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Horne, Lena (1917–)

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HORNE, LENA (1917–). Singer, actress. At one time known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” Lena Horne, enjoyed a successful career in the entertainment industry. Born in Brooklyn, she was hired at age 16 as a chorus girl in 1933 at the world-famous Cotton Club. She toured with the Noble Sissle Orchestra. In 1939, she landed the lead role in the stage production of Blackbirds . She began her singing career with the Charlie Barnett band and recorded her first records with Barnett, including “Haunted Town.” Other recordings include “Stormy Weather,” “Blues in the Night,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “Mad about the Boy.” She could be heard on the radio shows Strictly from Dixie , 1941, and The Cats n’ Jammers Show , 1941. Horne went to Hollywood to act in films like The Duke is Tops , 1940; Panama Hattie , 1942; Cabin in the Sky , 1943; and Stormy Weather , 1943. She became the first African American actress to sign a long-term contract with a major studio, MGM. After continuing her nightclub career, she took a break to star in Jamaica , her first Broadway musical, and closed out her dynamic career with her one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music , 1981–1982, at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. She later took the production on a cross-country tour, and the soundtrack won two Grammy Awards.

Filmography: The Duke Is Tops , 1938; Panama Hattie , 1942; Thousands Cheer , 1943; Stormy Weather , 1943; I Dood It , 1943; Cabin in the Sky , 1943; Two Girls and a Sailor , 1944; Broadway Rhythm , 1944; Ziegfeld Follies , 1946; Till the Clouds Roll By , 1946; Words and Music , 1948; The Duchess of Idaho , 1950; Death of a Gunfighter , 1969; The Wiz , 1978.

Horsford, Anna Maria (1948–) [next] [back] Hordjedef - A PRINCE AND A TEACHER., SOURCES

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