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Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  21 August 1999 (USA)
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This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best... See full summary »



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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 21 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Harold Nicholas (as Obba Babatunde)
Auntie (as LaTanya Richardson)
Don Gettinger ...
Hotel Clerk
Oscar Emcee
Darrian C. Ford ...
M.J. Sawyer ...
B&W Movie Actress


This biography of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career through early days on the club circuit with her sister to her turn in movies, including becoming the first black actress to win a Best Actress Nomination in 1954 for "Carmen Jones", to her final demise to prescription drugs, which was debated whether it was suicide or accidental. Brent Spiner plays her faithful manager who stood beside her through all of the roller coaster of her career. The film also examines her love affair with director Otto Preminger, which is shown to have probably initially helped her career, but later probably led her to some wrong decisions. The film also examines 50's racism as the black star is not permitted to use white bathrooms or the Vegas pool. In the first situation, she was given a bathroom cup to pee in. In the second situation, the hotel drained the pool and scrubbed it after she dared put her foot in the water. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Right woman. Right place. Wrong time. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dorothy Dandridge  »

Box Office


$9,200,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When production ran over budget the studio wanted to cut the red carpet scene at the end of the film. Halle Berry desperately wanted to keep the scene, so she paid for it herself (HBO subsequently reimbursed her). See more »


Otto Preminger tells Dorothy that Carmen Jones is the first major studio movie to feature an all-black cast but at least one (MGM's Cabin in the Sky) was released more than 10 years earlier. See more »


Dorothy Dandridge: [angrily] Tonight, I'll take my bows and exit stage rear, go through the kitchen, past the casino, around the pool, which I'm apparently too dirty to swim in, up the service elevator, into my luxurious penthouse, sip my complimentary champagne, and pee in a brand new Dixie cup!
Earl Mills: I take that walk with you every night, you know.
Dorothy Dandridge: But the difference is, Earl, you don't HAVE to!
See more »


Featured in The 52nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2000) See more »


Your Red Wagon
Written by Don Raye, Gene de Paul, Richard M. Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

A sizzling portrayal of a star who fizzled out before her time
21 August 1999 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

By far, a tour de force for Berry. She gives a more than convincing portrayal of the first black woman ever to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. Not only is Berry's performance breathtaking, but the fact that the story is based on actual events, made my lungs collapse as well.

Too bad Dandridge didn't make the Emmy nomination deadline.....Berry would have taken home the award that both her and Dandridge deserve(d).

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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