Dorothy Dandridge was one of the most beautiful and talented movie stars of the early 1950’s, a woman of mesmerizing star power as a singer and actress. She was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress (for Carmen Jones). Like her contemporary, Marilyn Monroe, she was a sex symbol whose own life was filled with loss and betrayal, and she died young of an accidental drug overdose.
On her birthday, let’s remember her at her best, as the fiery Carmen Jones, as the devoted teacher at a segregated school in “Bright Road,” and opposite Sidney Poitier in “Porgy and Bess.” And be sure to see Halle Berry’s magnificent performance in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, with Bret Spiner as her devoted manager, Earl Mills.
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