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Dorothy Dandridge's Acting Credentials: Awards and Highlights of Storied Career

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 01:50 PM

Dorothy Dandridge had a brief but successful career in Hollywood films. At a time when being a woman of color made it difficult to find work, she persevered and was won lead roles in the films "Carmen Jones" and "Porgy and Bess," and contended for awards as well.

"Her professional achievements easily could have been overshadowed by the prejudice and self-destructiveness that were the locomotives of her downfall," wrote the Los Angeles Times, regarding Dandridge's life.

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Dandridge was multi-talented — she starred as supporting actress in several films and had a musical talent that put her on the map. Here are some awards and other professional highlights of her storied career:

Academy Awards

In 1954, Dandridge made history as the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award in the top of a category (Best Actress).

Golden Globe Awards

In 1960, Dandridge was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress for her role in "Porgy and Bess."

BAFTA Awards

In 1956 Dandridge was nominated Dandridge for Best Foreign Actress by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for her role in "Carmen Jones."

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Career of Firsts


In 1951, she became the first African American performer to entertain in the dining room of St. Louis’ Chase Hotel, according to TheRoot.com. As part of her agreement, she insisted her demands that African-American patrons could use the main entrance and eat in the same dining room be met.

In 1954, Dandridge was the first African-American ever to be featured on the cover of Life magazine, and she presented the Oscar for film editing at the 27th annual Academy Awards in 1955. By doing so, Dandridge became the first African-American woman to participate in the televised broadcast of the Academy Awards.

In addition, she was the first African-American actor/actress to be offered a three-year contract by 20th Century Fox.

The entertainer continued breaking racial barriers throughout her career and was the first African-American headliner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Superstardom as Singer

According to Biography.com, Dandridge was a talented singer. After a performance at Mocambo club in Hollywood with Desi Arnaz's band and sell-out 14-week engagement at La Vie en Rose, she was dubbed international star. She went on to perform at glamorous venues in London, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, and New York.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Despite her death in 1965, Dandridge was posthumously recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1983 and given a star.

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Dorothy Dandridge had a brief but successful career in Hollywood films. At a time when being a woman of color made it difficult to find work, she persevered and was won lead roles in the films "Carmen Jones" and "Porgy and Bess," and contended for awards as well.
dorothy dandridge, awards, acting credentials, highlights
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015 01:50 PM
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