Dorothy Dandridge Biography

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Birth Name: Dorothy Dandridge
Born: 11/09/1922
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Death Place: Hollywood, California, USA
Died: 09/08/1965


Under the tutelage of her mother, character actress Ruby Dandridge, she began her career in a musical act with her sister Vivian with whom she appeared in films ("A Day at the Races" 1937) and later performed with as big band singers in the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. After her divorce from Harold Nicholas of the famed dancing Nicholas brothers, Dandridge established herself as a sophisticated international nightclub singer and made a determined effort to become a dramatic film star. She played a committed young teacher in the drama "Bright Road" (1953) but it was as the eponymous temptress in "Carmen Jones" (1954) that she catapulted to stardom.

Hollywood did not, however, find the roles to match her celebrity and it was several years before she appeared in a string of interracial romance problem dramas beginning with the then-controversial "Island in the Sun" (1957). After the success of Otto Preminger's lusciously produced "Porgy and Bess" (1959), Dandridge reluctantly resumed her nightclub career, finding a dearth of dramatic vehicles in Hollywood. Personal and financial problems overshadowed the end of her career and Dandridge died from a drug overdose at age 41, ironically coming to symbolize the "tragic mulatto" stereotype she had attempted to escape in her career.




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