LADY SCREENS THE BLUES

DOROTHY DANDRIDGE, HOLLYWOOD'S FIRST BLACK GODDESS, WAS DEAD AT 42. NOW SHE'S BACK IN STYLE

Some called her the black Marilyn. Dorothy Dandridge was light-skinned--or, as she would say, in mock haughtiness, "tan. Teasing tan, darling!" In old Hollywood, black was the color not of a skin tone but of a stop sign for gifted actors. So Dandridge's impact as a fiery siren in the 1954 Carmen Jones--she earned the first Oscar nomination for an African American in a leading role--allowed her and all blacks to hope Hollywood might finally find a place of honor for people of color. But like Marilyn, Dandridge doubted her talent, had bad luck with the men in her life, suffered...

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