Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Unsung of the Screen: Vivian Dandridge (Post Two)

After much success throughout the years of 1938 and 1939, Dorothy Dandridge decided she wanted to go pursue an acting a career in about 1940, leaving Vivian and Etta to find work of their own.

Vivian tried to find work in nightclubs, but very few were interested. Vivian was to get a few uncredited roles in movies like Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather

I personally was able to spot Vivian in a couple of scenes in Stormy Weather, and she's the dancer dancing in at 0:55 of this clip from Cabin in the Sky and the one jumping up beside Duke Ellington towards the end:

(Clip from "Cabin in the Sky")

However, Vivian's most popular work (unfortunately) would probably be as the voice of lead characters in some of Old Hollywood's most racist cartoons--cartoons that were eventually banned.

She provides the voice of "The Girl" at about 4:34 in this banned cartoon called "Scrub Me Mama With a Boogie Beat":

She also provided the voice of "So White" in the more controversial Merry Melodies cartoon: "Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs". Her mother, Ruby also provided the voice of Mammy and by the way it sounds, I believe she may have also portrayed the voice of the child too (Ruby was popular for her high pitched voice in certain TV/Movie/Radio roles).

In Post Three tomorrow, we will talk more about Vivian's personal life and life under her sister and her mother's shadow.



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