This Day in Film: “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”Published by Michael Arceneaux on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 8:48 am.
For a while many wondered if a film about the life of the iconic and pioneering actress Dorothy Dandridge would ever be made. Certainly multiple high profile entertainers made the effort through the years. Model-actress Jayne Kennedy, television star Jasmine Guy, model-actress-singer Vanessa Williams, along with pop megastars Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston, all expressed interest in portraying the first Black woman to receive an Academy award nomination for Best Actress.
Ultimately, it was film star Halle Berry who achieved this feat by way of a made for TV biographical drama she dubbed a labor of love. Filmed over a span of a few weeks in early 1998, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge depicted the life of the now legendary starlet – examining her humbling beginnings as a roadhouse circuit performer in the South and going on to become one of the biggest actresses of her time.
Promoted with the tag line, “Right woman. Right place. Wrong time.” the HBO movie also shed light on her personal life, which was filled with much tragedy and heartache. Dandridge died of an overdose of pills in 1965, at the age of 41.
For her efforts, producer and starring actress Halle Berry won an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.