Dorothy Dandridge – born November 9, 1922, in Cleveland, Ohio was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Known for her starring roles in Carmen Jones (1954) and Porgy and Bess (1959), the beauty snagged the nomination for her part in the movie musical, Carmen Jones.
The singer and actress also held notable roles in films such as Bright Road, Tarzan’s Peril and Porgy and Bess. In 1999, HBO released a biopic commemorating the life and career of the famed actress with Halle Berry playing the lead role.
Dandridge’s influence in the film industry has been recognized by everyone from Whitney Houston to Cicely Tyson and she is one of the “Four Ladies of Hollywood,” a gazebo of statues honouring the film industry’s early female minority leaders.