Posts tagged "Hollywood"
People tend to say the same two things about Dorothy Dandridge (“She was so beautiful!” “Her life was so tragic!”) Well, she was definitely beautiful (by most counts on the inside and out) and she did endure tough challenges in her life, but she was also a relentless hard worker. When she was not rehearsing for one of her nightclub performances, she was studying acting and dance and constantly working to create more opportunities for herself in Hollywood. At one point in the 1950s, she teamed up with Nat “King” Cole to pitch a television series where they would play a married couple (“small time” entertainers trying to catch a break in show business). It is our loss that they were turned down all over town (can you imagine watching clips of that today?!) In this photo, Ms. Dandridge is rehearsing with the great composer, arranger and vocal coach Phil Moore in March 1951. Mr. Moore also coached, arranged and/or wrote songs for Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Pearl Bailey, Ava Gardner, Diahann Carroll, Johnny Mathis and The Supremes.

People tend to say the same two things about Dorothy Dandridge (“She was so beautiful!” “Her life was so tragic!”) Well, she was definitely beautiful (by most counts on the inside and out) and she did endure tough challenges in her life, but she was also a relentless hard worker. When she was not rehearsing for one of her nightclub performances, she was studying acting and dance and constantly working to create more opportunities for herself in Hollywood. At one point in the 1950s, she teamed up with Nat “King” Cole to pitch a television series where they would play a married couple (“small time” entertainers trying to catch a break in show business). It is our loss that they were turned down all over town (can you imagine watching clips of that today?!) In this photo, Ms. Dandridge is rehearsing with the great composer, arranger and vocal coach Phil Moore in March 1951. Mr. Moore also coached, arranged and/or wrote songs for Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Judy Garland, Pearl Bailey, Ava Gardner, Diahann Carroll, Johnny Mathis and The Supremes.

Dorothy Dandridge presenting the Oscar for Film Editing for “On the Waterfront” at the 27th Academy Awards at New York’s Century Theater on March 30, 1955. She was nominated for Best Actress that year for her role in “Carmen Jones”. 

Did you know that you can get a sneak peak at my new book? When you go to http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/ click the big red “Look Inside” button to get an idea of what you will be getting in June. This page features Princess Kouka of Sudan (Paul Robeson’s 1930s co-star) and the legendary dancer Jeni LeGon.

Harry Belafonte, Martin Luther King Jr., theater and film producer Hillard Elkins and Sammy Davis Jr. in April 1965 at “Broadway Answers Selma,” a show Mr. Hillard produced to raise money for Dr. King. Mr. Hillard managed Mr. Davis and other legends like Steve McQueen, and he was one of the subjects in the book, “The Producers: Profiles in Frustration,” and he mentions this photograph to the author: “Hilly points to a photo on the wall of four men. “I think you will recognize the players. It’s Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Jr., Martin Luther King and me.” Above the photo is a framed letter from Dr. Martin Luther King to Hillard Elkins, thanking him for “Golden Boy” and for coming to Selma, Alabama to march. “I closed the show and we all went to Selma, Alabama and marched. When we came back, I wanted to do something for Dr. King. I put on a show, “Broadway Answers Selma,” raising money for Dr. King.” Many thanks to Kanisha Johnson, the patron saint of Dorothy Dandridge online (see DorothyDandridgeForever.com) for bringing this picture to my attention. Photo: Bandphoto Agency. 

Actress and singer Sheila Guyse, best known for her role in the 1947 film “Sepia Cinderella,” died on December 28, 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii at the age of 88. Ms. Guyse was born Etta Drucille Guyse on July 14, 1925, in Forest, Mississippi. After winning the amateur night competition at the Apollo Theater, she appeared in Broadway musicals like “Finian’s Rainbow” (1947) and “Lost in the Stars” (1949) along with several other film appearances including “Miracle In Harlem" in 1948. Photo: New York Times obituary.

Josephine Baker in Paris, 1940. This picture was taken around the time she joined the French Counterespionage Services and became a counterespionage agent. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance with Rosette by the French government for her efforts during World War II. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Ministry of Culture (France).

Josephine Baker in Paris, 1940. This picture was taken around the time she joined the French Counterespionage Services and became a counterespionage agent. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medal of Resistance with Rosette by the French government for her efforts during World War II. Photo: Studio Harcourt, Ministry of Culture (France).

Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll at a dinner following the Oscars in Santa Monica, CA on April 5, 1965. Photo: AP Photo/DFS. 

Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carroll at a dinner following the Oscars in Santa Monica, CA on April 5, 1965. Photo: AP Photo/DFS.