Lena Horne often referred to Dorothy as “OUR Marilyn Monroe”. Dorothy and Lena occasionally saw each other at an after hours joint called Brother’s. While these were always friendly, the two black goddesses would never become close friends. They were constantly compared, and Dorothy hated that. Our World, a national black publication, ran a feature titled “Dorothy Dandridge Learns to Dance”. This article stated “she [Dorothy Dandridge] has the voice, looks and sophistication to rival Lena’s. And she has something Lena Horne lacks, pretty legs. What’s more, they’re dancer’s legs.” The media created a “rivalry” between Dorothy and Lena. YES, it was the MEDIA that pitted these two legendary women against each other. The media wanted it to appear that only one Black goddess could reign at any given time. In a 1951 interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Dorothy stated “there is no feud between Lena and I. I don’t know her too well, but I think that she is an absolutely beautiful woman. I don’t know why there is this feeling of similarity, because actually we don’t look anything alike. We have absolutely no features that are the same. We may be a little bit similar in color. I don’t believe, of what I have seen Lena do on television and I’ve never seen her in a nightclub, that I work anything like Lena.”
African American, European, and Native American beauty Ms. Lena Horne
55. Lena Horne (The Graceful One)
Horne was the first black performer to be signed to a long term contract by a major Hollywood studio. Her sensual voice, alluring stage presence, and spectacular sense of style and stunning beauty were pure Old Hollywood perfection. In 1944, Lena Horne was the first African-American to land on the cover of a movie magazine. Her undeniable charm and good looks won her a ton of attention. One-shoulder dresses were a signature of Lena Horne’s on-stage ensembles for many years. “They didn’t make me into a maid, but they didn’t make me into anything else either,” she wrote in “Lena,” her 1965 autobiography. “I became a butterfly pinned to a column singing away in Movieland.” In the 1940’s, Lena Horne shun roles that called for her to play maids, opting instead for non-speaking cameos that focused on her beautiful voice. Lena Horne was a full-fledged Renaissance woman whose award-winning talents on stage and in film, coupled with her Civil Rights work, made her an icon.