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Jen le Gon

Stage Name

Birth Name

Jennie or Jeni Le Gon Jeni LiGon
"LeGon and Lane"  

   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 Garland, Fred Astaire, Ida James, Cab Calloway, Long John Baldry, Count Basie, Bojangles, Lena Horne and Dorothy Dandridge etc.

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'.


Birth Place

Birth Date

Spouse

Offspring

Chicago, IL. 8/14/1916- Phil Moore (1943) none
     

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Ballet Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson 1938 - There's a Boy In Harlem*
Buck and Wing Whitman Sisters (1931) 1942 - The Spring (by Le Gon)
Jazz Earl ? (1936)      
Lindy Hop Willa Mae Lane (1/2 Sister)      
Modern Dance      
Tap      

Night Clubs

Theaters

Stage

Chez Paree (Chicago) 1936 - Comedy Theatre 1930 - Balaban and Katz circuit
            1936 - Black Rhythm
           

Films

Television

Publications

1935 - Hooray For Love (Bojangles) 1951 - Amos and Andy  
$ 1935 - Broadway Melody of 1936            
1936 - Dishonor Bright            
1937 - Ali Baba Goes to Town [ Poster]            
1938 - Fools for Scandal (Sang*)            
1938 - The Duke Is Tops            
$ 1939 - Double Deal            
1940 - I Can't Give You Anything But Love            
$ 1940 - While Thousands Cheer            
1941 - Bahama Passage            
$ 1941 - Birth of the Blues [ DVD] (Jail scene)            
$ 1941 - Sundown [ DVD]            
$ 1942 - Arabian Nights            
1942 - Murder Rap            
1943 - I Walked with a Zombie            
$ 1943 - My Son the Hero            
$ 1947 - Hi-De-Ho (as minnie)            
$ 1948 - Easter Parade [DVD]            
$ 1949 - I Shot Jesse James            
1953 - Bright Road            
$ 1987 - Home Is Where the Hart Is (Wanda)            
1999 - Living in a Great Big Way (Bio)            
$ 2001 - Bones [ DVD]            
Music And Comedy Masters, Vol. 2            
           
             

NOTE: Mary Belle is Jennie's Older Sister who partially raised her after her mother passed away.

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