Lena Horne dies at 92
The world faces some Stormy Weather this morning with the report of Lena Horne’s death in NYC at age 92. The first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio, her race kept her from becoming a major film star in the 40’s, although she was on an MGM contract and was placed into musical after musical doing single numbers.
Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood. In the 1950s, due to the Red Scare and her progressive political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood. She continued to work in Television, nightclubs and on Broadway… and as a recording artist until 1998.
Her big stardom came as a result of WWII, as she stated:
“The whole thing that made me a star was the war. Of course the black guys couldn’t put Betty Grable’s picture in their footlockers. But they could put mine.”
Here she is singing the title song in the 1943 film Stormy Weather:
Actress, singer, civil rights activist… Lena Horne helped change America and she will be missed.
Posted on May 10, 2010, in Art, Arts, film, history, Music, News, Obits, Television, Theatre and Art, Video, Word from Bill and tagged film actress, Lena Horne, Music, singer, Stormy Weather. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.