Dorothy Dandridge
Actress, singer
Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was an American actress and popular singer, and was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. After several minor bit parts in films, Dandridge landed her first noted film role in Tarzan's Peril, in 1951.
Biography
Dorothy Dandridge's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Dorothy Dandridge
News
News abour Dorothy Dandridge from around the web
Ben on Film: The rise of 'The Help' to No. 1 is a rare cinematic accomplishment - StarNewsOnline.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Things are easier for these actresses of color than they were in Hattie McDaniels' day or Dorothy Dandridge's. Still, it's an all-too-rare opportunity for them to move from a supporting role to center stage
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Diahann Carroll, Obba Babatunde Honored At 21st NAACP Theatre Awards - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
This year's honoree goes to an American actor of stage and screen known for his Emmy-nominated performance in the television movie Miss Evers' Boys, a NAACP Image Award-nominated performance in the TV movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and a Tony
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Salli Richardson-Whitfield Talks I Will Follow - BET
Google News - over 5 years
Some people are drawn to Dorothy Dandridge because she died young, but how much more did Lena have to go through? I always thought it's much harder to have lived through all of that stuff and to have come through the other side and be successful than
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Should The 11 Warner Bros Censored Cartoons Be Released? - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
By Thee on August 21, 2011 I've seen some of these, via YouTube, as you mentioned (I was especially curious about “Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs” as it features the voices of Ruby Dandridge and Vivian Dandridge, Dorothy Dandridge's mother and sister,
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Halle Berry movie festival on Top Movies - Media Update
Google News - over 5 years
Having celebrated her birthday on 14 August, Halle Berry is a former fashion model and beauty queen turned Hollywood actress who has received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her role in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
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Eleven of Janet Jackson's best songs that didn't go No. 1 - MLive.com
Google News - over 5 years
"Twenty Foreplay" from "Design of a Decade": At the time when this video was filmed, Jackson was gunning to play Dorothy Dandridge in a biopic of her life. That didn't pan out, and neither did this song's success on the charts. 9
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Veronica's birthday beneficence - The Virginian-Pilot
Google News - over 5 years
She remembers seeing a cover of Ebony magazine with the late actor and singer Dorothy Dandridge, who was known for her beauty and quiet activism. Davis said she has been concerned about a sense of complacency that she believes permeates many black
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Sallie Richardson Talks Dream Role - BET
Google News - over 5 years
She added, “Like Halle has always dreamed of doing Dorothy Dandridge, I've always dreamed of doing Lena. I've just always loved her. That's something that me and my management are working.” The dream of this revelation comes on the heels of news that
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Reimagining Porgy and Bess - The Phoenix
Google News - over 5 years
I haven't seen a live production, but I did watch the 1959, out-of-print Otto Preminger film starring Dorothy Dandridge, Sidney Poitier, and Sammy Davis Jr. The music, of course, is a gift and a revelation, but the film is kind of icky
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Người đẹp Halle phải cầu viện cảnh sát vì... trai lạ - Báo Đất Việt
Google News - over 5 years
Halle đã đoạt một giải Emmy, giải Quả cầu vàng, giải SAG cùng giải NAACP Image cho phim Introducing Dorothy Dandridge và đoạt một giải Oscar cho nữ diễn viên chính xuất sắc nhất đồng thời cũng được đề cử cho giải BAFTA năm 2001 cho vai diễn của chị
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Icon Inspiration: Dorothy Dandridge / Carmen Jones - Jamaica Observer
Google News - over 5 years
This week we looked to the film world for our inspiration icon, and who better to select than the beautiful Dorothy Dandridge? Her Carmen Jones role is so iconic that it served as the main inspiration for the styling and the shoot
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Will Your Black Business Lose Its Voice If It Is Bought by the Man? - BET
Google News - over 5 years
The magazines have photographed and interviewed high profile Black figures from Dorothy Dandridge to Barack Obama. Though they have strived to address minority issues over the years, they've recently struggled to circulate, or distribute copies of its
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Suzan-Lori Parks/Audra McDonald 'Porgy & Bess' Revival Will Head To Broadway ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
... sounding and feeling like. Also, don't discount an eventual filmed version of this new rendition of the work. Of course there was the 1959 film adaptation, which starred Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge, directed by Otto Preminger
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A 60th Anniversary Perspective on â... - Eurweb.com
Google News - over 5 years
*As the radio cast of Amos 'n' Andy grew, it embodied hundreds of black actors and actresses who at one time or another appeared on the show, inclusive of a budding actress by the name of Dorothy Dandridge, her mother, Ruby Dandridge, and Sammy Davis,
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Les plus belles comédiennes afro-américaines - Beautés d'Afrik
Google News - over 5 years
Elles s'appellent Vanessa Williams, Halle Berry, Michaele Michelle, Nia Long, Beyonce, Salli Richardson, Barbara Hendricks, Tina Turner, Pam Grier, Dorothy Dandridge (morte en 1965), Phylicia Rashad, Lena Horne (décédée en 2010), Diahann Caroll,
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Beyonce & Jay-Z touch base on Career choice… - ThyBlackMan
Google News - over 5 years
Inspired by Bettie Page once again, she also added a dash of Dorothy Dandridge, attempting to “channel the past for the present.” “I was still thinking about Bettie Page, and wanted to do something that was inspired by her,” the singer revealed
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Beyonce Discusses Top 7 Looks of Her Career - The BoomBox
Google News - over 5 years
Inspired by Bettie Page once again, she also added a dash of Dorothy Dandridge, attempting to "channel the past for the present." "I was still thinking about Bettie Page, and wanted to do something that was inspired by her," the singer revealed
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Glamour Goddesses' Billie Good and Izzy Rich Talk Classical Burlesque - Miami New Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
And then I found performers like Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Nina Mae McKinney, and the list goes on. Sammie Davis Jr. performed with a burlesque troupe too! I loved the idea of being comfortable with your body and truly loving yourself beyond
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dorothy Dandridge
    FORTIES
  • 1965
    Age 42
    On September 8, 1965, Dandridge spoke by telephone with friend and former sister-in-law Geraldine "Geri" Branton.
    More Details Hide Details Dandridge was scheduled to fly to New York the next day to prepare for her nightclub engagement at Basin Street East. Several hours after her conversation with Branton ended, Dandridge was found dead and naked by her manager, Earl Mills. Two months later, a Los Angeles pathology institute determined the cause to be an accidental overdose of Imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. Yet the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office came to a different conclusion: “Miss Dandridge died of a rare embolism—blockage of the blood passages at the lungs and brain by tiny pieces of fat flaking off from bone marrow in a fractured right foot she sustained in a Hollywood gymnasium five days before she died.” She was 42 years old.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1959
    Age 36
    Dandridge married Jack Denison on June 22, 1959; they divorced in 1962 amid financial setbacks and allegations of domestic violence.
    More Details Hide Details At this time, Dandridge discovered that the people who were handling her finances had swindled her out of $150,000 and that she was $139,000 in debt for back taxes. Forced to sell her Hollywood home and place her daughter in a state mental institution in Camarillo, California, Dandridge moved into a small apartment at 8495 Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood, California.
  • 1958
    Age 35
    In 1958, she recorded a full-length album for Verve Records featuring Oscar Peterson with Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Alvin Stoller (Catalogue #314 547-514 2) that remained unreleased in the vaults until a CD release in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details This CD also included four tracks from 1961 (with an unknown orchestra) that included one 45 rpm record single and another aborted single: The tracks "It's a Beautiful Evening" and "Smooth Operator" were aborted for release as a single and remained in the Verve vaults until the Smooth Operator release in 1999. These are the only known songs Dandridge recorded on vinyl. Several songs she sang, including her version of "Cow-Cow Boogie" were recorded on soundies and are not included on this list.
    In late 1958, Dandridge accepted producer Samuel Goldwyn's offer to star in his forthcoming production of Porgy and Bess, which would become her first major Hollywood film in five years.
    More Details Hide Details Her acceptance to playing the role angered the African-American community, who felt the story's negative stereotyping of blacks was degrading. When the initial director was replaced with Otto Preminger, he informed Dandridge her performance was not credible and that she needed intensive coaching to handle such a role. Porgy and Bess had a long and costly production; its entire sets and costumes were destroyed in a fire, losing almost $2 million. Continued script rewrites and further problems that prolonged the production, pushed the film over-budget. When it was released in June 1959, it was critically bashed and failed to recoup its financial investment. In 1959, she filmed a low-budget British thriller Malaga, in which she played a European woman with an Italian name. The film, co-starring Trevor Howard and Edmund Purdom, plotted a jewel robbery and its aftermath. Some pre-release publicity invited the belief that Dandridge received her first, and only, on-screen kiss with a white actor (Howard) in this film. The film was withheld from a theatrical release abroad until 1960, but went unreleased in the United States until 1962. It was her final completed film appearance.
  • 1957
    Age 34
    Dandridge next starred opposite German actor Curd Jürgens in the Italian production of Tamango, which began filming in 1957, for $100,000.
    More Details Hide Details A reluctant Dandridge had agreed to appear in the film only after learning that it focused on a nineteenth century slave revolt on a cargo ship travelling from Africa to Cuba. However, she nearly withdrew her involvement when the initial script called for her to swim in the nude and spend the majority of the film in a two-piece bathing suit made of rags. When Dandridge threatened to leave the film, the script and her wardrobe was retooled to her liking. United States Production code requirements did not apply to this Italian production and a passionate and overwhelming kiss from her co-star Jürgens was accepted by Dandridge's Aiché. This gave Dandridge her first, and only, on-screen kiss with a white actor. Tamango was withheld from an American release until late 1959, and received mixed reviews from critics and minor success. In MGM's The Decks Ran Red (1958), she co-starred with James Mason and Broderick Crawford as an exotic woman aboard a large ocean liner where numerous deaths are arranged to take place. Despite being universally panned, the film generated a respectable audience due to the controversy surrounding Dandridge's sultry wardrobe.
    In 1957, after a three-year absence from film acting, she agreed to appear in the film version of Island in the Sun opposite an ensemble cast, including James Mason, Harry Belafonte, Joan Fontaine, Joan Collins, and Stephen Boyd.
    More Details Hide Details Dandridge portrayed a local Indian shop clerk who has an interracial love affair with a white man, played by John Justin. The film was controversial for its time period, and the script was revised numerous times to accommodate the Motion Picture Production Code requirements about interracial relationships. There occurred, however, an extremely intimate loving embrace between Dandridge and Justin that succeeded in not breaching the code. Despite the behind-the-scenes controversy and unfavorable critical reviews, the film was one of the year's biggest successes.
    Dandridge was one of the few Hollywood stars who testified at the 1957 criminal libel trial of Hollywood Research, Inc., the company that published all of the era's tabloid magazines.
    More Details Hide Details She and actress Maureen O'Hara, the only other star who testified, were photographed shaking hands outside the downtown-Los Angeles courtroom where the well-publicized trial was held. Testimony from O'Hara, as well as from a disgruntled former magazine editor, revealed that the magazines published false information provided by hotel maids, clerks, and movie-theater ushers who were paid for their tips. The stories with questionable veracity most often centered around alleged incidents of casual sex. When the jury and press visited Grauman's Chinese Theatre to determine whether O'Hara could have performed various sexual acts while seated in the balcony, as reported by a magazine published by Hollywood Research, Inc., this was discovered to have been impossible.
  • 1955
    Age 32
    At the 27th Academy Awards held on March 30, 1955, Dandridge shared her Oscar nomination which such luminaries as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, and Jane Wyman.
    More Details Hide Details
    On February 15, 1955, Dandridge signed a three-movie deal with 20th Century Fox starting at $75,000 a film.
    More Details Hide Details The head of the studio, Darryl F. Zanuck, had personally suggested the studio sign Dandridge to a contract. Zanuck had big plans for her, hoping she would evolve into the first African-American screen icon. He purchased the film rights to The Blue Angel and intended to cast her as saloon singer Lola-Lola in an all-black remake of the original 1930 film. She was also scheduled to star as Cigarette in a remake of Under Two Flags. Meanwhile, Dandridge agreed to play the role of Tuptim in a film version of The King and I and a sultry upstairs neighbor in The Lieutenant Wore Skirts. However, her former director and now-lover Otto Preminger, suggested she accept only leading roles, and she rejected both roles. The roles certainly were appropriate to Dandridge had she played the lesser role of Cindy Lou in Carmen Jones but Dandridge was then for the moment an international stellar attraction of the first rank. They were eventually given to Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno.
  • 1954
    Age 31
    At the November 1, 1954 awards ceremony, Dandridge presented the Academy Award for Film Editing to On the Waterfront editor Gene Milford.
    More Details Hide Details
    On November 1, 1954, Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman featured on the cover of Life.
    More Details Hide Details As Walter Winchell recalled, her performance was "bewitching" and Variety said her "performance maintains the right hedonistic note throughout". Carmen Jones became a worldwide success, eventually earning over $10 million at the box office and becoming one of the year's highest-earning films. Dandridge was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming the first African-American to be nominated for a leading role.
    Despite her recognition as a singer, Dandridge's voice was dubbed by operatic vocalist Marilyn Horne for the film. Carmen Jones opened to favorable reviews and strong box office returns on October 28, 1954, earning $70,000 during its first week and $50,000 during its second.
    More Details Hide Details Dandridge's performance as the sultry title character made her one of Hollywood's first African-American sex symbols and earned her positive reviews.
  • 1953
    Age 30
    In 1953, a nationwide publicity search arose as 20th Century Fox began the process of casting the all-black musical film adaptation of Oscar Hammerstein II's 1943 Broadway musical Carmen Jones, conceptually Georges Bizet's opera Carmen updated to a World War II-era African-American setting.
    More Details Hide Details Director and writer Otto Preminger initially did not consider her for the role, feeling her sophisticated look was more suited for the smaller role of Cindy Lou. Dandridge relented, but recalling her experiences of having to dress down to a demure school teacher for the screen tests of Bright Road, she outrageously reinvented a look with the aid of Max Factor make-up artists to obtain the appearance and character of the earthy title role, Carmen, and confronted Preminger in his executive office. With this meeting Preminger gave her the role and the rest of the casting followed with Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Madame Sul-Te-Wan (uncredited), Olga James, and Joe Adams.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 29
    In December 1952, a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio agent saw Dandridge perform at the Mocambo and recommended to Production Chief Dore Schary that she might be cast as Jane Richards in Bright Road, which would be her first starring role as a "wonderful, emotional actress" as the trailer stated.
    More Details Hide Details The film, which plotted a teacher's struggles to reach out to a troubled student, marked the first time Dandridge appeared in a film opposite Harry Belafonte. She continued to perform in nightclubs thereafter and appeared on multiple early television variety shows, including Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.
  • 1951
    Age 28
    The continuing publicity buzz surrounding Dandridge's wardrobe got her pictured on the April 1951 cover of Ebony.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, she had a supporting role in The Harlem Globetrotters (1951), which did no great thing to further her career.
    She continued to appear occasionally in films and on the stage throughout the rest of the decade, but few of these appearances were noteworthy. In 1951, Dandridge appeared as Melmendi, Queen of the Ashuba in Tarzan's Peril, starring Lex Barker and Virginia Huston.
    More Details Hide Details When the Motion Picture Production Code tut-tutted about the film's "blunt sexuality", Dandridge was singled out for wearing what was permitting certain moments to be "provocatively revealing".
  • 1950
    Age 27
    Dandridge's testimony further strengthened the prosecution's case. Alleged by one tabloid to have fornicated with a white bandleader in the woods of Lake Tahoe in 1950, she testified that racial segregation had confined her to her hotel during her nightclub engagement in the Nevada resort city.
    More Details Hide Details When she was not in the hotel lounge rehearsing or performing her singing, according to her testimony, she was required to stay inside her room where she slept alone. This proved beyond any doubt that Hollywood Research had committed libel at least once. The judge ordered Hollywood Research to stop publishing questionable stories based on tips for which they paid, and this curtailed invasive tabloid journalism until 1971 when Generoso Pope, Jr. moved the National Enquirer, which he owned, from New York to Lantana, Florida.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1942
    Age 19
    Dandridge married dancer and entertainer Harold Nicholas on September 6, 1942, and gave birth to her only child, Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas, on September 2, 1943. Harolyn was born brain-damaged, and the couple divorced in October 1951.
    More Details Hide Details While filming Carmen Jones (1954), the director Otto Preminger began an affair with his film's star, Dandridge. It lasted four years, during which period he advised her on career matters, demanding she accept only starring roles, advice Dandridge later regretted accepting. She ended the affair when she realized that Preminger had no plans to leave his wife to marry her. Their affair was depicted in the HBO Films biopic, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, in which Preminger was portrayed by Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer.
  • 1941
    Age 18
    Dandridge appeared as part of a "Specialty Number" in the hit 1941 musical film, Sun Valley Serenade for 20th Century Fox.
    More Details Hide Details The film marked the first time she performed with the Nicholas Brothers. Aside from her film appearances, Dandridge appeared in a succession of "soundies"–film clips designed to be displayed on juke boxes including "Paper Doll" by the Mills Brothers, "Cow, Cow Boogie", "Jig in the Jungle", and "Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter's Rent Party" among others. These films were noted not only for showcasing Dandridge's singing and acting abilities, but also for featuring strong emphasis on her physical attributes.
  • 1936
    Age 13
    As a part of The Dandridge Sisters, she appeared in The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1936) with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, A Day at the Races with the Marx Brothers, and It Can't Last Forever (both 1937) with the Jackson Brothers.
    More Details Hide Details Although these appearances were relatively minor, Dandridge continued to earn recognition through continuing nightclub performances nationwide. Dandridge's first credited film role was in Four Shall Die (1940). The race film cast her as a murderer; it did little for her film career. She had small roles in Lady from Louisiana with John Wayne and Sundown (both 1941) with Gene Tierney.
  • 1935
    Age 12
    The Dandridge Sisters continued strong for several years, and were booked in several high-profile nightclubs, including the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. Dandridge's first screen appearance was a bit part in an Our Gang comedy short, Teacher's Beau in 1935.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1934
    Age 11
    The Wonder Children were renamed The Dandridge Sisters in 1934, and Dandridge and her sister were teamed with dance schoolmate Etta Jones.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1922
    Born
    Dorothy Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio to aspiring entertainer Ruby Dandridge (née Butler)(March 3, 1900 – October 17, 1987) and Cyril Dandridge (October 25, 1895 – July 9, 1989), a cabinetmaker and minister, who had separated just before her birth.
    More Details Hide Details Ruby created a song-and-dance act for her two young daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name The Wonder Children, that was managed by Geneva Williams. The sisters toured the Southern United States almost nonstop for five years (rarely attending school), while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland. During the Great Depression, work virtually dried up for the Dandridges, as it did for many Chitlin' Circuit performers. Ruby moved to Hollywood, California, where she found steady work on radio and film in small domestic-servant parts. After that relocation in 1930, Dorothy attended McKinley Junior High School.
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