Dorothy Dandridge: First African American Academy Award Nominee for Best Actress
Film/TV | by James E. Brunson | September 5, 2015
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was a black actress and singer; Dandridge was also the first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Dandridge's had a flawless and radiant skin complexion.
The black press described it as “honey” and “cafe au lait.” Dandridge and her sister, Vivian, the Dandridge Sisters, performed at New York's famous Cotton Club.
In 1942, she married dancer Harold Nicholas of the Nicholas Brothers. Following a divorce in 1949, Dandridge toured as a nightclub singer. In 1954, she starred in the film "Carmen Jones."
She was nominated for an Oscar (Grace Kelly won for "The Country Girl.") In 1959, Dandridge starred with Sidney Poitier in "Porgy and Bess." Racism and personal challenges impacted her career. Dandridge began drinking heavily and taking antidepressants.
In 1965, she died of a drug overdoes. Sigh.
James E. Brunson