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Dorothy Dandridge Was Raised by Actress Mom & Her Cruel Longtime Girlfriend - Inside Ruby Dandridge’s Love Life

Olawale Ogunjimi
Sep 09, 2021
11:00 P.M.
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Dorothy Dandridge was the youngest child of her parents. She was born after her actress mom, Ruby, left her marriage for a girlfriend who was later cruel to Dorothy. Here are the untold truths about Ruby Dandridge.

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Ruby Dandridge was a go-getter who was particular about appearing on the big screens. She was born in Wichita, Kansas, along with three other siblings, but became the only famous individual in her household.

The woman was keen on singing, acting, and putting up a show at nightclubs. However, all these were mere dreams until her separation from her husband, Cyril Dandridge.

American singer and film actress, Dorothy Dandridge circa 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

American singer and film actress, Dorothy Dandridge circa 1955 | Photo: Getty Images

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The pair lived with Cyril's mother and had a troubling marriage; still, they welcomed two daughters. The first was Vivian, and the second, Dorothy, was born five months after Ruby left her marriage.

After leaving her marriage, the Wichita native ventured into entertainment and began portraying the roles of a maid in numerous radio shows and onscreen productions.

American actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge, circa 1950 | Photo: Getty Images

American actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge, circa 1950 | Photo: Getty Images

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Her credits included "Judy Canova Show," "Cabin in the Sky," "Corregidor," "Junior Miss," "Beulah," "My Wild Rose," and "Father Knows Best." She lived until age 87, when she passed away.

HOW WERE RUBY'S KIDS RAISED?

The mother of two did not give up on love, and she found it in the arms of a woman, Geneva Williams. Williams became her longtime partner, and the woman was cruel, a disciplinarian, and abused Ruby's girls sexually and physically.

Dorothy Dandridge wearing a white fur wrap in undated publicity still | Photo: Getty Images

Dorothy Dandridge wearing a white fur wrap in undated publicity still | Photo: Getty Images

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The established actress wanted her daughters to be successful in the entertainment industry, so she was more concerned about their eventual status than their emotional wellbeing.

Ruby trained her girls in singing and dancing; they created the "The Wonder Children" band and later connected with Etta Jones, a child singer.

Portrait of singer and actress Dorothy Dandridge | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of singer and actress Dorothy Dandridge | Photo: Getty Images

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This time, they formed a singing group known as the "Dandridge Sisters Trio," With a wild hunger for gigs, they appeared in churches in Southern towns and the interesting nightclubs in LA.

HIDDEN TRUTHS ABOUT DOROTHY DANDRIDGE

Dorothy was the youngest of Ruby's daughters but the most talked-about entertainer. She was an astonishingly beautiful lady who changed the image of black women in Hollywood.

American singer and actress Dorothy Dandridge in London, 25th April 1956 | Photo: Getty Images

American singer and actress Dorothy Dandridge in London, 25th April 1956 | Photo: Getty Images

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Despite the parental abuse she faced as a child, Dorothy had confidence in herself. As a young woman, she had a breathtaking appearance that teamed up with her acting brilliance, making her the envy of many.

The abusive childhood or racism did not keep her from soaring. She appeared in "A Day at the Races" and "Going Places" with her sister, Vivian.

Eventually, she danced with one man named Harold Nicolas of the dance group "Nicholas Brothers," who captured her heart, and they married in 1942. Her husband was an incorrigible womanizer, but their union produced a child, born brain-damaged.

Dorothy Dandridge smiles as she stands next to a large palm frond in a promotional portrait for director Robert Rossen's film, 'Island in the Sun' | Photo: Getty Images

Dorothy Dandridge smiles as she stands next to a large palm frond in a promotional portrait for director Robert Rossen's film, 'Island in the Sun' | Photo: Getty Images

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A few years later, Dorothy left the marriage and continued her journey to stardom. In 1951, she became an international star in music. She later played a prestigious role in 1953's "Bright Road" and "Carmen Jones," which gave her a spot on the Academy Awards nomination.

After "Carmen Jones," she did not get A-list roles in any top-notch production. The actress began dating white men, which was poorly received by her fellow African American community.

Dorothy Dandridge in a publicity still for the musical film 'Carmen Jones', circa 1954 | Photo: Getty Images

Dorothy Dandridge in a publicity still for the musical film 'Carmen Jones', circa 1954 | Photo: Getty Images

She married again in 1959, but her husband, Jack Denison, mismanaged her funds and was abusive. In 1962, they divorced, and Dorothy sought ways to revive her career, but only a fraction was recovered.

In 1965, the seemingly bankrupt and depressed star was found dead at age 42, and reports stated that she had overdosed on anti-depressants.

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