Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

Highest Rated: 95% Sing Your Song (2012)

Lowest Rated: 76% Carmen Jones (1954)

Birthday: Nov 9, 1922

Birthplace: Not Available

African American actress, singer, dancer Dorothy Dandridge, the daughter of stage and screen actress Ruby Dandridge, began performing professionally in the song-and-dance duo "The Wonder Children" with her sister Vivian at age four; they toured parts of the South, performing at churches, schools, and social gatherings. In the 1930s her family relocated to Los Angeles, and she and her sister appeared briefly in the Marx brothers comedy A Day at the Races (1937). In their teens she and her sister enlisted a third singer and formed a new group, the Dandridge Sisters. They worked with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra and Cab Calloway, appeared at the Cotton Club, and turned up with Louis Armstrong and Maxine Sullivan in the film Going Places (1939). Dandridge started performing solo in the early '40s, appearing in a string of musical shorts made in 1941 and 1942; she also performed in several features in the same years, including Sun Valley Serenade (1942), during the production of which she met her first husband, the dancer Harold Nicholas. After her marriage she put her career on hold for a while, but the birth of a severely brain-damaged daughter strained her marriage and it soon ended in divorce, following which she put most of her energy into her career. She became popular and famous as a sultry nightclub entertainer, then began to make her mark in movies with her notable appearance in Tarzan's Peril (1951), in which she played a sexy African princess. For her work in Otto Preminger's Carmen Jones (1954) she received a "Best Actress" Oscar nomination, becoming the first black women to do so. Three years went by before her next role, in Island in the Sun (1957), in which she again made history by being the first black actress cast romantically with a white actor in a film. For her work in Preminger's Porgy and Bess (1959) she won the Golden Globe Award as "Best Actress in a Musical." After a few more years she found it difficult to get lead roles in films, and went back to nightclubs. In 1965 she signed a new film contract, but her rebounding luck was short-lived -- she was found dead from an overdose of anti-depressants.

Highest Rated Movies



95% Sing Your Song Dorothy Dandridge $48.2K 2012
No Score Yet Soundies: A Musical History Hosted by Michael Feinstein Actor 2007
No Score Yet Sarah Vaughan & Other Jazz Divas Actor 2005
No Score Yet Harlem Renaissance Actor 2004
No Score Yet Dinah Washington and Friends: Swing Era Actor 2004
No Score Yet Dorothy Dandridge: Singing at Her Best Actor 2003
No Score Yet Dorothy Dandridge: An American Beauty Actor 2003
83% Porgy and Bess Bess 1959
No Score Yet The Decks Ran Red Mahia 1958
No Score Yet Tamango Aiché 1958
No Score Yet Island in the Sun Margot Seaton 1957
76% Carmen Jones Carmen 1954
No Score Yet Bright Road Actor 1953
No Score Yet Tarzan's Peril Queen Melmendi 1951
No Score Yet Pillow to Post Herself 1945
No Score Yet Jungle Queen Actor 1945
83% Since You Went Away Black Officer's Wife 1944
No Score Yet Change of Heart Count Basie Band Singer 1943
No Score Yet Sundown Kipsang's Bride 1941
No Score Yet Sun Valley Serenade Vocalist 1941
No Score Yet Lady from Louisiana (Lady from New Orleans) Felice 1941
No Score Yet Teacher's Beau Our Gang Kid 1935


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