Categories: Harlem Renaissance | Famous Actors of the 20th Century | Famous African Americans | This Day In History September 08 | This Day In History November 09 | Unconnected Notables of the United States of America | Notables.
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was a famous actress. The first black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Dorothy Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio to aspiring entertainer Ruby Dandridge (née Butler) and Cyril Dandridge (October 25, 1895 – July 9, 1989), a cabinetmaker and minister, who had separated just before her birth.
Dandridge married dancer and entertainer Harold Nicholas on September 6, 1942, and gave birth to her only child, Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas, on September 2, 1943. Harolyn was born brain-damaged, and the couple divorced in October 1951.
On September 8, 1965, Dandridge was found dead by her manager, Earl Mills. Two months later, a Los Angeles pathology institute determined the cause to be an accidental overdose of Imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office came to a different conclusion: “Miss Dandridge died of a rare embolism—blockage of the blood passages at the lungs and brain by tiny pieces of fat flaking off from bone marrow in a fractured right foot she sustained in a Hollywood film five days before she died.”
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