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Old Black Hollywood

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“Dona Drake was a black actress, singer, and dancer who was famous in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. However, publicly, her fans would not learn of her African ancestry until years later after studio publicity inaccurately claimed that she was born Rita Novella in 1920 in Mexico City, giving the impression that she was of Mexican heritage. In actual fact, she was born November 15, 1914 in Florida to Joseph Westmoreland (of Arkansas) and Novella Smith (of Alabama) and they named her Eunice Westmoreland. U.S Census reports of her family history show her grandparents were one Black couple and one couple that was Black/White. Because of her features and dark curly hair, film makers often cast her when they needed to fill the role of an ethnic character that looked native, gypsy, or middle eastern.”

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Victoria Regina Spivey was sometimes known as Queen Victoria. She started in Vaudeville and performed in clubs. During her years in recording, she worked with Clarence Williams, Luis Russell, Lonnie Johnson, and Bob Dylan. In 1962 she co-founded Spivey Records.
 

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Pat Rainey had her first gig as a Show Girl at Zanzibar Night Club in 1947. She released her first song “Gotta Love” in 1949 and started her acting career. Her father was a high paid attorney and politician. She had to go live with him after a white police officer claimed in a court trial she was prostituting and found a hypodermic needle along with heroine in her room according to the 1952 Jet magazine issue. She did make a comeback after 3 months but sadly in 1961 she ended her singing and acting career. She disappeared.

Old Black Hollywood is excited to be promoting STARZ. If you have a subscription to STARZ, you must be enjoying the great shows and movies as I am. I especially love watching Black Cinema and supporting black shows. But if you do not, no worries, here is your opportunity to take advantage of the $5 a month for 3 months subscription.
 

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Powerful photograph of Fredi Washington wearing an Anti-Lynching Armband. She was a Civil Rights Activist and co-founded the Negro Actors Guild of America (NAG), with Noble Sissle, W. C. Handy, Paul Robeson, and Ethel Waters.
 

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Calvin Lockhart was a Bahamian–American stage and film actor. Lockhart was perhaps best known for his roles as Reverend Deke O'Malley in the 1970 film Cotton Comes to Harlem.
 

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Ellen Virginia Holly is an actress. She began her career on stage in the late 1950s, Holly is perhaps best known for her role as Carla Gray–Hall on the ABC daytime soap opera One Life to Live. Holly is noted as the first African American to appear on daytime television in a leading role.
 

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Esther Jones was a famous jazz singer in the late 1920’s who was a regular performer at the famous Colton Club in Harlem NY. She is most remembered for her hit single “I wanna be loved by you” in 1928.
 

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Janet Angel MacLachlan was an actress who had roles in television series such as The Rockford Files, Alias and The Golden Girls. She is best remembered for her key supporting part in the film Sounder where she was billed as Myrl Sharkey as Teacher.
 

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Mary Violet Leontyne Price is an American soprano who was the first African American soprano to receive international acclaim. From 1961 she began a long association with the Metropolitan Opera, where she was the first African American to be a leading performer. (Wikipedia)
 

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Adolph Caesar was an actor, voice actor, theatre director, playwright, dancer, and choreographer. He is best remembered for his role as Army Sergeant. Vernon C. Waters in “Soldier’s Play.

Old Black Hollywood is excited to be promoting STARZ. If you have a subscription to STARZ, you must be enjoying the great shows and movies as I am. I especially love watching Black Cinema and supporting black shows. But if you do not, no worries, here is your opportunity to take advantage to watch your favorite series and movies.
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Scene from the Broadway production of the American Negro Theatre's "Anna Lucasta," featuring (left to right) Canada Lee, Hilda Simms, Alice Childress and Alvin Childress.
 

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I first saw Lonette McKee in “Jungle Fever” however, she was on television and other movies way before. I had know idea Mckee also composed music, she produced films, wrote songs, and directed. She is best known for her role as Sister Williams in the original 1976 musical-drama film Sparkle.
 

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Jeni LeGon was a dancer and actress. She was the first African American to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio.
 
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