Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, OH. Her mother was actress Ruby Dandridge. In 1937 Dorothy landed a bit part in the Marx Brothers movie "A Day At the Races."
Dorothy and her sister Vivian appeared together in the movies "It Can't Last Forever" and "Irene" as the Dandridge Sisters. She would later appear in such films as "Bahama Passage," "Drums of the Congo" and "Since You Went Away." Despite her beauty and talent, Dorothy didn't land the roles that her white counterparts received and she encountered plenty of racism during her acting and singing career.
In 1953 she starred in the movie "Bright Road" but it was her role in "Carmen Jones" that garnered her much attention. Dorothy was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award (the 1st black actress to be named in that category). Despite the nomination (she lost to "The Country Girl's" Grace Kelly), Dorothy didn't land another film role until 1956 in "Tamango." She later starred in "Island in the Sun" and "Porgy and Bess." Her last film was 1961's "The Murder Men."
Dorothy has been married twice: to Harold Nicholas from 1944 to 1951 with whom she had a daughter Lynn, born with a brain injury and to Jack Denison from 1959 to 1962.
Dorothy was found dead in her West Hollywood home on September 8, 1965 from barbituate poisoning at the age of 41.
Dorothy Dandridge information:
Dorothy became the first black woman to grace the cover of Life Magazine.
In 1999 HBO debuted the movie "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" starring Halle Berry. Halle went on to win a Best Actress Golden Globe for her performance.
Donald Bogle wrote the book "Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography."
Everything & Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy" was written by Earl Conrad and Dorothy Dandridge. This book was completed shortly before her death.
Dorothy's film credits include the following:
- The Murder Men (1961)
- Moment of Danger (1960)
- Porgy and Bess (1959)
- The Decks Ran Red (1958)
- The Happy Road (1957)
- Island in the Sun (1957)
- Tamango (1957)
- Carmen Jones (1954)
- Bright Road (1953)
- Harlem Globetrotters (1951)
- Tarzan's Peril (1951)
- Ebony Parade (1947)
- Pillow to Post (1945)
- Atlantic City (1944)
- Since You Went Away (1944)
- Lucky Jordan (1942)
- Drums of the Congo (1942)
- Ride Em Cowboy (1942)
- Bahama Passage (1941)
- Sundown (1941)
- Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
- Lady from Louisiana (1941)
- Four Shall Die (1940)
- Irene (1940)
- It Can't Last Forever (1937)
- A Day At the Races (1937)
- The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1936)
- Teacher's Beau (1935)
Check out the following sites for additional information about Dorothy:
Dorothy Dandridge@Internet Movie Database
Denny Jackson's Dorothy Dandridge Page
Crystal's Dorothy Dandridge Page
Presenting Dorothy Dandridge