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Dorothy Dandridge

Stage Name

Birth Name

Dorothy Dandridge Dorothy Jean Dandridge
The “Black Marilyn Monroe” Nickname: "Dottie Mae"
"the Dandridge Sisters"  

     The beautiful 5'.5" Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and the first black woman to grace the cover of Life Magazine. Dandridge was an African-American actress who married the famous dancer Harold Nicholas (Nicholas Brothers.) Dorothy, along with her sister Vivian Dandridge and Etta James were originally called "the Dandridge Sisters."

   Dorothy's mother Ruby was already an entertainer when her children were born. During the depression, her family moved to Los Angeles in hopes of finding work. Dorothy was already talented by doing shows with her mother.  Dorothy could act as well as sing and dance when they arove in Hollywood and it didn't take long for her to be noticed.  However, because of the racial thinking in Hollywood, many of her roles were stereotypically negro roles of the day which made it very difficult to land major roles.

More Pics

She would keep herself busy in between acting by singing and dancing in many of the best nightclubs and Hotels around the country and even performed with the legendary Desi Arnaz band.

   Her first film was in the 1935 film "Teacher's Beau" and by 1937 would appear in her first major film, a Marx Brothers comedy called "A Day at the Races." Dorothy is best remembered in the all-black production of Carmen Jones (1954) in the title role as well as her song and dance with the Nicholas Borthers in Sun Valley Serenade.

   Like Marilyn Monroe she was found dead in her West Hollywood apartment on September 8, 1965, the victim of a barbiturate poisoning, she died pennyless and very deeply in debt.

Birth Place

Birth Date



Cleveland, Ohio 11/9/1922 - 9/8/1965 Harold Nicholas (1959)
Harolynn Nicholas
    Jack Dennison (1942)      

Dance Types

Dance Partners

Music Titles

Jitterbug Nicholas Brothers Desi Arnaz Band
Snake Hips Dance       A Zoot Suit (for My Sunday Gal)
Shimmy       Chattanooga Choo Choo
(Mainly a solo dancer)       Cow-Cow Boogie
      Rhythm For Sale

Night Clubs



Mocombo Club n/a n/a
Various Las Vegas Clubs            




1935 - Teacher's Beau 1951 - Colgate Comedy Hour 9/23/1953 - People Magazine
1937 - A Day at the Races 1952 - Toast of the Town 12/1953 - Our World Mag.
1940 - Four Shall Die 1953 - Remains to be Seen 11/1/1954 - Life Magazine Cover
1941 - Easy Street 1954 - George Jessel Show 1/1955 - Tan Magazine
1941 - Jungle Jig 1954 - Light's Diamond Jubilee 1986 - Ebony Magazine
1941 - Sun Valley Serenade 1956 - Ford Star Jubilee 1997 - Dorothy Dandridge (Bogle)
1941 - Lady From Louisiana 1964 - Juke Box Jury HEARTBREAKER: The Dorothy Dandridge Story (Schoell)
1941 - Lazybones (dancer) 2002 - Dorothy Dandridge: An American Beauty
1941 - Sundown    
1941 - Bahama Passage    
1941 - Swing For Your Supper            
1941 - Yes Indeed!            
1942 - A Zoot Suit with a Reet Pleat            
1942 - Blackbird Fantasy            
1942 - Congo Clambake            
1942 - Cow Cow Boogie            
1942 - Drums Of The Congo            
1942 - Cow-Cow Boogie            
1943 - Moo Cow Boogie        
1945- Pillow to Post        
1946 - Frenzy            
1947 - Ebony Parade        
1951 - The Harlem Globetrotters            
1951 - Tarzan's Peril        
1953 - Bright Road        
1958 - Tamango        
1959 - Porgy and Bess        
1960 - Malaga (aka Moment In Danger)        
2002 - It's Black Entertainment        


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