Image of Lena Horne

Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born on June 30, 1917 in New York. She was a singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Due to the Red Scare and her left-leaning political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood. Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television, while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway and earned her numerous awards and accolades. She continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000. Horne died on Mothers Day, May 9, 2010, in New York City of heart failure. Her funeral took place at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on Park Avenue in New York City. Thousands gathered to mourn her, including singers Leontyne Price, Dionne Warwick, Jessye Norman, Chita Rivera and actresses Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Leslie Uggams, Lauren Bacall, Audra McDonald and Vanessa L. Williams. During her lifetime, Horne was awarded four Grammys, a Tony, a NAACP Image Award and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1984.

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Jun 30, 1917 In Brooklyn, New York, United States
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Duke Is Tops 1938-01-02
Latest Project:
Movie TV in Black: The First Fifty Years 2004-01-01
Known For
Poster of Now!
Poster of The Duke Is Tops
Movie TV in Black: The First Fifty Years 2004-01-01
Movie That's Entertainment! III Herself - Co-Host / Narrator 1994-07-01
Movie DTV: Golden Oldies Herself 1984-09-01
Series The Cosby Show Unknown 1984-09-20
Movie The Wiz Glinda the Good 1978-10-24
Series The Kennedy Center Honors Unknown 1978-12-28
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-17
Series The Muppet Show Unknown 1976-09-05
Movie That's Entertainment! Herself - at Banquet / Clip from 'Thousands Cheer' (archive footage) 1974-06-21
Series Sanford and Son Unknown 1972-01-14
Series The Flip Wilson Show Unknown 1970-09-17
Movie Death of a Gunfighter Claire Quintana 1969-04-04
Series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Unknown 1968-01-22
Series The Dean Martin Show Unknown 1965-09-16
Movie Now! Herself (voice) 1965-06-23
Series The Judy Garland Show Unknown 1963-09-29
Series The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Unknown 1962-10-01
Movie Meet Me in Las Vegas Lena Horne 1956-03-09
Series The Steve Allen Show Unknown 1956-06-24
Series The Academy Awards Unknown 1953-03-18
Movie Duchess Of Idaho Herself - Cameo appearance 1950-07-14
Series Your Show of Shows Unknown 1950-02-25
Series The Colgate Comedy Hour Unknown 1950-09-10
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Words and Music Herself 1948-12-31
Series Tony Awards Unknown 1947-04-06
Movie Till the Clouds Roll By Julie LaVerne / Herself 1946-12-05
Movie Ziegfeld Follies Herself 1945-08-13
Movie Two Girls and a Sailor Specialty 1944-06-14
Movie Broadway Rhythm Fernway de la Fer 1944-01-19
Movie Cabin in the Sky Georgia Brown 1943-04-09
Movie Thousands Cheer Lena Horne 1943-01-01
Movie Stormy Weather Selina Rogers 1943-07-21
Movie I Dood It Herself 1943-09-01
Movie Swing Fever Herself 1943-11-01
Movie Panama Hattie As self, Singer in Phil's Place (uncredited) 1942-09-01
Movie The Duke Is Tops Ethel Andrews 1938-01-02