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Dorothy Dandridge

Actress/singer Dorothy Dandridge was Hollywood's first African-American superstar, becoming the first black performer ever nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Born November 9, 1923 in Cleveland, she was the daughter of actress Ruby Dandridge, and with sister Vivian teamed in the song-and-dance duo the Wonder Children. The family relocated to Los Angeles during the mid-'30s, and in 1937 Dandridge briefly made her film debut in the Marx Brothers classic A Day at the Races.

Concurrently she continued her singing career, and with Vivian performed as the Dandridge Sisters, sharing stages with the likes of Jimmie Lunceford and Cab Calloway as well as recording with Louis Armstrong. During the early '40s Dorothy appeared in a series of musical film shorts, and as the decade progressed she became a sensation on the nightclub circuit. Dandridge's mainstream breakthrough was her title role in Otto Preminger's 1954 screen musical Carmen Jones, a performance which earned her an Academy Award nomination and made her a star; nevertheless, she did not reappear onscreen until 1957's Island in the Sun, and despite winning a Golden Globe for her work in 1959's Porgy and Bess she was offered virtually no future film roles, returning to nightclubs by the early '60s.

Plagued by years of personal hardships as well as professional hurdles, Dandridge was found dead of an overdose of anti-depressants on September 8, 1965. Three decades later her career enjoyed a kind of renaissance with an acclaimed 1997 biography by film historian Donald Bogle in addition to Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, a 1999 HBO telefilm starring Halle Berry. Smooth Operator, a long-unreleased recording date from 1958 featuring the Oscar Peterson trio, was finally issued in 1999 as well. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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Hearing this recording, it's eerie how much Susannah McCorkle (another unhappy jazz singer) sounds like DD.
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ladycaju
I find her inspiring and beautiful. I just adore her once I discovered her.
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i read donald bogle's biography of her. what a beautiful, broken and troubled soul.
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I love Dorothy Dandridge!! Loved the biography, the film, her movies...I'm so glad to hear her sing.
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Absolute beauty with talent without question! I am saddened to know that she had so many professional troubles especially since she waa a better actress than some and the only African American woman at the top of her game back then. Thank God America has come a long way. ��
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heartbreak music the best
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Love it
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Blown away!!
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sariyahb
Ah! The film Bright Road was awesome!
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I do remember.qui t e a star . SO glade I Have PANDORA TAM====
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Perfection. Best thing to happen to the world.
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I would think there is some truth to the saying You have to suffer before you can sing the blues Another wonderful singer who has undoubtedly left us with treasures...
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She was so underrated! What a beautiful soul!
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I have a picture my grandmother gave me of her, Ms. Dandridge and Ms. Bailey. My grandmother told me she took the picture because it was uncandidly jpw much she looked like Ms. Pearl Bailey. Ms. Dandridge a star who shined and sparkled so bright, beauty gone to soon.
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I'm a huge fan. Have read any and everything I could get my hands on about Dorothy Dandridge. My favorite film: Bright Road. . .
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I am so glad to see so many people interested in Dottie. I have been researching her since the day she died. I was in the second grade and my teacher placed a news paper in front of me and said This is Dorothy Dandridge, she is a famous Black Actress. She died today, I tought you might want to see this. What my teacher didn't know was that I secretly harbored dreams since the age of 4 of becoming an actress. So I've been researching Dottie since that day. Because of my father's background as a
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THIS TO Mitchell Attenson: I'm currently reading Donald Bogle's Bio on her . I'm curious, do you know her Survivors? As in a 'Friend of the family', type thing?
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She is gorgeous with a voice to match!
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I have some of her private corresponden c e to her family back in Cleveland!
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angel88feb
Talented,bea u t i f u l , a voice like silk,lace,co o l summer evenings.
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She was a beauty! Loved this arrangement. Quite a talented lady.
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lydgai
Sexy,
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SHE WAS ABSOULUTELY BEAUTIFUL, I THINK SHE WAS REINCARNATED INTO HALLE BERRY!!!
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What she endured to have that much talent! God Bless Dorothy Dandridge!
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Just watched "Carmen Jones" last night on TCM, haven't seen it in years. Her beauty just lights up the screen, what a talent!!!!
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Beautiful Lady, Beautiful Voice! Love it!
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soulful..... o h my goodness...s o nice. The music of today can't even begin to compare. I cant even say the talent is competition, n o t h i n g can replace the artists of this era. Soooo nice.
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She is wonderful!!
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p_ert251
Gorgeous and Talented.
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parriss_isla n d
love the female voices of this era, such class and heart in their sound.
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WOW! What a voice. What a talent. Gone far too soon.
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I have this album to bad they just didnt use her recording for the movie it would have been a little bit more true to her afterall :dottie: wouldnt be dottie without that voice
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What a jewel! What a find!
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this is the first time hearing her ; what a voice.
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Just imagine being able to see her perform in a nightclub back in the day....if only music these days had half the talent.
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rielle0601
How beautiful is her voice! Conveys so much...
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Just from seeing her pictures and listening to her sing indicates to me visually she was one of the most beautiful and talented women of her time. But because of her skin color was limited even being more talented then her adversaries. Some remenants of her stuggle still appear today just not as prevalant. Now I can understand where Sade got Smooth Operator from even in one sense duplicating Dorothys Album Cover in Tribute. Even in death positive influence
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I would liked to have been around to see her during her hey day.
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gorgeous.
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i will remember this great womens legacy....FO R E V E R . . .
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ackerbex3
One has to wonder if this lovely lady would have been with us longer if she had not had to labor in a culture that denied artists of color the same opportunitie s as their caucasian contemporari e s - someone who was "a sensation on the nightclub circuit" should have had a recording contract. She had a beautiful voice & excellent phrasing & it's too bad she didn't release more music.
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So sad that her life and career ended so early be cause she is Amazing!!
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vcampbell7
awesome. :)
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resplendentl y beautiful voice!
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baubkatt
I love her voice. I only knew her as an actress. It is a shame that she was not better known as the beautiful singer she was.
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