The Wonder Children: The Early Life Of Dorothy Dandrige

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Dorothy Dandrige By: Erykah Hunter Early life Dorothy Dandrige was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland Ohio to aspiring entertainer Ruby Dandrige and Cyril Dandrige a cabinet maker and minister, who seperated just before her birth. Ruby created a song and a dance for her two daughters, Vivian and Dorothy, under the name of The Wonder Children, that was managed by Geneva Williams. Dorothy and her sister toured the Southern United States almost nonstop for five years (rarely attending school) while Ruby worked and performed in Cleveland. During the Great Depression, work virtually dried up for the Dandriges, as it did for many Chitlin circuit preformers. The Wonder Children were renamed The Dandrige Sisters…show more content…
A reluctant Dandridge had agreed to appear in the film only after learning that it focused on a nineteenth century slave revolt on a cargo ship travelling from Africa to Cuba. However, she nearly withdrew her involvement when the initial script called for her to swim in the nude and spend the majority of the film in a two-piece bathing suit made of rags. When Dandridge threatened to leave the film, the script and her wardrobe was retooled to her liking. United States Production code requirements did not apply to this Italian production and a passionate and overwhelming kiss from her co-star Jürgens was accepted by Dandridge's Aiché. This gave Dandridge her first, and only, on-screen kiss with a white actor. Tamango was withheld from an American release until late 1959, and received mixed reviews from critics and minor success. In MGM's The Decks Ran Red (1958), she co-starred with James Mason and Broderick Crawford as an exotic woman aboard a large ocean liner where numerous deaths are arranged to take place. Despite being universally panned, the film generated a respectable audience due to the controversy surrounding Dandridge's sultry…show more content…
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.The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office came to a different conclusion 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

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