was an American actress and popular singer. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress. Dandridge was born November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio. She started singing at a young age and performed at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club and Apollo Theatre. She moved to Los Angeles in the early 1930’s to find stardom. She found some success with her musical trio, the Dandridge Sisters. The group included Dorothy, her sister Vivian and Etta Jones.
As a teen she began acting in small films. She and her sister appeared in the Marx Brothers film A Day at the Races(1937). The Dandridge Sisters appeared in Going Places (1939) with Louis Armstrong. She won her first starring film role in 1953’s Bright Road, playing an earnest and dedicated young schoolteacher opposite Harry Belafonte. Besides Carmen Jones, Dandridge’s only other great film was 1959’s Porgy and Bess, in which she played Bess opposite Sidney Poitier.