Before there was Loretta Divine, Alfre Woodard, Halle Berry, Kerry Washington, and Jada Pinkett-Smith There Was…Dorothy Jean Dandridge.
As it pretains to fashion, Ms. Dandridge was known for ‘Keepin’ It Classy’. Her style included lots of well-tailored shapes and silhouettes, which created a classic look. She accessorized with gorgeous jewelry, large belts, sleek handbags and ladylike footwear, which added the finishing touches to her timeless outfits. Dorothy always wore figure hugging outfits that accentuated her amazing figure but never vulgar. Chic blouses, oversized belts and trendy high waisted pants…Most of her outfits would still be considered super-stylish today!
Dorothy Jean Dandridge..known to close family and friends as “Dottie Mae” gained stardom as a phenomenal actress and singer. She was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Carmen Jones. She’s performed as a vocalist in some of the most infamous venues such as the Cotton Club and the legendary Apollo Theater but most of her accredited fame comes from her bits on the big screen… the part of her career for which she preferred to focus most on. Her first major role came in 1952 alongside Harry Belafonte as her co-star in Bright Road. Many other African-American actresses and actors looked up to Dandridge as someone who had proved that an African-American woman could achieve what a white woman or man could. But many thought Dandridge was “selling out” when she accepted the role of Bess in Porgy and Bess. When film offers diminished she returned to the nightclub circuit and continuing to work on her comeback until her untimely tragic death at the age of 42.
Her Legacy lives on through the “Four Ladies of Hollywood” gazebo..seen just before her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame an thru the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with the lead role played by award winning actress Halle Berry.