Meet Dorothy Dandridge!

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

By Rocky Richards

Have you ever heard of the term triple threat? Dorothy Dandridge is one of the first African American women to be recognized as a triple threat. From film and theatre to singing and dancing, this woman could do it all. Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born November 9th in 1922. As a young child she started out performing with her sister Vivian under the name “The Wonder Children,” and they later toured the southern United States for five years. Eventually work slowed down for the Dandridge’s and Dorothy took a big chance and moved to Hollywood.

Dorothy is best known for being the first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Dorothy was originally caste as Cindy Lou because the director felt her sophisticated look was more suitable for a smaller role. She didn’t let this stop her and reinvented her look and later was caste for the leading role.

Dorothy Dandridge paved the way and left a legacy for African American woman in film and media today. Stars such as Halle Berry, Cicely Tyson, Jada Pinkett and many others have all acknowledged Dorothy’s contribution to the roles of African Americans in film. Every day, I’m motivated to give my all in the field of acting so that I can pay tribute to individuals who have paved the way for me today. Dorothy Dandridge maybe just an actress to some people, but for me she’s a legendary icon that had guts to do the things that she loved despite opposition!

Thank You Dorothy Dandridge.