Dancer and actress Louise Franklin strikes a pose in this September 15, 1941 publicity photo with Duke Ellington for his musical, "Jump For Joy," which played at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. A young Dorothy Dandridge also appeared in the musical. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Ms. Franklin appeared in many films (often uncredited) from the 1930s through the 1950s including "Cabin in the Sky" and "Stormy Weather." Photo: John Reed, Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.
Film, television and stage actress and dancer Paula Kelly. Perhaps best known these days for her role in The Women of Brewster Place in 1989 with Oprah Winfrey and Lonette McKee, the versatile Kelly’s wide-ranging career spans from film (“Sweet Charity” with Shirley MacLaine in 1969) to television and Broadway (Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies with Gregory Hines, and Phyllis Hyman.
Singer and actress Ketty Lester in a 1962 studio portrait. Ms. Lester, born Revoyda Frierson in Hope, Arkansas, became better known in later years as an actress, especially for her role as Hester Sue on “Little House on the Prarie.” In 1962, her hit song, ‘Love Letters” was a Top 5 single. She also appeared on “Julia,” “The Bill Cosby Show,” and yes, “House Party 3” and that cult cinematic classic, “Blacula.” Photo: Gilles P
Actress Jane White in a 1941 photograph by Carl Van Vechten. A 1944 graduate of Smith College, White was the daughter of Civil Rights icon Walter White. Ms. White began her career on Broadway in 1945 when Paul Robeson helped her get her first role as the lead in Lillian Smith’s “Strange Fruit,” a story about a doomed interracial love affair.
Hilda Simms, the pioneer Minnesota-born actress best known for her starring role in the first all-black production of Anna Lucasta on Broadway, in a glam shot circa 1947. You are not going to believe the awesome pictures I have found of her for the book! Photo: Denis De Marney/Getty Images.
Debbie Allen, the Houston-born dancer, actress and director! In this 1984 photo, she is attending the NAACP Image Awards on December 4, 1984 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage.
Rosalind Cash (1938-1995) was a singer & actress best known for her role as Charlton Heston's love interest in the 1971 sci-fi cult classic, The Omega Man; and as 'Mary Mae Ward' on the soap opera General Hospital (1994–95).
Minnie Brown, taken at White Studios, NY, 1907 From the link: “She was an actress and singer. And also a member of the Williams & Walker Vaudevillian troupe. In 1920 she served as vice president for the National Association of Negro Musicians.”
Roxie Roker, actress. She is best known for her groundbreaking role as Helen Willis on the The Jeffersons, half of the 1st interracial couple to be shown on regular prime time TV. A graduate of Howard University, she began her career with the Negro Ensemble Company and became a successful stage actress, later winning an Obie Award and and a Tony nod her role of Mattie Williams in The River Niger. She is the mother of rock star Lenny Kravitz and the cousin of NBC's Today Show's Al Roker. R.I.P.
"Blanche Dunn, the exceedingly stylish Harlem Renaissance-era actress who was also a mainstay at Carl Van Vechten’s legendary parties which were, as Langston Hughes put it, “so Negro that they were reported as a matter of course in the colored society columns, just as though they occurred in Harlem instead of West 55th St. Carl Van Vechten, of course, is the photographer behind this photo (1941)." vintageblackglamo...
Actress Fredericka Carolyn "Fredi" Washington (December 23, 1903 - June 28, 1994) began her career as a dancer in the Broadway show Shuffle Along and later toured with Josephine Baker. She is best known for her role as Peola in the film Imitation of Life (1934). Unable to get roles beyond the "tragic mulatto" she left acting to write for People's Voice, owned by her brother-in-law, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. She was also a founder of the Negro Actors Guild in 1937. #TodayInBlackHistory