African Americans in Classic Hollywood

It’s been lots of fun celebrating African American History this month at Classic Movies. I feel great admiration for the many black performers who overcame the twin hurdles of a tough industry and a prejudiced society to make their mark in the golden age of Hollywood. Here are some of those wonderful performers:

Eddie "Rochester" Anderson (1905-1977)
Cabin in the Sky (1943), Buck Benny Rides Again (1940)

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
The Five Pennies (1959), High Society (1956)

Pearl Bailey (1918-1990)
Carmen Jones (1954), Porgy and Bess (1959)

Count Basie (1904-1984)
Stage Door Canteen (1943), Hit Parade of 1943 (1943)

Louise Beavers (1902-1962)
Imitation of Life (1934), Made for Each Other (1939)

Harry Belafonte (1927)
Island in the Sun (1957), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

Willie Best (1913-1962)
The Green Pastures (1936), Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Cab Calloway (1907-1994)
Hi De Ho (1947), St. Louis Blues (1958)

Diahann Carroll (1935)
Carmen Jones (1954), Paris Blues (1964)

Shirley Clarke (1919-1997)
(Director) The Cool World (1964)

Nat "King" Cole (1919-1965)
St. Louis Blues (1958), The Blue Gardenia (1953)

Ralph Cooper (1908-1992)
The Duke is Tops (1938), Gang War (1940)

Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965)
Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957)

Vivian Dandridge (1921-1991)
The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935), I Walked With a Zombie (1943)

Ruby Dandridge (1900-1987)
Beulah (TV, 1952), A Hole in the Head (1959)

Ossie Davis (1917-2005)
Shock Treatment (1964), No Way Out (1950)

Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990)
Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964)

Ruby Dee (1924)
A Raisin in the Sun (1961), The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

Ivan Dixon (1931-2008)
Nothing But A Man (1964), A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Katherine Dunham (1909-2006)
Stormy Weather (1943), Mambo (1954)

James Edwards (1918-1970)
Battle Hymn (1957), Home of the Brave (1949)

Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
Black and Tan (1929), Murder at the Vanities (1934)

Stepin Fechit (1902-1985)
Steamboat Round the Bend (1935), Dimples (1936)

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
St. Louis Blues (1958), Pete Kelly’s Blues (1955)

Theresa Harris (1906-1985)
Hold Your Man (1933), Baby Face (1933)

Juano Hernandez (1901-1970)
Intruder in the Dust (1949), Stars in My Crown (1950)

Billie Holiday (1915-1959)
New Orleans (1947), Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life (1935)

Lena Horne (1917)
Stormy Weather (1943), Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Allen Clayton Hoskins, AKA Baby Farina (1920-1980)
Our Gang

Rex Ingram (1895-1969)
The Green Pastures (1936), Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson (1916-2001)
Our Gang

Herb Jeffries (1913)
The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), Harlem Rides the Range (1939)

Noble Johnson (1881-1978)
The Thief of Bagdad (1924), King Kong (1933)

James Earl Jones (1931)
The Comedians (1967), The Great White Hope (1970)

Eartha Kitt (1927-2008)
St. Louis Blues (1958), Anna Lucasta (1959)

Canada Lee (1907-1952)
Lifeboat (1944), Cry the Beloved Country (1952)

Jeni LeGon (1916)
Hooray for Love (1935), Hi-De-Ho (1947)

Hattie McDaniel (1892-1952)
Gone With the Wind (1939), Alice Adams (1935)

Nina Mae McKinney (1912-1967)
Hallelujah (1929), Sanders of the River (1935)

Butterfly McQueen (1911-1995)
Gone With the Wind (1939), The Women (1939)

Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951)
Independent Movie Producer/Writer/Director

Juanita Moore (1922)
Imitation of Life (1959), Walk on the Wild Side (1962)

Mantan Moreland (1902-1973)
Cabin in the Sky (1943), Docks of New Orleans (1948)

Ernest “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison (1912-1989)
Our Gang

Etta Moten (1901-2004)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), Flying Down to Rio (1933)

Clarence Muse (1889-1979)
Hearts in Dixie (1929), Dirigible (1931)

Harold Nicholas (1921-2000) and Fayard Nicholas (1914-2006), AKA The Nicholas Brothers
Stormy Weather (1943), Tin Pan Alley (1940)

Brock Peters (1927-2005)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Carmen Jones (1954)

Sidney Poitier (1927)
The Defiant Ones (1958), The Lilies of the Field (1963)

Oscar Polk (1899-1949)
The Green Pastures (1936), Gone With the Wind (1939)

Paul Robeson (1898-1976)
Show Boat (1936), The Emperor Jones (1933)

Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (1878-1949)
Stormy Weather (1943), The Little Colonel (1935)

Jackie Robinson (1919-1972)
The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

Hazel Scott (1920-1981)
I Dood It (1943), Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

Woody Strode (1914-1994)
Sergeant Rutledge (1960), The Professionals (1966)

Madame Sul-Te-Wan (1873-1959)
Carmen Jones (1954), The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Libby Taylor (1902-1990)
I’m No Angel (1933), Belle of the Nineties (1934)

Fredi Washington (1903-1994)
Imitation of Life (1934), The Emperor Jones (1933)

Ethel Waters (1896-1977)
Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Member of the Wedding (1952)

Dooley Wilson (1894-1953)
Casablanca (1942), Stormy Weather (1943)

Am I missing anyone? Let me know and I’ll add them!

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails