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Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

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Also Known As: Died: September 8, 1965
Born: November 9, 1923 Cause of Death: embolism
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

"For a period that prided itself on appearances, hers was a startling presence. She was a great beauty. Her eyes were dark and vibrant, her hair long and silky, her features sharply defined. And she had the rich golden skin tone that had always fascinated movie audiences, black and white. Moreover, she was a distinctive personality, schizophrenic, maddening, euphoric, and self-destructive. ... Most important to her appeal was her fragility and her desperate determination to survive. In a way never before demonstrated by a black personality, she used her own incongruities and self-contradictions to capture and extend the mass imagination." --Donald Bogle in "Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks" 1973.

"I have a nice voice it's pleasant. It's got a lot of soul in it. Besides, people just seem to like to look at me." --Dorothy Dandrige discussing her popularity with some amusement quoted in The New York Times obituary, September 9, 1965.

Talking about racial prejudice Dandrige commented: "It is such a waste. It makes you loggy and half-alive. It gives you nothing." --Dandridge quoted in The New York Times obituary, September 9, 1965.

"For Black America, then about to launch its civil rights offensive, Dorothy Dandridge was part of the new day. Athletes Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella had integrated major league baseball. Now a dramatic black actress integrated American motion pictures.

But sadly, her decline came soon after her triumph. She realized she was but a token figure within the movie colony, her position not much different than Lena Horne's in the forties. There were no great follow-up roles to sustain her fame. Three years passed before she appeared in another film." --Donald Bogle in "Brown Sugar" 1980.

Posthumously inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1977.

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