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Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge

Madame Sul-Te-Wan was not her real life grandmother as is often rumored. In the definitive biography on Dandridge, by Donald Bogle, it is suggested that this rumor started because she played Dandridge's grandmother in the film Carmen Jones (1954).

Although she was a top-notch nightclub/cabaret singer, she despised it.

At the time of her death, there was $2.14 in her bank account.

Dated music composer Phil Moore, who was instrumental in launching her career as a nightclub singer in the 1940s.

Daughter of Ruby Dandridge.

Died broke and deeply in debt in her apartment at 8495 Fountain Avenue, West Hollywood.

First African-American actress to be Oscar-nominated for "Best Actress in a Leading Role."

First black woman to grace the cover of Life Magazine.

Great aunt of Nayo Wallace.

Had been involved with Rat Packer and actor Peter Lawford, who attended her funeral.

Her best friend was Geraldine Pate Nicholas Branton, former wife of Fayard Nicholas, of the tap dancing duo The Nicholas Brothers, who was her ex-brother-in-law.

Her daughter Harolynn, with Harold Nicholas, was born with a brain injury.

Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Freedom Mausoleum, Columbarium of Victory.

Is one of 9 African-American actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. The others in chronological order are: Diana Ross, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Gabourey Sidibe and Viola Davis.

Now thought to have suffered from manic depression.

Referred to by Lena Horne as "...our Marilyn Monroe.".

September 1965: The New York Times reported that her death was caused by bone marrow particles from a fractured metatarsal bone in her right foot that entered her bloodstream and reached her brain and lungs.

She loved soul food. Her favorite was chitterlings and greens, which she ate only once a week.

She was first choice for the role of Cleopatra but ultimately the role went to Elizabeth Taylor.

She was pursued for the role of Tuptim in The King and I (1956), but turned it down on the advice of Otto Preminger, who advised her not to accept a role in which she was not the star. (The bio-pic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV) also implies that it was because the character was a slave.) Rita Moreno was subsequently cast in the role.