Posts tagged Harry Belafonte
Legendary black American stage performer who took pre-World War II Europe by storm but found constant racial harassment in her homeland.
Biography of the African-American who became a major performer in the Paris cabarets of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The film follows her life beginning as a struggling performer in 1917 St. Louis, her frustrations leading to her move to France, and follows to her death in 1975.
Today in history, June 3rd, 1906… dancer, singer and actress Freda Josephine McDonald (aka Josephine Baker), who gained fame in Paris, France, thanks to her “risque” cabaret and musical hall performances, was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
While Ms Baker did perform on screen in a number of films – Siren of the Tropics (1927), Zouzou (1934) andPrincesse Tam Tam (1935), notably – she’s probably more universally recognized for her vaudeville stage musical acts which helped her become maybe the first international black female celebrity.
She was also politically active, making contributions to the Civil Rights Movement here in the United States, and assisted the French Resistance during World War II, becoming the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.
She died on April 12th, 1975 at age 68.
Since then, there’s really been only 1 true attempt to tell her story on film – the 1991, HBO movie, The Josephine Baker Story, which starred Lynn Whitfield as Baker. Whitfield would go on to win an Emmy Award for her performance!
In 1943, Oscar Hammerstein Jr. took Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, rewrote the lyrics, changed the characters from 19th century Spaniards to World War II-era African-Americans, switched the locale to a Southern military base, and the result was Carmen Jones. Dorothy Dandridge stars as Carmen Jones, tempestuous employee of a parachute factory. Harry Belafonte plays Joe (originally José), a young military officer engaged to marry virginal Cindy Lou (Olga James). When Carmen gets into a fight with another girl, she is placed under arrest and put in Joe’s charge. Succumbing to her attractiveness, Joe accompanies Carmen to her old neighborhood, where, after killing a sergeant sent to retrieve him, he deserts the army. Carmen tries to be faithful, but fortune-telling Frankie (Pearl Bailey) warns her that she and her soldier are doomed. Enter Joe Adams in the role of boxer Husky Miller (a play on Carmen’s bullfighter Escamillo), who sweeps Carmen off her feet, ultimately with tragic consequences. Alhough both Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte were singers, their opera voices were dubbed in by LeVern Hutcherson and Marilyn Horne.Read More
Susan Sarandon and Christopher Reeve presenting Louis Gossett, Jr. with the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for his performance in “An Officer and a Gentleman” at the 55th Academy Awards® in 1983.Read More
Lou Gossett Jr. wins Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or TV Motion Picture for his role in “The Josephine Baker Story.” Thanks to Bob Cooper, Brian Gibson, Lynn Whitfield, and the foreign press.Read More
Classic groundbreaking 1967 movie about an interracial couple and the white parents’ reaction upon meeting the black boyfriend for the first time. The movie stars three of the greatest actors in American cinema: Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier.Read More
Anne Bancroft presenting Sidney Poitier the Oscar® for Best Actor for his performance in “Lilies of the Field” at the 36th Academy Awards® in 1964. Introduced by Jack Lemmon.Read More
Reese Witherspoon presenting the Best Actor Oscar® to Forest Whitaker for his performance in “The Last King of Scotland” -the 79th Annual Academy Awards® in 2007.Read More
Cuba Gooding Jr. winning an Oscar – Best Supporting Actor, Jerry Maguire – 69th Annual Academy Awards®.Read More
At The Screen Actors Guild Awards 2012Read More
Seth Green and Claudia Schiffer present the Best Actress in a Mini Series or TV Movie award to Halle Berry for her role in “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.” She dedicates the award to Dorothy Dandridge and thanks the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, HBO, the producers, her mother, and many others.Read More
a television film directed by Martha Coolidge. Filmed over a span of a few weeks in early 1998, the film was aired in the United States on August 21, 1999. The original music score was composed by Elmer Bernstein. The film is marketed with the tagline: “Right woman. Right place. Wrong time.” 2000 Black Reel Awards 2000 Directors Guild of America 2000 Emmy Awards 2000 Golden Globes 2000 Image Awards 2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
She was everything America wanted a movie star to be…except white Actress, dancer, singer. Here was a woman with talent, beauty and ambition. Dorothy Dandridge owed it to herself to make it to the top. And make it, she would. An acclaimed stage performer, Dorothy still struggled with the challenge of her color, in a time that wouldn’t let some stars in by the front door. Yet against the odds she beat out many more famous rivals for the role of “Carmen Jones”, becoming the first black woman ever nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award. Marriages and affairs would break her heart, but her heart was strong. Seductive and easily seduced, she was born to be a star – with all the glory and all the pain of being loved, abused, cheated, glorified, undermined and undefeated. Here was a woman who wouldn’t wait in the wings. Halle Berry stars as Dorothy Dandrige.