Dorothy Jean Dandridge was an American actress, singer, and dancer. She is the first African-American film star to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, which was for her performance in Carmen Jones (1954). Dandridge performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. These Dorothy Dandridge quotes will motivate you.
In 1959, Dandridge was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Porgy and Bess. She is the subject of the 1999 HBO biographical film, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She has been recognized as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dandridge was married and divorced twice, first to dancer Harold Nicholas (the father of her daughter, Harolyn Suzanne) and then to hotel owner Jack Denison. Dandridge died under mysterious circumstances at age 42.
Dandridge was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to entertainer Ruby Dandridge (née Butler; 1900–1987) and Cyril Dandridge (1895–1989), a cabinetmaker and Baptist minister. Her parents separated just before her birth. Ruby created a song-and-dance act for her two young daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name The Wonder Children.
The act was managed by her lover, Geneva Williams. Williams was said to have had a bad temper and to have cruelly disciplined the children. The sisters toured the Southern United States almost nonstop for five years (rarely attending school), while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland. During the Great Depression, work virtually dried up for the Dandridges, as it did for many Chitlin’ Circuit performers. Ruby moved to Hollywood, California, where she found steady work on radio and film in small domestic-servant parts. After that relocation, in 1930, Dorothy attended McKinley Junior High School. The Wonder Children were renamed The Dandridge Sisters in 1934, and Dandridge and her sister were teamed with dance schoolmate Etta Jones.
Famous Dorothy Dandridge Quotes
- “It [prejudice] is such a waste. It makes you logy and half-alive. It gives you nothing. It takes away.” ~ Dorothy Dandridge
- “If I were white I could capture the world.” ~ Dorothy Dandridge
“I can’t play a slave.” ~ Dorothy Dandridge
- If one person in a thousand criticized me while all the others cheered, I didn’t hear the cheers.
- If I were white, I could capture the world.