October 29, 2013
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York in a small Jewish hospital. Her parents were Edna Scottron Horne and Edwin “Teddy” Horne. October 1919, lend Horne was the youngest member of the NAACP, Lena’s photo appeared in the October 1919 issue of the NAACP Branch Bulletin. Lena’s parents divorced, when she was three. Due to her mother traveling Lena grew up in numerous places like Brooklyn, Bronx, Georgia and Miami. When Lena were sixteen year old Lena starred in a Charity show. She played the role of the bride in “marriage via contract” with the junior theatre Guild. 1934 she started working for “The Cotton Club” as a dancer. Lena was in “Dance with Gods” show of broad as the Quadroon girl. She married Louis J. jones in 1937. Exactly 11 months later her daughter Gail was born. Lena later stated that she married Louis to escape to show business life. Forced to go back to work because of financial problems, Lena landed a leading role in the all black musical “The Duke is Tops”. February 1940 she gave birth to her 2nd, child Edwin “Teddy”. Lena’s marriage to Louis Jones ended by the end of 1940. Lena became a Vocalist with Charlie Barents band. It f was a white band and Lena toured and made a few recording with them. In 1990 Lena went to work at the Care Society Nightclub, Barney Josephson wanted Lena to sing a Blues number during her set. By 1942 Lena moved to Hollywood, Lena signed a 7 year contract with MGM studios, she was the highest paid black actor at the time.i She was featured in life magazine as a provocative new singing star. 1943 had three movies released within the first 6 months: Swing Fever, Cabin in the sky and Stormy Weathers. She was also in magazines like time, Life and Newsweek. 1945 Lena turned down the role in the Broadway show “St. Louis Woman” that MGM wanted her to do and was placed on a long suspension. Lena hires a white manager,...
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