or Jeni Le Gon
Dubbed the 'Chocolate
Princess' she was the fifth child of Hector and Harriet LiGon.
An attractive African-American female dancer, singer and actress.
As a child, studied dance at 'Mary Bruce's School of Dancing,'
and later with Katherine Dunham. In 1930, she quit school and
successfully auditioned for the Count Basie Orchestra's "chorus
line." Around 1931, or the age of sixteen she was performing
in vaudeville chorus lines with the Whitman
Sisters as well as doing the social dances of the day like
the Lindy hop
and 'flash acts'. In 1933 she started doing vaudeville with her
half sister Wila May Lane as "Legon and Lane." Her screen
debut was with Bill 'Bojangles'
Robinson' in 'Hooray For Love' in 1935.
Worked with many screen
stars such as Judy
Astaire, Ida James, Cab
Calloway, Long John Baldry, Count Basie, Bojangles,
Horne and Dorothy
Jen did a few
more films with her in dance roles, moving into acting roles.
At one time she managed the 'Dance and Drama Playhouse' in Los
Angeles and later moved to Canada where she operated a dance studio.
Was credited with being
the first female African-American to obtain a major studio contract
(MGM-Hooray for Love.) Co-wrote the song 'The Spring' that
was featured in Panama Hattie which was sung by Lena
Horne and danced by the Berry
Brothers. Since the 1950s has only made a few screen appearance's
with the latest being in 2001 in the film with Snoop Dogg in the
horror film 'Bones' playing the part of 'Window Granny'.