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Dorothy Dandridge: Roles She Missed That Other Actresses Made Famous

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Mar 2016 06:36 PM

Dorothy Dandrige made film history as the first black woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a major motion picture.

Dandridge, who was very talented, with the ability to sing, dance, and act, didn't take every part that came her way. Here a few roles she missed in films that other actresses made famous.

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1. "The King and I" (1956)

One role Dandrige regrets turning down was in the film "The King and I." According to Turner Classic Movies, Dandridge was the original choice for the role Tuptim, but she turned down the part. Tuptim was the supporting role, but Dandrige was advised not to take the role of the slave girl. "The King and I" became an enormous success with Rita Moreno cast in the role of Tuptim.

2. "Bus Stop"/"The Wrong Kind of Girl" (1956)

According to The Washington Post, Dandridge wanted to play the role of Cherie in a movie version of the play "The Wrong Kind of Girl." The movie focuses on a cowboy who attends a rodeo and falls in love with a café singer. The cowboy then tries to take her back to Montana with him while she wants to go to Hollywood. Dandridge did not feel like the role was open to her because of her skin color. When the play was made into a movie titled "Bus Stop," the role was played by Marilyn Monroe.

3. "Cleopatra" (1963)

Another leading role Dandridge wanted was to play the part of Cleopatra in the 1963 film, said The Washington Post. However, Elizabeth Taylor played the part in the film. "Cleopatra" won four Academy Awards and was nominated for five more, including Best Picture.

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One role Dandridge received but came close to missing was that of Carmen in 1954's "Carmen Jones." Dandridge was told she did not fit the role because she did not seem like a Carmen, TCM reported. Dandridge changed her wardrobe and her hair to make a better second impression. When she came back, executives realized she was the perfect person to play Carmen. This was the role for which Dandridge became the first African-American woman nominated for the Academy Awards' Best Actress.

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Dorothy Dandrige made film history as the first black woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a major motion picture. Dandridge, who was very talented, with the ability to sing, dance, and act, didn't take every part that came her way.
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