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Washington, Freddie (1903–1994)

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WASHINGTON, FREDDIE (1903–1994). Actress. She was born Fredericka Carolyn Washington in Savannah, Georgia, and spent time at a convent in Pennsylvania after her mother died. She was eventually raised by her grandmother in New York City and began taking acting and dancing lessons. She appeared in the stage productions of Shuffle Along, Black Boy , and Hot Chocolates , before making her film debut in Black and Tan , 1929. She gained national attention for her portrayal of Peola, a light-skinned woman who tries to pass for white in Imitation of Life , 1934. She was disappointed by the lack of non- stereotypical roles she was being offered in Hollywood and returned to the stage in Mamba’s Daughter and Lysistrata . She also became involved in more political activities and was a founding member of the Negro Actors Guild in 1937. She wrote a regular feature for The People’s Voice newspaper under the banners “Headlines and Footlights” and “Freddie Speaks.” She continued her activism throughout the 1940s and 1950s through her involvement in the Cultural Division of the National Negro Congress and the Committee for the Negro in the Arts. She was once married to Lawrence Brown, a trombonist with Duke Ellington’s orchestra, from 1933 to 1948. In 1952, she married dentist Anthony Bell.

Filmography: Black & Tan , 1929; The Emperor Jones , 1933; Imitation of Life , 1934; Mills Blue Rhythm Band , 1934; Ouanga , 1936; One Mile From Heaven , 1937.

Washington, Isaiah (1963–) [next] [back] Washington, Denzel (1954–)

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