Dorothy Dandridge

by ethnic on June 24, 2009

Dorothy_Dandridge_no copyright

Birth Name: Dorothy Jean Dandridge

Date of Birth: November 9, 1922

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio

Date of Birth: September 8, 1965

Place of Death: West Hollywood, California

Ethnicity: African-American, some English

Dorothy Dandridge was an American actress, singer, and dancer. She was known for her films Carmen Jones, Tomango, Porgy and Bess, and many more. Dorothy’s parents were both black, and she also had some English ancestry.

Her father, Cyril H. Dandridge, was a minister and cabinetmaker, born in Ohio. Her mother, Ruby Dandridge (born Ruby Jean Butler), born in Wichita, Kansas, was an actress from 1900 until the 1950s. Dorothy was once married to Harold Nicholas, from the Nicholas Brothers.

Dorothy’s paternal grandparents were James Henry Dandridge (the son of Albert Dandridge and Edwina) and Florence Jessie Locke (the daughter of John/Joshua Locke and Ellen Johnson). James and Florence were born in Canada. John was born in England. Ellen was born in Kentucky.

Dorothy’s maternal grandparents were George Frank Butler and Nellie Simmons. Dorothy’s mother’s family was from North Carolina.

In her autobiography, Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy, Dorothy stated that her mother had Jamaican, Mexican, and Native American ancestry. It appears that these statements were inaccurate.

by Precious28

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant July 5, 2015 at 8:46 am

i looked at dozens of photos of her and i didn t think of her as a biracial

she looked more full caucasian with some italian or eastern european looking

but then i focused my eyes on her picture here and saw a doublegänger of JANET JACKSON

Freerk April 28, 2015 at 8:43 pm

She looks more European than African-American.

I think, the problem with statements of Americans in the past about people like “Dorothy’s parents were both black” (usually) is that ANY percentage of African blood made a person “black” in the view of the white community (and the authorities). So if just one person out of your 8 great-grantparents was of African-American descent, they called you “black”.

That’s crap. But that’s probably what you read in a population census. I hope the times have changed?

fuzzybear44 May 4, 2015 at 12:04 am


(She looks more European than African-American.)

African-American is simply a cultural Identity, there is no fixed look .Also as far as the family goes, they look black to me.

M May 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

She was a pretty woman. I had no idea she was black though. I remember seeing pictures of her before I even knew who she was or what her name was. I would have guessed maybe part Middle Eastern, or Italian and Greek.

M May 30, 2015 at 5:34 pm

To add to my previous comment. Now that I’m googling her, she also looks kind of Indian.

Princess June 14, 2014 at 1:58 am

Strange how they called her a “Black actress”. She looks like a White woman with light brown skin.

Michella Murphy June 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm

This woman was scorned by white people, haven’t you read her biography? why the hell would she want to be classified as white!

angrygirl19 November 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

Wow. Ignorance is real.
She’s a black woman because that’s whats listed in her DNA.

WTF November 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

She didn’t look black, and you know it too. She had a lot of white in her. Why tf you think she was successful in Hollywood??? Bc she looked “white”, and they cast her in a lot tragic mulatto roles. Halle Berry portrayed her in that movie, Introducing Dorothy Dandrige. She wasn’t just black, bitch. Stop claiming us mixed people as black, it’s fuckin annoying and ignorant. FUCK the one drop rule!

WTF November 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm

A lot of her roles were tragic mulatto characters. She didn’t look black, she looked mixed. Why tf are all these annoying black people claiming mixed people as black? To feel better about themselves or what? Smh stupid bitches.

angrygirl19 September 30, 2015 at 11:46 am

I bet you your cyber ass wouldn’t say that to my face. the only stupid bitch is you, ho. that 1/8 don’t count for nothing. that girl was black, sit yo funky ass DOWN

julieanna July 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Well it says the information was stated from her autobiography. You can’t argue with someone about their own race. Whatever race she was — she was a beautiful woman.

Sami April 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Where in the world do you get your facts? Because they aren’t facts. Her mother was a black woman, and dad white. Mexican, German, and all those other mixes… my foot.

Anonymous March 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Her mother was of Irish, German, Jamaican, and Native American descent. Did not see anything on her mother having Mexican ancestry, though it could be possible. Her father was of English, Scottish, and African American descent. She was indeed a BEAUTIFUL woman. She was the “Halle Berry” of her time

Mixed Is Beautiful December 2, 2011 at 1:32 am

The fact is that she was mixed, just accept it! Jeezusssss.

cynthia October 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm

And to the retard that said she was CREOLE!!!!! CREOLE is FRENCH & AFRICAN!

Chantel November 29, 2011 at 2:40 am

Naw… creole is wayyy more than french and african mixture..
It is any mixture of european and a person born of the land in which the europeans inhabited. Like cubans are called crilloes, as well as haitians…etc.

cynthia October 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

People need to stop focusing on RACE!!!!!!!! we all are from the same place orignally anyways…..i feel very sorry for U PEOPLE that limit yourselfs of knowing GOOD PEOPLE because u r so caught up in race! sounds to me u are insecure with your own ETCHNICITY….oh and in case u were wondering i’m not white or black!

over9000 October 9, 2011 at 3:49 am

She would be considered Creole.

Diamond September 1, 2011 at 9:53 pm

It’s not only White people. It’s ignorant people.
The sad truth is there aren’t many Black celebrities who aren’t mixed. But just because you don’t see enough beautiful Black people on TV, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
The problem is that for SOME people, the only attractive Black people that they see are on TV. But it’s a big world out there. Not all Black people look the same. Don’t limit your view just to what you see on the idiot box.

ana August 2, 2011 at 11:35 am

Dorothy was mixed not black pure blacks don’t look like her .B

Amber Berg August 2, 2011 at 12:29 pm

She wasnt directly mixed both her parents were African American, with a mixture somewhere but not direct.

Candice September 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm

What exactly do “pure blacks” look like?

Last time I checked, Black people come in all shades, shapes, and sizes.

genine December 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm

twat i mean ana
i look just like her and my parents are both black

onesmartcookie May 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm

meant *died*

onesmartcookie May 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

not trying to be racist or anything, but it was because of a white man she did so early

denisha March 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm


hhhh March 14, 2011 at 4:35 am

Dorothy Dandridge mother was not jamaican, mexican, and native american. This is made up! Her mother is just jamaican and her father isnt biracial…smh…always trying to make black people especially, celebs more “mixed” than what they really are.

total23 March 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

Dorothy Dandridge Mother Is Of Jamaican, Mexican, And Native American Descent! And Her Father Was Biracial! There Are Many Proofs On The Internet!

dottie March 23, 2011 at 3:20 am

white hollywood wants blacks to feel inferior about their black heritage so they want to say , you have to be mixed with something to be beautiful which is a load of bullshit to me.

liyah June 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

exactly preach

Charlito August 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You could plainly tell that the Women was Of a Multi-Racial Background. Its you Black People that try to make us Mixed people BLACKER then we already are.

John West August 15, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Nowhere in my readings am I given to understand that the late Ruby Jean Dandridge — “Oriole” of the radio show “Beulah” — was of mixed heritage.

cheryl October 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm

i didn’t know she had jamiacan roots most black celebrities don’t mention west indian roots much love to her since that was back in the day

total23 May 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm


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