My Goodreads friend Damon Evans knows I love old movies and asked if I'd ever heard of the African American actress Francine Everett. I had not. So thank you, Damon, for bringing her to my attention. She was a knockout and refused to be cast in racially demeaning roles as domestics in Hollywood films of the 1930s and and '40s. Instead, she was a star of Race Films, films made by black studios that catered to black audiences. Here's more from Wikipedia:
Among Everett's starring roles were the films Paradise in Harlem (1939), Keep Punching (1939) co-starring Canada Lee and Dooley Wilson, Big Timers (1945) co-starring Moms Mabley and Stepin Fetchit, Tall, Tan and Terrific (1946) with Mantan Moreland and Dots Johnson, and Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946), directed by Spencer Williams.
Everett's association with Hollywood was brief and desultory. She first arrived in Hollywood in the mid-1930s with husband Rex Ingram, but refused to accept racially demeaning stereotypical roles. After starring in Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A., she had bit parts in two Hollywood films: Lost Boundaries (1949) and Sidney Poitier's first film, No Way Out (1950).
To find out more about Francine Everett, click here. To see her perform, check out Dirty Gertie From Harlem USA and "If This Isn't Love."
Had you ever heard of Francine Everett? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!