Dorothy Dandridge was a Hollywood trailblazer. A Black woman in the height of Hollywood’s Jim Crow era, Dandridge became the first Black woman nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. She also starred in several films depicting interracial romances, one of which was even banned from airing in the US for years due to an interracial kiss. Despite finding a surprising amount of success given the racism she endured, Dandridge’s career and life were tragically cut short by a suspected accidental overdose at only 42 years of age.
40. She Came From a Show Family
Dorothy Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922, to Ruby Dandridge. Her mother, Ruby, was an aspiring actress whose greatest claims to fame were radio work on the programs Amos ân Andy and the Judy Casanova Show. She also appeared in one film, A Hole in the Head in 1959. Ruby’s father performed in minstrel shows for a living, so the performance arts ran in her blood for at least two generations.