Dorothy Dandridge

  • Birth Name: Dorothy Jean Dandridge
  • Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • Died: September 8, 1965
  • Profession: Actor, Singer

Fast Facts

  • Dropped out of high school and joined forces with her sister and Etta Jones to create a performing trio called the Dandridge Sisters.
  • Performed as a nightclub singer at the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater.
  • Was the first African-American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award (for her role in Carmen Jones).
  • Had one child, a daughter, with first husband Harold Nicholas. She was born with a brain injury and was eventually put in a state hospital after Dandridge could no longer afford her care.
  • Died of an accidental drug overdose at age 42.


  • 1960, Golden Globe — Actress in a Leading Role - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1956, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1954, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1960, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee


  • Vivian Dandridge — Sister
  • Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas — Daughter
  • Harold Nicholas — Ex-husband
  • Ruby Dandridge — Mother
  • Cyril Dandridge — Father
  • Peter Lawford — Ex-significant Other
  • Otto Preminger — Ex-significant Other
  • Jack Denison — Ex-husband