Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Classic BG: Dorothy Dandridge
I’ve always been fascinated by old Hollywood glamour. However, when I was younger I only knew about white actresses from that period. That was until I was in 8th grade and had to watch the groundbreaking opera, Porgy & Bess for a class assignment and saw Dorothy Dandridge.
Prior to viewing this pioneering film, I never saw African-Americans in roles from the 1940s and 1950s that weren’t mammies or minstrels.
So after that assignment I wanted to know more about the film’s leading lady. After seeing old photographs of Dorothy in magazines I immediately admired her style! To me, Dorothy exuded class and sophistication. Her fashion sense was impeccably chic.
Even decades after her death, she’s still a fashion icon to many. So, for those young BGs who only know about Carmen Jones from seeing Beyonce’s portrayal from MTV’s hip-hopera a few years ago, it was Dorothy who first brought the feisty character to life!
5 Facts About Dorothy Dandridge:
1. She was born in Cleveland, OH in 1922
2. First African-American actress to be Oscar-nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role."
3. She loved soul food. Her favorite was chitterlings and greens, which she ate only once a week.
4. First black woman to grace the cover of Life Magazine.
5. She was first choice for the role of Cleopatra but ultimately the role went to Elizabeth Taylor.