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Dorothy Dandridge

by Isis from Westerville


On November 09, 1922 Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio at the City Hospital. Dorothy’s parents’ names were Ruby and Cyril Dandridge. She had an older sister named Vivian.


Dorothy did not go to school like most children. She was tutored sometimes, went to school sometimes and also took dancing classes in the afternoons.


Dorothy and her sister Vivian performed as a song and dance team when they were teenagers. They signed with the National Baptist Convention to tour churches. They sang, danced, acted, and read poetry. Dorothy and Vivian had no time for fun and games. They performed at the Cotton Club in New York when Dorothy was a teenager.


Dorothy and Vivian toured Europe then World War ll shortened the tour. Dorothy stopped touring with her sister and became a solo act.


Dorothy was married to Harold Nicholas in 1942. Their daughter Lynn (Charolyn) was born in 1943. When she was a child they found out she was retarded. Dorothy and Harold got a divorce in 1944. Then Dorothy went back to work as a solo act. She sang in night clubs.

Dorothy opened in Hollywood’s top club, The Mocambo, in 1951. She also appeared on TV. She was the first black to perform at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. In 1952 Dorothy starred in a MGM movie called, Bright Road, with Harry Belafonte. In 1954 she starred in the movie, Carmen Jones, and was nominated for an Academy Award.

In the 1950’s the Civil rights movement took place. Blacks felt they were not treated fairly. They could not go to the same places as whites. In 1954 the Supreme Court said blacks and whites should go to the same schools together.

Dorothy was very thrifty until her second marriage. Dorothy put all of her energy into her work. She exercised daily. Dorothy bought beautiful costumes and lived in a beautiful home overlooking Los Angeles. In 1965 Dorothy died and was buried at the Little Church of the Flowers at Forest Lawn.

Dorothy is a hero because she was the first black woman actress to become a great star. Dorothy was the first black woman to be nominated for an Academy Award. Dorothy was the first black woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Page created on 5/12/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/12/2011 12:00:00 AM

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