First African American actress Oscar

Who was the first African American to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, in ...  February 5, 2015 – 05:46 pm
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peachtome Dorothy Dandridge

Dorothy Dandridge was the first black performer to be nominated in the best actress category for her performance in 'Carmen Jones.' She lost in 1954 to Grace Kelly. Even though Dandridge's performance was much-heralded by critics, she was never given much chance of winning the Oscar because of her race. Some felt that her nomination was tantamount to victory.

There have been only seven African-American actresses nominated for Best Actress. All nominees were nominated only once:

# - Best Actress Nominee - Film
1 Dorothy Dandridge, Carmen Jones (1954)
2 Diana Ross, Lady Sings the Blues (1972)
3 Cicely Tyson, Sounder (1972)
4 Diahann Carroll, Claudine (1974)
5 Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple (1985)
6 Angela Bassett, What's Love Got to Do With It (1993)
7 Halle Berry, Monster's Ball (2001) (win)

[Added references - McG]


A historic first!--five Black actors up for 2007 Oscars.(Cover story): An article from: Jet
Book (Thomson Gale)

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Halle as Dorothy

Halle Berry's connection to the first African-American Best Actress Academy Award nominee runs much deeper than just skin deep: Berry played Dandridge in a TV biopic based on her life, for which she won an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 2000. Two years later, when Berry became the first African-American to win a Best Actress Oscar (for Monster's Ball), she paid a touching tribute to the '50s-era pioneer.

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