Saturday, January 21, 2012
Chanel No. 5 is the first perfume launched by Parisian couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. The French government reports that a bottle of Chanel No. 5 is sold every thirty seconds and generates sales of $100 million a year. It was developed by Russian-French chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux. It is often considered the world's most famous perfume.
Baz Luhrmann’s Chanel No. 5 commercial (or ‘film’, as Luhrmann prefers it being referred to), reunited Luhrmann and his Moulin Rouge star, Nicole Kidman, in one of the most expensive and elaborate advertisements of all time. The film was screened in several countries around the world during 2004, 2005 and 2006.
It had a budget of $42 million USD which was financed exclusively by Chanel. Though visually captivating, the film is essentially an extended television commercial for Chanel No. 5 perfume. The film was initially screened in many North American cinemas during the Coming Attractions. During the 2006 Christmas Season, an edited 30-second TV spot was shown on primetime on many networks in Canada and the U.S. Nicole Kidman was given $12 million for being in the commercial.
Friday, January 20, 2012
She died from complications from leukemia with her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons by her side, De Leon said.
She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C. James died at a hospital in Riverside, California. She would have turned 74 Wednesday.
" This is a tremendous loss for the family, her friends and fans around the world," De Leon said. "She was a true original who could sing it all -- her music defied category.
"I worked with Etta for over 30 years. She was my friend and I will miss her always."
Was "At Last" your song for your wedding's first dance?
2003: Etta James reflects on her career
2008: Etta James at 'Cadillac Records'The powerhouse singer, known as "Miss Peaches," lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking "The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)" -- an "answer record" to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie" -- to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.
Throughout her career, James overcame a heroin addiction, opened for the Rolling Stones, won six Grammys and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite her ups and downs -- including a number of health problems -- she maintained an optimistic attitude.
"Most of the songs I sing, they have that blue feeling to it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don't know what I'm sorry about," she told CNN's Denise Quan in 2002. "I don't!"
Through it all, she was a spitfire beloved by contemporaries and young up-and-comers.
"Etta James is unmanageable, and I'm the closest thing she's ever had to a manager," Lupe DeLeon, her manager of 30-plus years, told CNN in admiration.
British songstress Adele named James as one of her favorite singers, along with Aretha Franklin.
"If you were to look up the word singer in the dictionary, you'd see their names," Adele said in an interview.
Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles to a teen mother and unknown father. (She suspected her father was the pool player Minnesota Fats.)
Her birth mother initially took little responsibility and James was raised by a series of people, notably a pair of boardinghouse owners. But she was recognized from a young age for her booming voice, showcased in a South Central Los Angeles church.
In 1950, her mother took her to San Francisco, where James formed a group called the Peaches. Singer Johnny Otis, best known for "Willie and the Hand Jive," discovered her and had her sing a song he wrote using Ballard's tune as a model. "The Wallflower," with responses from "Louie Louie" songwriter Richard Berry, made James an R&B star.
Her signing to Chess introduced her to a broader audience, as the record label's co-owner, Leonard Chess, believed she should do pop hits. Among her recordings were "Stormy Weather," the Lena Horne classic originally from 1933; "A Sunday Kind of Love," which dates from 1946; and most notably, "At Last," a 1941 number that was originally a hit for Glenn Miller.
James' version of "At Last" starts out with swooning strings and the singer enters with confident gusto, dazzlingly maintaining a mood of joy and romance. Though the song failed to make the Top 40 upon its 1961 release -- though it did hit the R&B Top 10 -- its emotional punch has long made it a favorite at weddings.
James' career suffered in the mid-'60s when the British Invasion took over the pop charts and as she fought some personal demons. But she got a boost when she started recording at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Her hits included the brassy "Tell Mama" and the raw "I'd Rather Go Blind," the latter later notably covered by Rod Stewart.
She entered rehab in the 1970s for her drug problem but re-established herself with live performances and an album produced by noted R&B mastermind Jerry Wexler. After another stint in rehab -- this time at the Betty Ford Clinic -- she made a comeback album, "Seven Year Itch," in 1988.
James mastered a range of styles -- from R&B and soul to jazz and blues -- but she was always one step behind the popular genre of the day, said Michael Coyle, a Colgate University professor who has written about jazz and R&B and reviews records for Cadence Magazine.
"She never really got her moment in the sun," Coyle said.
But James soldiered on, and by the end of her life she had made so much meaningful music that she was considered a living legend. "By the mid-'90s, she's survived so long that people start to look up to her," Coyle said.
James was portrayed by pop star Beyonce in the 2008 film "Cadillac Records," about Chess. After Beyonce sang "At Last" at one of President Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural balls, James lashed out: "I can't stand Beyonce. She had no business up there singing my song that I've been singing forever." She later told the New York Daily News she was joking.
Earlier this year, news reports revealed that the singer's estate was being contested in a legal struggle between her husband, Artis Mills, and son Donto James. (Donto and her other son, Sametto, both played in her band.)
Over the years, James had her share of health problems. In the late 1990s she reportedly weighed more than 400 pounds and required a scooter to get around. In 2003 she had gastric bypass surgery and dropped more than half the weight, according to People magazine.
However, until her latest issues, James maintained a steady touring schedule and appeared full of energy even when sitting down -- as she sometimes did on stage, due to bad knees and her weight battles.
Even while sitting down, James gave it her all on stage, singing as though possessed, caressing every note like a long-lost love. If that seemed a little much to critics, well, the legendary singer had a show to put on, she told Quan.
"They said that Etta James is still vulgar," she said in the 2002 interview. "I said, 'Oh, how dare 'em say I'm still real vulgar! I'm vulgar because I dance in the chair?' What would they want me to do? Want me to just be still or something like that?
"I gotta do something."
Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer whose style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid 1950s, she gained fame with hits such as "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she claimed she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems including drug addiction before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album, The Seven Year Itch.
She is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.
Early life and early career: 1938–1959Jamesetta Hawkins was born on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles to Dorothy Hawkins, who was only 14 at the time. Her father has never been identified, but was rumored possibly to be white (Caucasian).James speculated that her father was the pool player, Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone, and met him briefly in 1987, Due to her mother being often absent carrying on relationships with various men, James lived with a series of caregivers, most notably "Sarge" and "Mama" Lu. James called her mother "the Mystery Lady".
James received her first professional vocal training at the age of five from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir, at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. She became a popular singing attraction at the church, and Sarge tried to pressure the church into paying him money for her singing, but they refused. During drunken poker games at home, he would wake James up in the early hours of the morning and force her through beatings to sing for his friends. As she was a bed-wetter, and often soaked with her own urine on these occasions, the trauma of being forced to sing meant she had a life-long reluctance to sing on demand.
In 1950 Mama Lu died, and James' real mother took her to the Fillmore district in San Francisco. Within a couple of years, James began listening to doo-wop and was inspired to form a girl group, called the Creolettes (due to the members' light skinned complexions). The 14-year-old girls met musician Johnny Otis. Stories on how they met vary including Otis' version in which James had come to his hotel after one of his performances in the city and persuaded him to audition her. Another story came that Otis spotted the group performing at a Los Angeles nightclub and sought them to record his "answer song" to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me, Annie". Nonetheless, Otis took the group under his wing, helping them sign to Modern Records and changing their name from the Creolettes to the Peaches and gave the singer her stage name reversing Jamesetta into Etta James. James recorded the version, which she was allowed to co-author, in 1954, and the song was released in early 1955 as "Dance with Me, Henry". Originally the name of the song was "Roll With Me, Henry" but was changed to avoid censorship due to the subtle title. In February of that year, the song reached number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Tracks chart. Its success gave the group an opening spot on Little Richard's national tour.
While on tour with Richard, pop singer Georgia Gibbs recorded her version of James' song, which was released under the title "The Wallflower", and became a crossover hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, which angered James. After leaving the Peaches, James had another R&B hit with "Good Rockin' Daddy", but struggled with follow-ups. When her contract with Modern came up in 1960, she decided to sign with Leonard Chess' namesake label, Chess Records, and shortly afterwards got involved in a relationship with singer Harvey Fuqua, founder of the doo-wop group, The Moonglows.
Bobby Murray aka "Taters" toured with Etta James for 20 years. He wrote that James had her first hit single when she was 15 years of age and went steady with B.B. King when she was 16. Etta James believed the hit single "Sweet Sixteen" by B.B. King was about her.
Chess years: 1960–1978James was put on the Chess subsidiary label Argo (and later recorded with another subsidiary, Cadet) and had her first hit singles under duets with Fuqua including "If I Can't Have You" and "Spoonful". Her first solo hit was the doo-wop styled rhythm and blues number, "All I Could Do Was Cry", becoming a number two R&B hit. Leonard Chess had envisioned James as a classic ballad stylist who had potential to cross over to the pop charts and soon surrounded the singer with violins and other string instruments. The first string-laden ballad James recorded was "My Dearest Darling", which peaked in the top five of the R&B chart. James was notable singing background vocals on label mate Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA".
At Last!, was released in late 1960 and was noted for its varied choice in music from jazz standards to blues numbers to doo-wop and R&B. The album also included James' future classic, "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and "A Sunday Kind of Love". In early 1961, James released what has become her signature song, "At Last", which reached number two on the R&B chart and number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though the song wasn't as successful as expected, it has become the most remembered version of the song. James followed that up with "Trust in Me", which also included string instruments. Later that same year, James released a second studio album, The Second Time Around. The album took the same direction as her previous album, covering many jazz and pop standards, and using strings on many of the songs spawning two hit singles, "The Fool That I Am" and "Don't Cry Baby".
James started adding gospel elements in her music the following year releasing "Something's Got a Hold on Me", which peaked at number four on the R&B chart and was also a top 40 pop hit. That success was quickly followed by "Stop the Wedding", which reached number six on the R&B charts and also had gospel elements. In 1963, she had another major hit with "Pushover" and released the live album, Etta James Rocks the House, which was recorded at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee. After a couple years scoring minor hits, James' career started to suffer after 1965. After a period of isolation, James returned to recording in 1967 and reemerged with more ballsy R&B numbers thanks to her recording at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama releasing her comeback hit "Tell Mama", which was co-written by Clarence Carter and reached number ten R&B and number twenty three pop. An album of the same name was also released that year and included her take of Otis Redding's "Security". The B-side of "Tell Mama" was "I'd Rather Go Blind", which became a blues classic in its own right and was recorded by many other artists. She wrote in her autobiography Rage To Survive that she heard the song outlined by her friend Ellington "Fugi" Jordan when she visited him in prison. According to her account, she wrote the rest of the song with Jordan, but for tax reasons gave her songwriting credit to her partner at the time, Billy Foster.
Following this success, James became an on-demand concert performer though she never again reached the heyday of her early-to-mid 1960s success. She continued to chart in the R&B Top 40 in the early 1970s with singles such as "Losers Weepers" (1970) and "I Found a Love" (1972). Though James continued to record for Chess, she was devastated by the death of Chess founder Leonard Chess in 1969. James ventured into rock and funk with the release of her self-titled album in 1973 with production from famed rock producer Gabriel Mekler, who had worked with Steppenwolf and Janis Joplin, who had admired James and had covered "Tell Mama" in concert. The album, known for its mixtures of musical styles, was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album didn't produce any major hits, neither did the follow-up, Out On the Street Again, in 1974, though like Etta James before it, the album was also critically acclaimed. James continued to record for Chess releasing two more albums in 1978, Etta Is Betta Than Evah and Deep in the Night, which saw the singer incorporating more rock-based music in her repertoire. That same year, James was the opening act for The Rolling Stones and also performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Following this brief success, however, she left Chess Records and didn't record for another ten years as she struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism for the better part of a decade.
Later career: 1988–2012Rock & Roll Music" with Chuck Berry on his "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" documentary. In 1989, James signed with Island Records and released the album, The Seven Year Itch, which was noted for bringing back the older raw sound of previous records. The album was produced by Jerry Wexler, who had worked on Deep in the Night. She released a second album in 1989 titled Stickin' to My Guns. Both albums were recorded at FAME Studios. James participated in rap singer Def Jef for the song "Droppin' Rhymes on Drums", which mixed James' jazz vocals with hip-hop. In 1992, James released The Right Time on Elektra Records and the following year, James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. James signed with Private Music Records in 1993 and recorded the Billie Holiday tribute album, Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday. The album later set a trend for James' music to incorporate more jazz elements. The album won James her first Grammy Awards for best jazz vocal performance in 1994. In 1995, she released the David Ritz-co authored autobiography, A Rage to Survive, and recorded the album, Time After Time. Three years later she issued the Christmas album, Etta James Christmas, in 1998.
By the mid-1990s, James' earlier classic music was included in commercials including, most notably, "I Just Wanna Make Love to You". Due to exposure of the song in a UK commercial, the song reached the top ten of the UK charts in 1996. Continuing to record for Private Music, she released the blues album, Matriarch of the Blues, in 2000, which had James returning to her R&B roots with Rolling Stone hailing it as a "solid return to roots", further stating that the album found the singer "reclaiming her throne - and defying anyone to knock her off it." In 2001, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the latter for her contributions to the developments of both rock and roll music and rockabilly. In 2003, she received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her 2004 release, Blue Gardenia, returned James to a jazz music style. James' final album for Private Music, Let's Roll, was released in 2005 and won James a Grammy for best contemporary blues album.
Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her #62 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.James has performed at the top world jazz festivals in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, 1989, 1990 and 1993, performed nine times at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival five times. She also performs often at free city outdoor summer arts festivals throughout the US.
In 2008, James was portrayed by Beyoncé Knowles in the film, Cadillac Records, loosely based on the rise and fall of James' label of 18 years, Chess Records, and how label founder and producer Leonard Chess helped the career of James and other label mates, though it was noted that James was successful prior to her signing with Chess Records. In the film, Etta James' character is in constant search to seek the recognition as well as love from an infamous pool shark named Minnesota Fats, whom she believed to be her white biological father. The film also portrayed "At Last" as a huge pop hit, but the single only charted briefly when it was initially released and James had bigger hits. It also indicated that James and Chess, who were 21 years apart in age, were lovers but that was also inaccurate. Though James and Knowles were later seen at a red carpet event following the film's release embracing each other, James expressed her displeasure with Knowles at a Seattle concert in January 2009, a few days after Knowles sang her song, "At Last", at the first inaugural ball for Barack Obama. James claimed she "can't stand Beyoncé" and that Knowles would "get her ass whipped". James later said that her remarks about Knowles were a joke but admitted she was hurt that she was not invited to sing her song and that she could've performed it better.
In April 2009, the 71-year-old James made her final television appearance performing "At Last" during an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. In May 2009, James was awarded as the Soul/Blues Female Artist of the Year by the Blues Foundation, the ninth time James had won the award. James carried on touring but by 2010 had to cancel concert dates to her gradually failing health after it was revealed that she was suffering from dementia and leukemia. In November 2011, James released her final album, The Dreamer, which was critically acclaimed upon its release. James announced via her manager's statement that this would be her final album. On 8th January 2012 her continuing relevance was affirmed when Avicii reached number 1 on Beatport with the song "Le7els" that samples her song "Something's Got a Hold on Me".
Style and influenceJames's musical style changed during the course of her career. When beginning her recording career in the mid-50s, James was marketed as an R&B and doo wop singer. After signing with Chess Records in 1960, James broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards on her debut album, At Last! James's voice has deepened and coarsened in the past ten years, moving her musical style in these later years into the genres of soul and jazz.
Etta James had once been considered one of the most overlooked blues and R&B musicians in American music history. It wasn't until the early 1990s when James began receiving major industry awards from the Grammys and the Blues Foundation that she began to receive wide recognition. In 2011 James was voted one the Best Singers On Earth by viewers to Btoe the multimedia website founded by Colin Larkin creator of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. In recent years, she has been seen as bridging the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. James has influenced a wide variety of American musicians including Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, and Hayley Williams of Paramore as well as British artists The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone and Adele.
Personal lifeJames encountered a string of legal problems during the early 1970s due to her heroin addiction. She was continuously in and out of rehabilitation centers, including the Tarzana Rehabilitation Center, in Los Angeles, California. Her husband Artis Mills, whom she married in 1969, accepted responsibility when they were both arrested for heroin possession and served a 10-year prison sentence. He was released from prison in 1982 and was still married to James at her death. She was also arrested around the same time for her drug addiction, accused of cashing bad checks, forgery and possession of heroin. In 1974, James was sentenced to drug treatment instead of serving time in prison. She was in the Tarzana Psychiatric Hospital for 17 months, at age 36, and went through a great struggle at the start of treatment. She later stated in her autobiography that the time she spent in the hospital changed her life. However, after leaving treatment, her substance abuse continued into the 1980s, after she developed a relationship with a man who was also using drugs. In 1988, at the age of 50, she entered the Betty Ford Center, in Palm Springs, California, for treatment. In 2010, she received treatment for a dependency on painkillers.
James had two sons, Donto and Sametto. Both started performing with their mother in 2003 – Donto on drums and Sametto on bass guitar.
Illness and deathJames was hospitalized in January 2010 to treat an infection caused by MRSA. During her hospitalization, her son Donto revealed that James had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008, and attributed her previous comments about Beyoncé Knowles to "drug induced dementia".
She was diagnosed with leukemia in early 2011. The illness became terminal and she died on January 20, 2012, just five days before her 74th birthday, at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California
Academy Award, for her performance in 1985's Prizzi's Honor, joining her father, director John Huston, and grandfather, actor Walter Huston. She later was nominated in 1989 and 1990 for her acting in Enemies, a Love Story and The Grifters respectively. Among her roles, she starred as Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values (1993), receiving Golden Globe nominations for both. Huston also played the Grand High Witch in the children's classic The Witches in 1990 and also more recently, known for her frequent collaborations with director Wes Anderson.
Early lifeAnjelica Huston was born in Santa Monica, California, and is the daughter of director and actor John Huston and Italian–American prima ballerina Enrica 'Ricki' (née Soma), from New York. Huston spent most of her childhood in Ireland and England. She grew up in Saint Clerns House near Craughwell, County Galway. In 1969, she began taking a few small roles in her father's movies. In that same year, her mother, who was 39 years old, died in a car accident, and Huston relocated to the US, where she modeled for several years. While she modeled, she worked with photographers such as Richard Avedon and Bob Richardson. On the photoshoots with Avedon, her hair was often done by Ara Gallant.
Huston has an older brother, Tony, a younger maternal half-sister named Allegra, whom she called "Legs", and a younger paternal half-brother, actor Danny Huston. She is the aunt of "Boardwalk Empire" actor Jack Huston.
Acting careerBob Rafelson's remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981). Later, her father cast her as the calculating, imperious Maerose, daughter of a Mafia don whose love is scorned by a hit man (Jack Nicholson) in the film adaptation of Richard Condon's Mafia-satire novel Prizzi's Honor (1985). Huston won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, making her the first person in Academy Award history to win an Oscar when a parent and a grandparent had also won one.
Huston earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of an iron-willed con artist in Stephen Frears' The Grifters (1990). She also starred as the lead in her father's final directorial film, The Dead (1987), an adaptation of a James Joyce story.
She was then cast as Morticia Addams, in the hugely successful 1991 movie adaptation of The Addams Family. In 1993, she revived the Morticia role for the movie sequel: Addams Family Values. Anjelica also starred in the 1998 Hollywood blockbuster, Ever After: A Cinderella Story alongside Drew Barrymore and Melanie Lynskey as the Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent. She starred in two highly lauded Wes Anderson films, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), as well as in 2007's The Darjeeling Limited. She voiced the role of Queen Clarion in the Disney Fairies film series starring Tinker Bell. On January 22, 2010, Anjelica was honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Houston will be part of the new television series, Smash, which will air on NBC in the 2011–12 television season.
Directing careerHuston has recently expanded her horizons, following in her father’s footsteps in the director’s chair. Her first directorial credit was Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), followed by Agnes Browne (1999), in which she both directed and starred, and then Riding the Bus with My Sister (2005).
Political activismU.S. Campaign for Burma and Human Rights Action Center. The letter, signed by over twenty five high-profile individuals from the entertainment business, was addressed to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and urged him to "personally intervene" to secure the release of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma.
Huston has donated $2,000 to Democratic political candidates John Kerry and Dick Gephardt.
Huston has recorded a public service announcement urging her colleagues in Hollywood to refrain from using great apes as slave labour in television, movies and advertisements.
In 2011, she endorsed the presidential campaign of Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness.
Personal lifeWhile working as a model in her teens during the late 1960s, Huston had a relationship with photographer Bob Richardson, who was 23 years her senior. Her on-and-off relationship with actor Jack Nicholson spanned from 1973 to 1989.
On May 23, 1992, she married sculptor Robert Graham Jr.. The couple lived in Venice, California until his death on December 27, 2008.
She owns a ranch in Three Rivers, California, just east of Visalia, which she visits often.
The actor Jack Huston is her nephew.
Year Film Role Notes
1967 Casino Royale Agent Mimi's Hands uncredited
1969 Hamlet Court Lady
1969 A Walk with Love and Death Claudia
1969 Sinful Davey uncredited
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Woman in Crowd on Pier uncredited
1976 Swashbuckler Woman of Dark Visage
1976 The Last Tycoon Edna
1981 The Postman Always Rings Twice Madge
1982 Rose for Emily Miss Emily Grierson
1982 The Comic Book Kids The Princess
1982 Frances An extra Huston was a mental patient rocking back and forth on a bed
under a blanket. View DVD, Frances (2001), chapter 23.
1984 This Is Spinal Tap Polly Deutsch credited as Angelica Huston
1984 The Ice Pirates Maida
1985 Prizzi's Honor Maerose Prizzi Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
1986 Captain EO The Supreme Leader
1986 Good to Go
1987 Gardens of Stone Samantha Davis
1987 The Dead Gretta Conroy Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
1988 Mr. North Persis Bosworth-Tennyson
1988 Lonesome Dove Clara Allen Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1988 A Handful of Dust Mrs. Rattery
1989 Crimes and Misdemeanors Dolores Paley Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1989 Enemies, a Love Story Tamara Broder Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
1990 The Witches Miss Eva Ernst/The Grand High Witch Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1990 The Grifters Lilly Dillon Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
1991 The Addams Family Morticia Addams Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1993 Family Pictures Lainey Eberlin Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery Marcia Fox Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1993 Addams Family Values Morticia Addams Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
1993 And the Band Played On Dr. Betsy Reisz
1995 The Perez Family Carmela Perez
1995 Buffalo Girls Calamity Jane Television film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1995 The Crossing Guard Mary Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
1998 Phoenix Leila
1998 Ever After Baroness Rodmilla de Ghent Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actress – Drama/Romance
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
1998 Buffalo '66 Billy Brown's Mother
1999 Agnes Browne Agnes Browne also directed
1999 The Golden Bowl Fanny Assingham
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums Etheline Tenenbaum Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2001 The Mists of Avalon Viviane, Lady of Lake Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2002 Blood Work Dr. Bonnie Fox
2002 Barbie as Rapunzel Madame Gothel voice: English version
2003 Daddy Day Care Ms. Harridan
2003 Kaena: The Prophecy Queen of the Selenites voice: English version
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Eleanor Zissou Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
2004 Iron Jawed Angels Carrie Chapman Catt Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
2006 Art School Confidential Art History Teacher
2006 Covert One: The Hades Factor President Castilla
2006 Material Girls Fabiella
2006 These Foolish Things Lottie Osgood
2006 Huff Dr. Lena Markova
2007 Seraphim Falls Madame Louise Fair/Lucifer
2007 The Darjeeling Limited Patricia Whitman
2007 Martian Child Mimi
2008 Medium Cynthia Keener 7 episodes
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Drama Series
2008 Choke Ida Mancini Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
2008 Tinker Bell Queen Clarion voice only
2008 Spirit of the Forest Mrs. D'Abondo
2009 Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Queen Clarion voice only
2010 When in Rome Celeste
2011 50/50 Diane Pending - Independent Spirit Awards - for Best Supporting Female
2011 Horrid Henry: The Movie Miss Battle-Axe
2011 The Big Year Debi Shearwater
2012 Smash Eileen Series Regular — Filming
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
She performed as a vocalist in venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. In 1954, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Carmen Jones, and, in 1959, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Porgy and Bess. In 1999, she was the subject of the HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. She has been recognized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Dandridge was married and divorced twice, first to dancer and entertainer Harold Nicholas (the father of her daughter, Harolyn Suzanne) and then to Jack Denison. Dandridge died of an accidental drug overdose, at the age of 42.
Early life and careerDorothy Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Cyril Dandridge (October 25, 1895 - July 9, 1989), a cabinetmaker and minister, and to Ruby Dandridge (nee Butler), an aspiring entertainer. Dandridge's parents separated shortly before her birth. Ruby Dandridge soon created an act for her two young daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name of "The Wonder Children." The daughters toured the Southern United States for five years while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland. During this time, they toured almost non-stop and rarely attended school.
At the onset of the Great Depression, work virtually dried up for the Dandridges, as it did for many of the Chitlin' circuit performers. Ruby Dandridge moved to Hollywood, California, where she found steady work on radio and film in small parts as a domestic servant. "The Wonder Kids" were renamed "The Dandridge Sisters" and booked into such venues as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City.
Dorothy Dandridge's first screen appearance was a bit part in a 1935 Our Gang short. In 1937, she appeared in the Marx Brothers feature film, A Day at the Races. In 1940, Dandridge played a murderer in the race film, Four Shall Die. All of her early parts were stereotypical African-American roles, but her singing ability and presence brought her popularity in nightclubs nationwide. During this period, she starred in several "soundies" film clips designed to be displayed on juke boxes including "Paper Doll" by the Mills Brothers, "Cow Cow Boogie", "Jig in the Jungle", "Mr. & Mrs. Carpenter's Rent Party."
Carmen JonesIn 1954, director and writer Otto Preminger cast Dandridge, along with Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, Madame Sul-Te-Wan (uncredited), and Joe Adams, in his all-black production of Carmen Jones. However, Dandridge's singing voice was dubbed by opera singer Marilyn Horne.
Upon release in 1955, Carmen Jones grossed $60,000 during its first week and $47,000 in its second week. The film received favorable reviews, and Dandridge was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, becoming only the third African American to receive a nomination in any Academy Award category (after Hattie McDaniel and Ethel Waters)but the first African American to be nominated for best actress. Grace Kelly won the award for her performance in The Country Girl. At the awards ceremony, Dandridge presented the Academy Award for Film Editing to Gene Milford for On the Waterfront.
Dandridge first gained fame as a solo artist from her performances in nightclubs, usually accompanied by Phil Moore on piano. As well-known as she became from renditions of songs such as "Blow Out the Candle", "You Do Something To Me", and "Talk Sweet Talk To Me", she recorded very little on vinyl. Whether it was because of personal choice or lack of opportunity is unknown.
In 1940, as part of the Dandridge Sisters singing group, Dandridge recorded four songs with the Jimmy Lunceford band:
"You Ain't Nowhere" (Columbia #28007)
"That's Your Red Wagon" (Columbia #28006)
"Ain't Going To Go To Study War No More" (Columbia #26938)
"Minnie The Moocher is Dead" (Columbia #26937A)
In 1944, she recorded a duet with Louis Armstrong from the film Pillow To Post:
"Watcha Say" (Decca L-3502)
In 1951, she recorded a single for Columbia Records:
"Blow Out the Candle/Talk Sweet Talk To Me" (catalogue # unknown)
In 1953, she recorded a song for the film Remains To Be Seen:
"Taking a Chance On Love" (MGM Records, catalogue # unknown)
In 1958, she recorded a full length album for Verve Records featuring Oscar Peterson with Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, and Alvin Stoller (Catalogue #314 547-514 2) that remained unreleased in the vaults until a cd release in 1999. This cd also included 4 tracks from 1961 (with an unknown orchestra) that included one 45 rpm record single and another aborted single:
"It's Easy To Remember" (21942-3)
"What Is There To Say" (21943-6)
"That Old Feeling" (21944-4)
"The Touch Of Your Lips" (21945-12)
"When Your Lover Has Gone" (21946-1)
"The Nearness Of You" (21947-7)
"(In This World) I'm Glad There Is You" (21948-10)
"I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face" (21949-4)
"Body And Soul" (21950-2)
"How Long Has This Been Going On?" (21951-6)
"I've Got A Crush On You" (21952-3)
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was" (21953-3)
"Somebody" (recorded in 1961) (23459-2)
"Stay with It" (recorded in 1961) (23460-4)
(above two tracks released on Verve Records single #Verve V 10231)
"It's a Beautiful Evening" (recorded in 1961) (23461-5)
"Smooth Operator" (recorded in 1961) (23462-2)
(above two tracks were aborted for release as a single and remained unreleased until the "Smooth Operator" cd release in 1999). These represent the only known songs Dandridge recorded on vinyl. Several songs she sang were recorded on Soundies. These songs, which include her version of "Cow Cow Boogie", are not included on this list.
Personal lifeDandridge married dancer and entertainer Harold Nicholas on September 6, 1942, and gave birth to her only child, Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas, on September 2, 1943. Harolyn was born brain-damaged, and the couple divorced in October 1951.
Dandridge married Jack Denison on June 22, 1959, although the pair divorced amid allegations of domestic violence and financial setbacks. At this time, Dandridge discovered that the people who were handling her finances had swindled her out of $150,000, and that she was $139,000 in debt for back taxes. Forced to sell her Hollywood home and to place her daughter in a state mental institution in Camarillo, California, Dandridge moved into a small apartment at 8495 Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood, California. Alone and without any acting roles or singing engagements on the horizon, Dandridge suffered a nervous breakdown. Shortly thereafter, Earl Mills started arranging her comeback.
DeathOn September 8, 1965, Dandridge spoke by telephone with friend Geri Branton. Dandridge was scheduled to fly to New York the next day to prepare for her nightclub engagement at Basin Street East. Several hours after her conversation with Branton ended, Dandridge was found dead by her manager, Earl Mills. Two months later a Los Angeles pathology institute determined the cause to be an accidental overdose of Imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant. However, an alternative source reported that the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office came to a different conclusion, that: Miss Dandridge died of a rare embolism blockage of the blood passages at the lungs and brain by tiny pieces of fat flaking off from bone marrow in a fractured right foot she sustained in a Hollywood film five days before she died. She was 42 years old.
On September 12, 1965, a private funeral service was held for Dandridge at the Little Chapel of the Flowers; she was then cremated and her ashes entombed in the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
LegacyMany years passed before the entertainment industry acknowledged Dandridge's legacy. Starting in the 1980s, stars such as Cicely Tyson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Halle Berry, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett (who are all African-American women) acknowledged Dandridge's contributions to the role of blacks in film.
In 1999, Halle Berry took the lead role of Dandridge in the HBO Movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, for which she won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. When Berry won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball, she dedicated the "moment to Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll."
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Dorothy Dandridge has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 671 Hollywood Boulevard.
Tarzan's Peril (1951)
The Harlem Globetrotters (1951)
Bright Road (1953)
Carmen Jones (1954)
Island In The Sun (1957)
The Decks Ran Red (1958)
Porgy And Bess (1959)
The Murder Men (1961)
Bit parts, some uncredited...
The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1936)
A Day At The Races (1937)
It Can't Last Forever (1937)
Going Places (1937)
Four Shall Die (1940)
Bahama Passage (1941)
Lady From Louisiana (1941)
Sun Valley Serenade (1941)
Lucky Jordan (1942)
Drums of the Congo (1942)
Hit Parade of 1943 (1943)
Since You Went Away (1944)
Atlantic City (1944)
Pillow To Post (1945)
Ebony Parade (1947)
Remains To Be Seen (1953)