Lena Horne

Last updated

Lena Horne
Lena Horne, 1946.jpg
Publicity photo of Horne in 1946
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne

(1917-06-30)June 30, 1917
DiedMay 9, 2010(2010-05-09) (aged 92)
New York City, U.S.
Education Boys and Girls High School
  • Singer
  • dancer
  • actress
  • activist
Years active1933–2003
Louis Jordan Jones
(m. 1937;div. 1944)

Lennie Hayton
(m. 1947;died 1971)
ChildrenGail Lumet Buckley (daughter)
Edwin Jones (son)
Relatives Jenny Lumet (granddaughter)
Jake Cannavale (great–grandson)
Musical career
Origin Harlem, New York City
Associated acts

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years, appearing in film, television, and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood.


Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963 and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music , which ran for more than 300 performances on Broadway. She then toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000. Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010, at the age of 92.

Early life

Lena Horne was born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. [1] She was reportedly descended from the John C. Calhoun family, and both sides of her family were through a mixture of African, Native American, and European descent and belonged to the upper stratum of middle-class, well-educated people. [2] [3] Her father, Edwin Fletcher "Teddy" Horne Jr. (1893–1970), [4] [5] a numbers kingpin in the gambling trade, left the family when she was three and moved to an upper-middle-class African American community in the Hill District community of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [6] [7] Her mother, Edna Louise Scottron (1894–1976), was a granddaughter of inventor Samuel R. Scottron; she was an actress with a black theatre troupe and traveled extensively. [8] Edna's maternal grandmother, Amelie Louise Ashton, was a Senegalese slave. [9] Horne was raised mainly by her grandparents, Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne. [5]

When Horne was five, she was sent to live in Georgia. [10] For several years, she traveled with her mother. [11] From 1927 to 1929, she lived with her uncle, Frank S. Horne, dean of students at Fort Valley Junior Industrial Institute (now part of Fort Valley State University) in Fort Valley, Georgia, [11] who later served as an adviser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. [12] From Fort Valley, southwest of Macon, Horne briefly moved to Atlanta with her mother; they returned to New York when Horne was 12 years old. [11] She then attended Girls High School, an all-girls public high school in Brooklyn that has since become Boys and Girls High School; she dropped out without earning a diploma. Aged 18, she moved to her father's home in Pittsburgh, staying in the city's Little Harlem for almost five years and learning from native Pittsburghers Billy Strayhorn and Billy Eckstine, among others. [6]


Road to Hollywood

In the fall of 1933, Horne joined the chorus line of the Cotton Club in New York City. In the spring of 1934, she had a featured role in the Cotton Club Parade starring Adelaide Hall, who took Lena under her wing. [13] Horne made her first screen appearance as a dancer in the musical short Cab Calloway's Jitterbug Party (1935). [14] A few years later, Horne joined Noble Sissle's Orchestra, with which she toured and with whom she made her first records, issued by Decca. After she separated from her first husband, Horne toured with bandleader Charlie Barnet in 1940–41, but disliked the travel and left the band to work at the Cafe Society in New York. She replaced Dinah Shore as the featured vocalist on NBC's popular jazz series The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street . The show's resident maestros, Henry Levine and Paul Laval, recorded with Horne in June 1941 for RCA Victor. Horne left the show after only six months when she was hired by former Cafe Trocadero (Los Angeles) manager Felix Young to perform in a Cotton Club-style revue on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. [15]

Horne as Julie LaVerne in a mini-production of Show Boat in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), singing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man". TillCloudsRollBy01.jpg
Horne as Julie LaVerne in a mini-production of Show Boat in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), singing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man".
Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941 Lena Horne - 1941.jpg
Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941

Horne already had two low-budget movies to her credit: a 1938 musical feature called The Duke is Tops (later reissued with Horne's name above the title as The Bronze Venus); and a 1941 two-reel short subject, Boogie Woogie Dream, featuring pianists Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons. Horne's songs from Boogie Woogie Dream were later released individually as soundies. Horne made her Hollywood nightclub debut at Felix Young's Little Troc on the Sunset Strip in January 1942. [15] A few weeks later, she was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In November 1944, she was featured in an episode of the popular radio series Suspense , as a fictional nightclub singer, with a large speaking role along with her singing. In 1945 and 1946, she sang with Billy Eckstine's Orchestra.

She made her debut at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Panama Hattie (1942) and performed the title song of Stormy Weather based loosely on the life of Adelaide Hall, (1943), at 20th Century Fox, while on loan from MGM. She appeared in a number of MGM musicals, most notably Cabin in the Sky (1943), but was never featured in a leading role because of her race and the fact that her films had to be re-edited for showing in cities where theaters would not show films with black performers. As a result, most of Horne's film appearances were stand-alone sequences that had no bearing on the rest of the film, so editing caused no disruption to the storyline. A notable exception was the all-black musical Cabin in the Sky, although one number from that film was cut before release because it was considered too suggestive by the censors: Horne singing "Ain't It the Truth" while taking a bubble bath. This scene and song are featured in the film That's Entertainment! III (1994) which also featured commentary from Horne on why the scene was deleted prior to the film's release. Lena Horne was the first African-American elected to serve on the Screen Actors Guild board of directors.

Horne singing "Why Was I Born?" in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) Lena Horne in Till the Clouds Roll By 2.jpg
Horne singing "Why Was I Born?" in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)

In Ziegfeld Follies (1946), she performed "Love" by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. Horne lobbied for the role of Julie LaVerne in MGM's 1951 version of Show Boat (having already played the role when a segment of Show Boat was performed in Till the Clouds Roll By , 1946) but lost the part to Ava Gardner, a personal friend in real life. Horne claimed this was due to the Production Code's ban on interracial relationships in films, but MGM sources state she was never considered for the role in the first place. In the documentary That's Entertainment! III, Horne stated that MGM executives required Gardner to practice her singing using Horne's recordings, which offended both actresses. Ultimately, Gardner's voice was overdubbed by actress Annette Warren (Smith) for the theatrical release.

Changes of direction

By the mid-1950s, Horne was disenchanted with Hollywood and increasingly focused on her nightclub career. She made only two major appearances for MGM during the 1950s: Duchess of Idaho (which was also Eleanor Powell's final film); and the 1956 musical Meet Me in Las Vegas . She said she was "tired of being typecast as a Negro who stands against a pillar singing a song. I did that 20 times too often." [16] She was blacklisted during the 1950s for her affiliations in the 1940s with communist-backed groups. She would subsequently disavow communism. [1] [17] She returned to the screen, playing Claire Quintana, a madam in a brothel who marries Richard Widmark, in the 1969 film Death of a Gunfighter , her first straight dramatic role with no reference to her color. [16] She later appeared on screen two more times as Glinda in The Wiz (1978), which was directed by her then son-in-law Sidney Lumet, and co-hosting the MGM retrospective That's Entertainment! III (1994), in which she was candid about her unkind treatment by the studio.

After leaving Hollywood, Horne established herself as one of the premier nightclub performers of the post-war era. She headlined at clubs and hotels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles, and the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. In 1957, a live album entitled, Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria, became the biggest-selling record by a female artist in the history of the RCA Victor label at that time. In 1958, Horne became the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Actress in a Musical" (for her part in the "Calypso" musical Jamaica ) which, at Lena's request featured her longtime friend Adelaide Hall.

Horne performing on The Bell Telephone Hour, 1965 Lena horne 1964.JPG
Horne performing on The Bell Telephone Hour, 1965

From the late 1950s through to the 1960s, Horne was a staple of TV variety shows, appearing multiple times on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall , The Ed Sullivan Show , The Dean Martin Show , and The Bell Telephone Hour . Other programs she appeared on included The Judy Garland Show , The Hollywood Palace , and The Andy Williams Show . Besides two television specials for the BBC (later syndicated in the U.S.), Horne starred in her own U.S. television special in 1969, Monsanto Night Presents Lena Horne. During this decade, the artist Pete Hawley painted her portrait for RCA Victor, capturing the mood of her performance style.

In 1970, she co-starred with Harry Belafonte in the hour-long Harry & Lena special for ABC; in 1973, she co-starred with Tony Bennett in Tony and Lena. Horne and Bennett subsequently toured the U.S. and U.K. in a show together. In the 1976 program America Salutes Richard Rodgers, she sang a lengthy medley of Rodgers songs with Peggy Lee and Vic Damone. Horne also made several appearances on The Flip Wilson Show . Additionally, Horne played herself on television programs such as The Muppet Show , Sesame Street , and Sanford and Son in the 1970s, as well as a 1985 performance on The Cosby Show and a 1993 appearance on A Different World . In the summer of 1980, Horne, 63 years old and intent on retiring from show business, embarked on a two-month series of benefit concerts sponsored by the sorority Delta Sigma Theta. These concerts were represented as Horne's farewell tour, yet her retirement lasted less than a year.

On April 13, 1980, Horne, Luciano Pavarotti, and host Gene Kelly were all scheduled to appear at a Gala performance at the Metropolitan Opera House to salute the NY City Center's Joffrey Ballet Company. However, Pavarotti's plane was diverted over the Atlantic and he was unable to appear. James Nederlander was an invited Honored Guest and noted that only three people at the sold-out Metropolitan Opera House asked for their money back. He asked to be introduced to Lena following her performance. In May 1981, The Nederlander Organization, Michael Frazier, and Fred Walker went on to book Horne for a four-week engagement at the newly named Nederlander Theatre on West 41st Street in New York City. The show was an instant success and was extended to a full year run, garnering Horne a special Tony award, and two Grammy Awards for the cast recording of her show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music . The 333-performance Broadway run closed on Horne's 65th birthday, June 30, 1982. Later that same week, she performed the entire show again to record it for television broadcast and home video release. Horne began a tour a few days later at Tanglewood (Massachusetts) during the weekend of July 4, 1982. The Lady and Her Music toured 41 cities in the U.S. and Canada until June 17, 1984. It played in London for a month in August and ended its run in Stockholm, Sweden, September 14, 1984. In 1981, she received a Special Tony Award for the show, which also played to acclaim at the Adelphi Theatre in London in 1984. [18] Despite the show's considerable success (Horne still holds the record for the longest-running solo performance in Broadway history), she did not capitalize on the renewed interest in her career by undertaking many new musical projects. A proposed 1983 joint recording project between Horne and Frank Sinatra (to be produced by Quincy Jones) was ultimately abandoned, and her sole studio recording of the decade was 1988's The Men in My Life , featuring duets with Sammy Davis Jr. and Joe Williams. In 1989, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1995, a "live" album capturing Horne's Supper Club performance was released (subsequently winning a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album). In 1998, Horne released another studio album, entitled Being Myself . Thereafter, Horne retired from performing and largely retreated from public view, though she did return to the recording studio in 2000 to contribute vocal tracks on Simon Rattle's Classic Ellington album. [19]

Civil rights activism

Horne was long involved with the Civil Rights Movement. In 1941, she sang at Cafe Society and worked with Paul Robeson. During World War II, when entertaining the troops for the USO, she refused to perform "for segregated audiences or for groups in which German POWs were seated in front of black servicemen", according to her Kennedy Center biography. [20] Because the U.S. Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she staged her show for a mixed audience of black U.S. soldiers and white German POWs. Seeing the black soldiers had been forced to sit in the back seats, she walked off the stage to the first row where the black troops were seated and performed with the Germans behind her. After quitting the USO in 1945 because of the organization's policy of segregating audiences, Horne financed tours of military camps herself. [21]

She was at an NAACP rally with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi, the weekend before Evers was assassinated. She also met President John F. Kennedy at the White House two days before he was assassinated. She was at the March on Washington and spoke and performed on behalf of the NAACP, SNCC, and the National Council of Negro Women. She also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws. [22] Tom Lehrer mentions her in his song "National Brotherhood Week" in the line "Lena Horne and Sheriff Clark are dancing cheek to cheek" referring (wryly) to her and to Sheriff Jim Clark, of Selma, Alabama, who was responsible for a violent attack on civil rights marchers in 1965. In 1983, the NAACP awarded her the Spingarn Medal. [23]

Horne was a registered Democrat and on November 20, 1963, she, along with Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman John Bailey, Carol Lawrence, Richard Adler, Sidney Salomon, Vice-Chairwoman of the DNC Margaret B. Price, and Secretary of the DNC Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush, visited John F. Kennedy at The White House, [24] two days prior to his assassination.

Personal life

Horne at her 80th birthday party, 1997 Lena Horne 1997.jpg
Horne at her 80th birthday party, 1997

Horne married Louis Jordan Jones, a political operative, [25] [26] in January 1937 in Pittsburgh. On December 21, 1937, their daughter, Gail (later known as Gail Lumet Buckley, a writer) was born. They had a son, Edwin Jones (February 7, 1940 – September 12, 1970) who died of kidney disease. [5] Horne and Jones separated in 1940 and divorced in 1944. Horne's second marriage was to Lennie Hayton, who was music director and one of the premier musical conductors and arrangers at MGM, in December 1947 in Paris. They separated in the early 1960s, but never divorced; he died in 1971. [27] In her as-told-to autobiography Lena by Richard Schickel, Horne recounts the enormous pressures she and her husband faced as an interracial couple. She later admitted in an interview in Ebony (May 1980) that she had married Hayton to advance her career and cross the "color-line" in show business. [28]

Horne had affairs with Artie Shaw, Orson Welles, Vincente Minnelli, and the boxer Joe Louis. [15]

Horne also had a long and close relationship with Billy Strayhorn, whom she said she would have married if he had been heterosexual. [29] He was also an important professional mentor to her. Screenwriter Jenny Lumet, known for her award-winning screenplay Rachel Getting Married , is Horne's granddaughter, the daughter of filmmaker Sidney Lumet and Horne's daughter Gail. [30] Her other grandchildren include Gail's other daughter, Amy Lumet, and her son's four children, Thomas, William, Samadhi, and Lena. Her great-grandchildren include Jake Cannavale. [31]

From 1946 to 1962, Horne resided in a St. Albans, Queens, New York, enclave of prosperous African Americans, where she counted among her neighbors Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz luminaries. [32]


Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010. [33] Her funeral took place at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in New York, where she had been a member [34] . Thousands gathered and attendees included Leontyne Price, Dionne Warwick, Liza Minnelli, Jessye Norman, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Leslie Uggams, Lauren Bacall, Robert Osborne, Audra McDonald, and Vanessa Williams. Her remains were cremated. [35]


In 2003, ABC announced that Janet Jackson would star as Horne in a television biographical film. In the weeks following Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" debacle during the 2004 Super Bowl, however, Variety reported that Horne had demanded Jackson be dropped from the project. "ABC executives resisted Horne's demand", according to the Associated Press report, "but Jackson representatives told the trade newspaper that she left willingly after Horne and her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, asked that she not take part." Oprah Winfrey stated to Alicia Keys during a 2005 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she might possibly consider producing the biopic herself, casting Keys as Horne. [36]

In January 2005, Blue Note Records, her label for more than a decade, announced that "the finishing touches have been put on a collection of rare and unreleased recordings by the legendary Horne made during her time on Blue Note." Remixed by her longtime producer Rodney Jones, the recordings featured Horne with a remarkably secure voice for a woman of her years, and include versions of such signature songs as "Something to Live For", "Chelsea Bridge", and "Stormy Weather". The album, originally titled Soul but renamed Seasons of a Life, was released on January 24, 2006. In 2007, Horne was portrayed by Leslie Uggams as the older Lena and Nikki Crawford as the younger Lena in the stage musical Stormy Weather staged at the Pasadena Playhouse in California (January to March 2009). In 2011, Horne was also portrayed by actress Ryan Jillian in a one-woman show titled Notes from A Horne staged at the Susan Batson studio in New York City, from November 2011 to February 2012. The 83rd Academy Awards presented a tribute to Horne by actress Halle Berry at the ceremony held February 27, 2011. [37]

In 2018, a forever stamp depicting Horne began to be issued; this made Horne the 41st honoree in the Black Heritage stamp series. [38]


Grammy Awards

Lena Horne Grammy Award History [39] [40]
1995 An Evening with Lena Horne Best Jazz Vocal Performance Won
1989 Lifetime Achievement Award Won
1988 The Men in My Life Best Jazz Vocal PerformanceNominated
"I Won't Leave You Again" (with Joe Williams) Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group Nominated
1981 Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female Won
Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music Best Cast Show Album Won
1962 Porgy and Bess Best Solo Vocal Performance, FemaleNominated
1961 Lena Horne at the Sands Best Vocal Performance Album, FemaleNominated

Other awards

2006Martin Luther King, Jr.
National Historic Site
International Civil Rights Walk of Fame [41] Inducted
1999NAACP Image Award Outstanding Jazz Artist Won
1997 Society of Singers Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award [42] Wonfor "whom singers are awarded for their contribution to the world of music along with their dedicated efforts to benefit the community and worldwide causes"
1994Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement AwardSongwriters Hall of FameWon
?Hollywood Chamber of CommerceHollywood Walk of FameWonHonor (motion pictures)
?Hollywood Chamber of CommerceHollywood Walk of FameWonHonor (recordings)
1987American Society of Composers,
Authors and Publishers
The ASCAP Pied Piper Award [43] WonGiven to entertainers who have made significant contributions to words and music
1985Emmy Award Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music Nominee
1984John F. Kennedy Center for
the Performing Arts
Kennedy Center Honors [44] WonFor extraordinary talent, creativity, and perseverance
1980 Howard University Honorary doctorate [45] Honored
1980Drama Desk AwardsOutstanding Actress – MusicalWonLena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
1980New York Drama Critics Circle AwardsSpecial CitationWonLena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
1981Tony AwardsSpecial CitationWonLena Horne: The Lady and Her Music
1957Tony AwardsBest ActressNominee Jamaica







See also

Related Research Articles

"Stormy Weather" is a 1933 torch song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem in 1933 and recorded it that year, and in the same year it was sung in London by Elisabeth Welch and recorded by Frances Langford. Also 1933, for the first time in history the entire floor revue from Harlem's Cotton Club went on tour, playing theatres in principal cities. The revue was originally called The Cotton Club Parade of 1933 but for the road tour it was changed to the Stormy Weather Revue and as the name implies, the show contained the hit song "Stormy Weather" which was sung by Adelaide Hall.

Ethel Waters American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress

Ethel Waters was an American singer and actress. Waters frequently performed jazz, swing, and pop music on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920s singing blues. Waters notable recordings include "Dinah", "Stormy Weather", "Taking a Chance on Love", "Heat Wave", "Supper Time", "Am I Blue?", "Cabin in the Sky", "I'm Coming Virginia", and her version of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow". Waters was the second African American to be nominated for an Academy Award. She was the first African-American to star on her own television show and the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Dorothy Dandridge American actress and singer

Dorothy Jean Dandridge was an American film and theatre actress, singer, and dancer. She is one of the first black actresses to have a successful Hollywood career and the first to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Dandridge performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. During her early career, she performed as a part of The Wonder Children, later The Dandridge Sisters, and appeared in a succession of films, usually in uncredited roles.

Cleo Laine English jazz singer and an actress

Dame Cleo Laine is an English jazz and pop singer and an actress, known for her scat singing and for her vocal range. Though her natural range is that of a contralto, she is able to produce a G above high C, giving her an overall compass of well over three octaves. Laine is the only female performer to have received Grammy nominations in the jazz, popular and classical music categories. She is the widow of jazz composer and musician Sir John Dankworth.

Jack Jones (American singer) American singer and actor

John Allan "Jack" Jones is an American jazz and pop singer and actor. He is the son of actor/singer Allan Jones and actress Irene Hervey.

Dooley Wilson American actor, musician

Arthur "Dooley" Wilson was an American actor, singer and musician who is best remembered as Sam in the 1942 film, Casablanca; in the film, he also performed its theme song, "As Time Goes By".

Harold Nicholas tap dancer

Harold Lloyd Nicholas was an American dancer specializing in tap. Nicholas was the younger half of the tap-dancing pair the Nicholas Brothers, known as two of the world's greatest dancers. His older brother was Fayard Nicholas. Nicholas starred in the MGM musicals An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), Stormy Weather (1943), The Pirate (1948). and The Five Heartbeats (1991).

<i>Cabin in the Sky</i> (film) 1943 film by Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley

Cabin in the Sky is a 1943 American musical film based on the 1940 Broadway musical of the same name. The first feature film directed by Vincente Minnelli, Cabin in the Sky features an all-black cast and stars Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne. Waters and Rex Ingram reprise their roles from the Broadway production as Petunia nd Lucifer Junior, respectively. The film was Horne's first and only leading role in an MGM musical. Louis Armstrong is also featured in the film as one of Lucifer Junior's minions, and Duke Ellington and his Orchestra have a showcase musical number in the film.

Leslie Uggams American actress and singer

Leslie Marian Uggams is an American actress and singer. Beginning her career as a child in the early 1950s, Uggams is recognized for portraying Kizzy Reynolds in the television miniseries Roots (1977), earning Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her performance. She had earlier been highly acclaimed for the Broadway musical Hallelujah, Baby!, winning a Theatre World Award in 1967 and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1968. Later in her career, Uggams received renewed notice with appearances alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool (2016) and in a recurring role on Empire.

Trocadero (Los Angeles) former nightclub in Los Angeles

Cafe Trocadero was an upscale nightclub that opened on the Sunset Strip in 1934 and immediately became the place where Hollywood stars went to be seen. Photographs of the stars out on the town at the Troc one night might appear in The Hollywood Reporter the next day, as both Cafe Trocadero and THR were owned by William R. Wilkerson.

Abbe Lane American singer and actress

Abbe Lane is an American singer and actress. Lane was known for her sexy outfits for the times and a sultry style of performing which garnered some minor controversy. In addition, Lane was the fourth wife of famous Latin bandleader and musician Xavier Cugat.

Carol Lawrence Actress, singer, dancer

Carol Lawrence is an American actress, appearing in musical theatre and on television. She is known for portraying Maria on Broadway in the musical West Side Story (1957), receiving a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She appeared at The Muny, St. Louis, in several musicals, including Funny Girl. She also appeared in many television dramas, including Rawhide and Murder She Wrote. She was married to fellow performer Robert Goulet.

<i>Till the Clouds Roll By</i> 1946 film by Richard Whorf

Till The Clouds Roll By is a 1946 American Technicolor musical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is a fictionalized biopic of composer Jerome Kern, portrayed by Robert Walker. Kern was originally involved with the production, but died before it was completed. It has a large cast of well-known musical stars of the day who appear performing Kern's songs. It was the first in a series of MGM biopics about Broadway's composers; it was followed by Words and Music, Three Little Words, and Deep in My Heart.

<i>The Duke Is Tops</i> 1938 film

The Duke Is Tops is a 1938 American musical film released by Million Dollar Productions and directed by William Nolte. The film was later released in 1943 under the title The Bronze Venus, with Lena Horne given top billing. The film was one of a number of low-budgeted musicals made in the 1930s and 1940s for the African-American market. The casts and production teams of these films were almost all black, and the music reflected current tastes in jazz and rhythm and blues.

<i>Stormy Weather</i> (1943 film) 1943 American musical film directed by Andrew L. Stone

Stormy Weather is a 1943 American musical film produced and released by 20th Century Fox. The film is considered one of the best Hollywood musicals with an African-American cast, the other being MGM's Cabin in the Sky (1943). The film is considered a primary showcase of some of the top African-American performers of the time, during an era when African-American actors and singers rarely appeared in lead roles in mainstream Hollywood productions, especially those of the musical genre.

<i>The Wiz</i> (film) 1978 film by Sidney Lumet

The Wiz is a 1978 American musical adventure fantasy film produced by Universal Pictures and Motown Productions and released by Universal Pictures on October 24, 1978. A reimagining of L. Frank Baum's classic 1900 children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an all-black cast, the film was loosely adapted from the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name. It follows the adventures of Dorothy, a shy, twenty-four-year-old Harlem schoolteacher who finds herself magically transported to the urban fantasy Land of Oz, which resembles a dream version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the city to seek an audience with the mysterious Wiz, who they say is the only one powerful enough to send her home.

Julie Dozier is a character in Edna Ferber's 1926 novel Show Boat. In the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's classic musical version of it, which opened on Broadway on December 27, 1927, her stage name is Julie La Verne. She is exposed as Julie Dozier in Act I. In Act II, Julie has changed her name, this time to Julie Wendel.

<i>Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music</i> live album by Lena Horne

Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music was a 1981 Broadway musical revue written for and starring American singer and actress Lena Horne. The musical was produced by Michael Frazier and Fred Walker, and the cast album was produced by Quincy Jones. The show opened on May 12, 1981, and after 333 performances, closed on June 30, 1982, Horne's 65th birthday. Horne toured with the show in the U.S. and Canada and performed in London and Stockholm in 1984.

<i>Lena Horne Sings Your Requests</i> 1963 studio album by Lena Horne

Lena Sings Your Requests is a 1963 studio album by Lena Horne, arranged by Bob Florence and Marty Paich. After a long and successful partnership with RCA Victor, where Horne was signed between 1955-1962, Lena Horne signed at the lesser known Charter label releasing only two albums on the label both in 1963. This the first was recorded in Hollywood on January the 15th and 17th 1963 and released in the spring of 1963 on the Charter label. For this album Horne returned to re-record many songs that she had previously recorded in the 1940s and 1950s, several of which she had performed on screen, such as "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Can't Help Lovin' That Man". The album also features the fourth studio recording of the song "Stormy Weather" by Lena Horne. The album was reissued on CD in 2008 by Fresh Sound Records together with the album Lena Like Latin.

Jeni Le Gon dancer

Jeni LeGon, also credited as Jeni Le Gon, was an American dancer, dance instructor, and actress. She was one of the first African-American women to establish a solo career in tap dance.


  1. 1 2 "About the Performer". American Masters . Lena Horne: In Her Own Words. May 14, 2010. PBS . Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  2. William Ruhlmann (2008). "Artist: Lena Horne Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved August 10, 2008.
  3. "Lena Horne, entertainer, died on May 9th, aged 92". The Economist . May 20, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  4. "Lena Horne Bio – Lena Horne Career". MTV Artists.
  5. 1 2 3 McLellan, Dennis; Nelson, Valerie J. (May 10, 2010). "Lena Horne dies at 92; singer and civil rights activist who broke barriers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  6. 1 2 Kalson, Sally (May 11, 2010). "Lena Horne came to Pittsburgh, then left to find stardom". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  7. Brewer, John M. (2007). Pittsburgh Jazz. Arcadia Publishing. p. 14. ISBN   978-0-7385-4980-4.
  8. "Ancestors & Descendants of Lena Mary Calhoun Horne". The Family Forest.
  9. Schickel, Richard; Horne, Lena (1965). Lena . Doubleday. p.  7.
  10. "Lena Horne on Tonight Show 1982 – Part 1". NBC/YouTube. 1982. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  11. 1 2 3 Cason, Caroline (November 15, 2013). "Lena Horne". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  12. Augustus F. Hawkins (November 18, 1992). "Black Leadership in Los Angeles: Tape Number: II, Side Two" (transcript). Interviewed by Clyde Woods. pp. 66–67. Retrieved January 8, 2009.
  13. Lefkovitz, Aaron (2017). Transnational Cinematic and Popular Music Icons: Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, and Queen Latifah, 1917-2017. Lexington Books. p. 5. ISBN   978-1-4985-5576-0.
  14. 1 2 3 Gavin, James (June 23, 2009). Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne . Altria Books. ISBN   978-0743271431.
  15. 1 2 "Lena Horne Weds Widmark In 'Patch'; U's Race Gesture". Variety . May 15, 1968. p. 3.
  16. Meroney, John (August 27, 2015). "The Red-Baiting of Lena Horne". The Atlantic . Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  17. Simonson, Robert (May 10, 2010). "Lena Horne, Singer and Actress, Dies at 92". Playbill .
  18. Fordham, John (May 10, 2010). "Lena Horne Obituary". The Guardian . UK.
  19. "Lena Horne: Biography". The Kennedy Center. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  20. Tucker, Sherrie (2000). Swing Shift: "All-Girl" Bands of the 1940s . Duke University Press. p.  240. ISBN   0822324857.
  21. "Lena Horne Biography". Encyclopedia of World Biographies. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  22. "Spingarn Medal Winners: 1915 to Today". NAACP. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014.
  23. "Visit of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman John Bailey, Lena Horne, Carol Lawrence, Richard Adler, Sidney Salomon, Vice-Chairwoman of the DNC Margaret B. Price, and Secretary of the DNC Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush, 11:30AM - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". Jfklibrary.org. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  24. "Lena Horne – Found Romance and Children In Pittsburgh on Her Way to Super Stardom". Pittsburgh Music History. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  25. Imani Davy (February 26, 2015). "Black History Month Tribute to Lena Horne: The Actress and Activist". The Spectrum Student Newspaper · Bowie State University. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  26. "Lena Horne Obituary". The Daily Telegraph . May 10, 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  27. "Ebony Interview: Lena Horne". Ebony : 38–50. May 1980.
  28. Hajdu, David (June 26, 1997). Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn. New York: North Point Press. p. 95. ISBN   978-0865475120.
  29. Ebert, Roger (October 10, 2008). "Ella unenchanted goes to a wedding – Demme explores concept of family". Chicago Sun-Times . p. B1.
  30. Gioia, Michael (February 20, 2015). "Heavy Metal Rocker and Broadway's New Fish: Get to Know Bobby Cannavale's Teenage Son, Jake". Playbill. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  31. "This Green and Pleasant Land" by Bryan Greene, in Poverty and Race, page 3.
  32. Bernstein, Adam (May 11, 2010). "Lena Horne Dies at 92". The Washington Post .
  33. Morman, Dr Robert R. (December 31, 2010). "Adieus to Achievers". AuthorHouse via Google Books.
  34. Barron, James (May 14, 2010). "Lena Horne, Who Moved Barriers and Emotions, Is Remembered". The New York Times.
  35. Cane, Clay (February 24, 2012). "Where Is the Lena Horne Biopic?". BET News.
  36. "Halle Berry Pays Tribute to Lena Horne at Oscars". Essence . February 28, 2011.
  37. "Lena Horne honored with postage stamp | Entertainment". phillytrib.com. June 30, 1917. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  38. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 31, 2008. Retrieved December 5, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. "The Envelope: Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider - Los Angeles Times". Theenvelope.latimes.com. July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  40. Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  41. "Ella Award Special Events". February 12, 2011. Archived from the original on May 14, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  42. "ASCAP Error Page". www.ascap.com.
  43. "Past Honorees". Kennedy-center.org. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  44. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  45. "Noble Sissle and his Orchestra". redhotjazz.com.