Wednesday, February 29, 2012
HOLLYWOOD TIDBITS: DOROTHY DANDRIDGE
By Tonya Sams
Born Nov. 9, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio, Dandridge started performing at a young age, first with her older sister Vivian as the Wonder Kids and later as the Dandridge Sisters, which included Etta Jones.
When the Dandridge Sisters broke up, Dandridge continued performing in movies and as a nightclub singer.
She went on to perform with the Desi Arnaz Band and appeared in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's Empire Room in New York. She was the first black person to perform there.
Her big break came in 1954, when she was chosen for the title role in the all-black musical "Carmen Jones."
The movie was such a hit that not only did it win for best musical motion picture at the Golden Globes and win an Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival, it made Dandridge the first black women to receive an Oscar nomination for best actress.
Dandridge went on to play in several movies, including "Porgy and Bess," "Island in the Sun" and "Tamango."
Before Dandridge could start work on two new movies, she was found dead on Sept. 8, 1965, in her West Hollywood apartment. She was 42.