A haughty, sexy, jazz diva and pianist, Hazel Scott had ben a child prodigy, and could improvise on the piano from the age of five. In 1939, when she was 18, she became an overnight sensation when she appeared at Cafe Society Downtown, an integrated nightclub; she played jazz versions of the classics. In the early '40s she arrived in Hollywood and began appearing as herself in musical films; she had a clause written into her contract specifying that she would not play character roles. One of the many victims of the McCarthy Era, she was listed as a communist sympathizer in the magazine Red Channels, after which her career went into decline. However, she continued performing in America and Europe until shortly before her death.