Emmy-winning ‘Roots’ star Olivia Cole is dead at 75

The actress reportedly died of a heart attack at her home in Mexico

Olivia Cole theGrio.com
Photo: AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A funeral association official says that “Roots” star Olivia Cole has died in Mexico. Cole was 75.

Linda Cooper, executive secretary of the association, says Cole died last Friday at her home in San Miguel de Allende, a city in central Mexico.

Cooper said Thursday the cause of death was a heart attack.

Cole received an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Matilda, wife to Ben Vereen’s Chicken George in the ABC smash hit 1977 miniseries. It was based on African-American writer Alex Haley’s book “Roots,” which dramatized his ancestors’ lives.

The Memphis-born Cole’s other screen credits included the Oprah Winfrey-produced miniseries “The Women of Brewster Place” and “L.A. Law.”