richly portrayed characters and the warm heart she shared with her fellow cast and crew in productions such as ‘4000 Miles’ and ‘A Raisin in the Sun.’ May she rest in God’s perfect peace.” – Mayor LaToya Cantrell   [Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana]




Edward R. Cox (Artist)

One of two one-of-a-kind requested medallion doubloons to be placed onto a float honoring all female krewes, past and present. The two specialties shall be the focal point Queens of the house float for two amazing women, Carol Dickerson Sutton and Sheri Marina

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