Dandridge, Dorothy

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Dandridge, Dorothy Gender: F
Dorothy Jean Dandridge
born on 9 November 1922 at 22:35 (= 10:35 PM )
Place Cleveland, Ohio, 41n30, 81w42
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Clifford
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 16°58' s_mo.18.gif s_cancol.18.gif 19°43 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 05°46'

Dorothy Dandridge


American entertainer and actress, accomplished as a singer and actress on stage, film and TV. The daughter of actress Ruby Dandridge, she and her sister appeared together as youngsters. She played in the Cotton Club in 1938, Las Vegas and New York Mocambo in 1951, Rio de Janeiro in 1953 and Palm Springs in 1963.

From a debut in 1937, her films included "Since You Went Away," 1944, "Island in the Sun," 1957, "Porgy and Bess," 1959 and "Malaga," 1962. On radio, she played in a series, "Beulah." Her lead role in "Carmen Jones," the all-black-cast production in 1954 was sensational; she made history by being the first black actress to be nominated for Best Actress. She appeared on the cover of "Life" magazine, and stopped traffic at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival.

When eight-year-old Dorothy arrives in Los Angeles from Chicago in 1930, film roles open to black performers were limited to menial extras. But her actress mom, Ruby, and mom's lover, a harsh-tempered woman named Geneva Williams, had molded Dorothy and her older sister Vivian into a singing-and-acrobatics act. In the early '30s, Ruby added another singer and enlisted Nat Cole to polish the act. The girls worked steadily in nightclubs and bit parts in movies. In 1938 she headlined "the Dandridge Sisters" at Manhattan's celebrated Cotton Club. She was 15 and fell in love with 16-year-old Harold Nicholas, the younger of two brothers who became perhaps the finest dancers of the 20th century. They married in 1942.

On 9/02/1943, she went into labor with their daughter. Waiting for Harold to come home, she deliberately resisted delivery for 15 hours and when the baby was born, she was cyanotic and brain damaged. To the day she died, Dandridge blamed herself for not getting to the hospital sooner. By the age of four, Harolyn could not speak and required a full-time caretaker. Dandridge and Nicholas were divorced in 1950 when she found that he was having multiple affairs while on tour. (Harold Nicholas was born 3/17/1921, Philadelphia.)

Dandridge was a gorgeous woman, elegant and luscious, full of personality. She got tired of hearing that she was sexy and dreamed of securing a feature role in a major Hollywood film. When Preminger cast her as Carmen, they had an affair but it ended before she worked for him again in "Porgy and Bess," 1959.

Her last years were a downward spiral. In 1959 she married Las Vegas maitre d' Jack Denison, who physically abused her and spent her money before they divorced three years later. A bank foreclosed on her Hollywood home and she could no longer afford to pay for her daughter's full-time nursing care. In 1963 she made the wrenching decision to put her daughter into a home. Shortly after, she suffered a breakdown.

She published her autobiography in 1970, "Everything and Nothing."

She died on 9/08/1965, West Hollywood, CA, possibly a suicide.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Belafonte, Harry (born 1 March 1927). Notes: Co-stars in 2 films
  • role played of/by Berry, Halle (born 14 August 1966). Notes: in 1999 film "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge"


  • Relationship : Marriage 1942 (Harold Nicholas)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 2 September 1943 at 02:43 AM in Los Angeles, CA (Daughter Harolyn, brain damaged)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Gain social status 1954 (Sensation in Carmen Jones)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1959 (Jack Denison)
  • Death, Mysterious 8 September 1965 (Possible OD, age 42)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1970 (Autobiography)

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Frank C. Clifford


  • Traits : Body : Appearance gorgeous (Luscious)
  • Traits : Body : Race (Black)
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted (mother Ruby Dandridge)
  • Family : Childhood : Order of birth (Second of two girls)
  • Family : Childhood : Parents divorced
  • Family : Childhood : Sibling circumstances (Show act with older sister)
  • Family : Childhood : Other Childhood (Lesbian household)
  • Family : Relationship : Divorce bitter
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Noted (Affair with Otto Preminger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Chronic misery (Both marriages disastrous)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One daughter)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids -Traumatic event (Daughter brain-damaged)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (Debut at 15)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Radio/ D.J./ Announcer (Radio series, Beulah)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Dancer/ Teacher
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc.
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Notable : Awards : Hall of Fame (Hollywood Walk of Fame)