Black Entertainment : Fredi Washington

Discussion in 'Black Entertainment' started by cherryblossom, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Fredericka Carolyn "Fredi" Washington (December 23, 1903 - June 28, 1994) was an accomplished dramatic film actress, most active in the 1920s- 1930s. Of African-American ancestry, and frustrated at facing limited acting opportunities for that reason, she became an activist and journalist. Washington was a founding member of the Negro Actors Guild of America (NAG) in 1937 to create better professional opportunities. She also was Entertainment Editor of People's Voice, founded in 1942.

    Washington earned notice for her portrayal of Peola, a young African-American woman who passed for white in the 1934 Academy Award-nominated film Imitation of Life. She also appeared with Paul Robeson in The Emperor Jones in 1933.


    A native of Savannah, Georgia and the oldest of five children, Fredi Washington moved with her family in the Great Migration north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a young woman she went to New York to pursue studies in performance, including dance and an acting career.

    She married Lawrence Brown, the trombonist in Duke Ellington's jazz orchestra, a relationship which ended in divorce.

    Washington later married Anthony H. Bell, a dentist. Bell died in the 1980s. Washington died of a stroke, the last of several, on June 28, 1994 in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of 90.It was documented that Washington had children, but she preferred to keep her personal life out of the public eye.

    Washington's sister, Isabel Washington (May 23, 1909 - May 1, 2007), was also an actress. Isabel married Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., the first African American elected to Congress from New York state.

    At her death, Washington was also survived by her sisters Rosebud Smith of Jamaica, Queens, and Gertrude Penna of Orlando, FL, and a brother, Floyd Washington of Hempstead, Long Island, NY.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredi_Washington
     
  2. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    oh yeah i remember her from the movie ''imitation of life''' i didn't know she was black though...
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Now, don't confuse the 1950s COLOR version of "Imitation Of Life" with Lana Turner and Mahalia Jackson.....the woman who played "Peola" in THAT version WAS White.

    But, Fredi Washington played "Peola" in the 1930s version, the 1st movie.

    However, in spite of her coloring, Fredi Washington and her family didn't have any choice but to be "Black" according to the "One Drop Rule," anyway.
     
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