'Downton Abbey' casts first black actor
May 1st, 2013
02:00 PM ET

'Downton Abbey' casts first black actor

"Downton Abbey's" bringing on a roster of new cast members for its fourth season.

The addictive British series has tapped Gary Carr (TV's "Death in Paradise" and "Bluestone 42") to portray a "charming and charismatic" jazz singer named Jack Ross - "Downton's" first recurring black character.

“We are delighted to introduce another fantastic, dynamic character to 'Downton Abbey,'" executive producer Gareth Neame said in a statement. "His addition will bring interesting twists to the drama which we can’t wait for viewers to see in [season] four."

Creator Julian Fellowes told the U.K.'s Telegrah last year that he was interested in adding black or Indian characters, noting it would be "rather nice to open it up ethnically a bit."

Carr will be joined by six other new faces, including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Dame Harriet Walter.

Shirley MacLaine will also be back to reprise her role as Martha Levinson, and stars Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery and Jim Carter.

Filed under: television

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Pearl Duncan

    Yes, excellent essay but I would like to add one point - there are African Americans and Caribbeans who are related as descendants of British nobles and royals. Here is an article about rare black American ancestors who were related and who were involved with one of the castles in "Downton Abbey." Jack Ross should be added to the cast, not only as a jazz musician, but as someone who is related to the upstairs family or their fellow aristocrats. Fascinating. Now that's a mystery. Here's the article:


    May 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. we have mj...thanks

    1 2 3

    May 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Happy Happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    take care and make it a good evening!!!! all printed.

    May 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Looks the possiblity of no 4th season...

    gee i hope not the black guy is great.

    May 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. St Judes

    This man is the smartest man i have ever met.

    May 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. K?


    May 4, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. No Need Too Print--Good Eyes Are Here

    Have a great day all..

    May 4, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mariah Virus--


    May 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. coch wants all papers down...this person does not care about me


    May 4, 2013 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  10. Got the Snapper 30 min go....guess

    2 more mysteries and we meet the ghost. thanks.

    May 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Bee

    Hello photographer.

    May 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sean Connery

    Oooh I hear next season theyre bringing in a....get ready for it....you'll never guess......A CANARY...but its yellow so everyone will think its asian

    May 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JGN

    Not only is it NOT an American show but the producer, Julian Fellowes, has been scrupulously correct in producing an historically correct series of a landed gentleman's family in England in the teens and 20s. The English, as well as most of the rest of the world, simply didn't employ black butlers or housemaids in those eras.
    The jazz era, at its height in the 1920s in England as well as France and America, DID create a looser atmosphere in which SOME white people went to nightclubs where black musicians played. But it likely would not have been these people, since the 'norm' was still black entertainers for a black audience and white entertainers for a white audience. This is a fictional series however, so you need'nt jump all over Fellowes for adding varying degrees of authenticity. He wants to keep the show interesting and edgy for it's set time, and this will help do so. For those of you who are mouthing off without ever having watched the series I suggest you take the time before opening your mouth again; then you might understand what you're talking about.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. VirtualInsanity

    He's a cutie! I wish I could see the UK version when it airs...waiting for it to show is the U.S. is too long. 🙂

    May 2, 2013 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gross

    Is this the show with the zombies, or the one with that hot little blond chick with nice boobs and dragons? I can't keep all these cable series straight.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  16. M.A.P.

    I've never watched it but now that there's a man of colour on the show i will definately tune in – they are so entertaining!

    May 2, 2013 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  17. Is the your new boyfriend Sky?...he's good looking

    May 2, 2013 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  18. derp

    Yes, lets completely ignore the fact that Jazz was not being played with any significance in England until the mid 30's.

    We need to have a token black guy on the show.

    If we make him a butler, we'll be called racist.

    Let's make him a Jazz musician.

    That'll work.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Alucard

      bass player...oh wait.....drummer...oh wait....trumpet player...oh wait...

      May 2, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Sean Connery


    May 2, 2013 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  20. SKY


    May 2, 2013 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  21. Kriztoph

    And nobody's mentioned Hispanics or Asiana on this white bread American show...isn't that racist too?! Why don't we celebrate Hispanic or Asian History month? We had Asian camps in this country where we took all their stuff! HELLO! Where's their reparations?!

    May 2, 2013 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  22. Dick Guzinyia

    Now if he could just be a black, gay, non-christian, fmr bomber, it would be perfect.

    May 2, 2013 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  23. Sokman

    So if you're colored are we clear? Get over yourself. R@cism still exists, & black people have to share as much of the blame as white people.

    May 2, 2013 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  24. Babba Booey

    Someone placed a large turd in my underwear.

    May 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  25. marita donalds

    Black, white, who CARES? How is this racist? It's just a fact! As long as you're a decent human being, I don't care if you have polka-dots!

    May 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |

    My word! It seems that my smashing good post has been removed! Rubbish! And shame on you MJ! Just because someone is WEE TALL DID doesn't mean they are mentally challenged too. Talley ho my good chap!

    May 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Not laquanda

    Really Laquand?

    May 1, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  28. The dude

    I thought he did a great job as young Luke skywalket in those return to the empire remake movies from a few years ago

    May 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Babba Booey

    My underwear is soiled beyond recognition.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Allan

    Great show and I think he'll only make it better. video on YouTube

    May 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Colored or Black

    in NY they are called black...if you call them colored you will be terminated from your position on the spot.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Jeff

    Well there goes the neighborhood.

    May 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Laquanda

    We are called colored. Not black. Black is a racist term.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • anna

      I dont see how 'black' is a racist term – if your black your black, no getting around it!!!!

      May 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Guzinyia

      When will you STOP!?
      Go talk to your corrupt, race baiting pals like "Rev" Al, Jessie, etc.
      Everyone in the US is completly SICK of your whining.
      Man up, Leroy.

      May 2, 2013 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Kumz Outtya

      No kidding man...poor man shares dna with someone who used to be slave....nobody cares anymore. Those slave owners are all DEAD....like the white man's will to deal with you whiners

      May 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  34. kirk


    May 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Tim

    I love this show, and cannot wait for the beginning of the 4th season!

    May 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |

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