Born 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, American actress, singer, and dancer Dorothy Dandridge is perhaps one of the most famous black actresses to have a successful Hollywood career and the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones.
Dandridge performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. During her early career, she performed as a part of The Wonder Children, later The Dandridge Sisters, and appeared in a succession of films, usually in uncredited roles.
In 1959, Dandridge was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Porgy and Bess. She was married and divorced twice. She died under mysterious circumstances in 1965 at age 42.
Dandridge is the subject of the 1999 HBO biographical film, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She has been recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
These beautiful photos of Dorothy Dandridge were taken by American photographer Edward Clark for LIFE Magazine in 1951.