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Top Ten Black Actresses

Dorothy ​Dandridge​
Dorothy ​Dandridge​

Dorothy Jean Dandridge (November 9, 1922 – September 8, 1965) was an American film and theatre actress, singer, and dancer. She is perhaps best known for being the first African-American actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1954 film Carmen Jones.

Ruby Dee​
Ruby Dee​

Ruby Dee (October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014) was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and civil rights activist. She is perhaps best known for originating the role of "Ruth Younger" in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun (1961).

Lena Horne​
Lena Horne​

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.

Hattie ​McDaniel​
Hattie ​McDaniel​

Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) was an American stage actress, professional singer-songwriter, and comedian. She is best known for her role as "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind (1939), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the first Academy Award won by an African American entertainer.

Whitney ​Houston​
Whitney ​Houston​

Houston was No. 1 artist of the year and Whitney Houston was the No. 1 album of the year on the 1986 Billboard year-end charts, making her the first woman to earn that distinction. At the time, Houston released the best-selling debut album by a solo artist.

Ruby ​Dandridge​
Ruby ​Dandridge​

Ruby Jean Dandridge was an American actress from the early–1900s through the late–1950s. Dandridge is best known for her radio work in her early days of acting. Dandridge is best known for her role on the radio show Amos 'n Andy, in which she played Sadie Blake and Harriet Crawford, and on radio's Judy Canova Show, in which she played "Geranium". She is recognized for her role in the 1959 movie A Hole in the Head as "Sally".

Vivian ​Dandridge​
Vivian ​Dandridge​

Vivian Alferetta Dandridge (April 22, 1921 – October 26, 1991) was an American singer, actress and dancer. Dandridge is best known as being the older sister of actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge and the daughter of actress Ruby Dandridge.

Nina Simone​
Nina Simone​

After a long delay and considerable controversy, Zoe Saldana’s Nina Simone biopic, Nina, will be released in theaters on April 2.

source: vulture.com
image: nytimes.com
Tamara ​Dobson​
Tamara ​Dobson​

Tamara Janice Dobson (May 14, 1947 - October 2, 2006) was an African-American actress and fashion model. Though she appeared in a few films in Hollywood, she became best known for her title roles in the 1973 Blaxploitation film Cleopatra Jones and its 1975 sequel Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold.

Billie Holiday​
Billie Holiday​

Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing.

Josephine ​Baker​
Josephine ​Baker​

In 1991, Baker's life story, The Josephine Baker Story, was broadcast on HBO. Lynn Whitfield portrayed Baker, and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special—becoming the first Black actress to win the award in this category.

Nina Mae ​McKinney​
Nina Mae ​McKinney​

Nina Mae McKinney (June 13, 1912 – May 3, 1967) was an American actress who worked internationally during the 1930s and in the postwar period in theatre, film and television, after getting her start on Broadway and in Hollywood.

Ethel Waters​
Ethel Waters​

Ethel Waters (October 31, 1896 – September 1, 1977) was an American singer and actress. Waters frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, but she began her career in the 1920s singing blues.

Juanita Moore​
Juanita Moore​

Actress Juanita Moore plays the role of Momma in "A Raisin in the Sun"… (Los Angeles Times ) (Los Angeles Times ) When Juanita Moore became only the third African American nominated for a supporting-actress Oscar, she made headlines and history — but that's about it.

image: nwitimes.com