Lena Horne - Black Singers, Timeline and Childhood

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Lena Horne's Personal Details

Lena Horne was a famous American actress and civil rights activist and is remembered for her roles in ‘The Duke Is Tops’ and ‘Cabin in the Sky’

InformationDetail
BirthdayJune 30, 1917
Died onMay 9, 2010
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Actress, African American Dancers, African American Singers, Black Musicians, Black Singers, Activists, Civil Rights Activists, Actresses, Singers, Jazz Singers
City/StateNew Yorkers
SpousesLennie Hayton, Louis Jordan Jones
Known asLena Mary Calhoun Horne
Childrens Gail Buckley, Terry Jones
Universities
  • Girls' High School
  • Boys and Girls High School
Birth PlaceBedford-Stuyvesant
Height166cm
GenderFemale
FatherEdwin Fletcher
MotherEdna Louise Scottron
Sun SignCancer
Born inBedford-Stuyvesant
Famous asSinger
Died at Age92

// Famous Singers

Lena Horne's photo

Who is Lena Horne?

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was a woman of versatile talents who wowed audiences with her skills as a dancer and singer; while on the other hand she made her mark in Bollywood as an actress of rare quality. Apart from being a famous entertainer she also went on to become one of the most important civil rights activists in the United States of America during her lifetime and did a lot in order to elevate the situation of African Americans. Although it is true that Horne’s personal views, political inclinations and activism put her at odds with the established big hitters of the entertainment industry of her time; she did not let it bog her down and continued to be continued to work for upliftment of the people of colour across America. She worked in various shows on television, films and also in plays at some of the leading theatres of the time throughout a career that stretched over a period of seven decades in total. She became the first African American to be a part of the roster of a major studio in Hollywood and that opened the gates for plenty of new talents from the community. Read on to know more about her life and works.

// Famous African American Actress

Childhood & Early Life

Born on June 30, 1917 Lena Horne was the daughter of Edwin Fletcher Horne Junior and Edna Louise Scrotton in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Her father ran a gambling operation and was well off while her mother worked as a theatre actress who performed at theatres all over the United States.

In the year 1920, when Lena Home was only a child of 3, her father left the house and although there was no financial strife, the estrangement with her father at such a young age was an unpleasant experience. She moved in with her grandparents since her mother was a frequent traveller.

From the age of 5 onwards she started living with different relatives; starting with his mother in Georgia and then from the age of 10 till 12 she stayed with Frank Horne, her uncle. Her uncle, who went on to serve as the advisor of Franklin Roosevelt was an early influence on the young Lena.

At the age of 12 in 1929, Horne moved to New York with his mother and attended a school in Brooklyn which was simply named the ‘Girls High School’. She did not complete school and discontinued her formal education at the age of 18.

Career

In the year 1934, Lena Horne got her first break as an actress when she was able to land a role for the ‘Cotton Club Parade’. Actress and singer Adelaide Hall, who was also a part of the project, became her earliest mentor in the industry.

In the year 1938 she was featured in a musical known as ‘The Duke in Tops’, however it was a production made on a low budget and did not much further her career as an actress. Two years later she featured in shorter movie known as ‘Boogie Woogie Dream’.

In 1942, she got her big break when she got the job of being a singer at a famous Hollywood nightclub named ‘Felix Young Little Trot’. During her time there she became well known among the power brokers of Hollywood.

Lena hit the big time when she signed a contract with Hollywood heavyweights ‘Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer’ in the year 1943. It was indeed a momentous occasion as Horne became the first black person to have represented a Hollywood studio of that size.

Throughout the 1940s the budding actress starred in plenty of famous movies for MGM and also worked for ‘20th Century Fox’ after being granted permission by her employers at MGM. Her success as an actress was also recognised when she became a member of the board of the ‘Screen Actors Guild’.

Lena became a member of the ‘Progressive Citizens of America’ that was a group known for left wing views and that got her black listed from further work in the movies in the early 1950s. However, she continued to work in nightclubs as an entertainer till the ban was lifted in 1956.

She was also a member of the ‘National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’ and was a major face of the civil rights movement in the country at the time. In the year 1963, she participated in a civil rights march in Washington.

In the year 1978, Horne finally bade goodbye to her career as an actress with the film ‘The Wiz’ in which she starred alongside such stars as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. It is worthwhile to not that it was also one of those rare movies in which the entire cast consisted of African Americans.

Major Works

Although she had an outstanding career in Hollywood, it was much later in life that she produced her best work. In the year 1981, she produced the Broadway show ‘Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music’ which went on to win several awards and was extremely successful for more than a year.

Personal Life & Legacy

In the year 1937, Lena married Luis Jordan Jones at the age of 20 and the couple was blessed with a daughter named Gail and a son named Edwin. The daughter went on to become writer. The couple got divorced in the year 1944.

Three years after her first marriage ended in divorce, Lena got married for the second time to music director Lennie Hayton in 1947. They had no children and the couple separated after 15 years of marriage.

She died on May 9, 2010 in her home in New York. Horne will forever be remembered as one of the institutions of American entertainment and civil rights movement.

// Famous Actresses

Lena Horne biography timelines

  • // 30th Jun 1917
    Born on June 30, 1917 Lena Horne was the daughter of Edwin Fletcher Horne Junior and Edna Louise Scrotton in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Her father ran a gambling operation and was well off while her mother worked as a theatre actress who performed at theatres all over the United States.
  • // 1920
    In the year 1920, when Lena Home was only a child of 3, her father left the house and although there was no financial strife, the estrangement with her father at such a young age was an unpleasant experience. She moved in with her grandparents since her mother was a frequent traveller.
  • // 1929
    At the age of 12 in 1929, Horne moved to New York with his mother and attended a school in Brooklyn which was simply named the ‘Girls High School’. She did not complete school and discontinued her formal education at the age of 18.
  • // 1934
    In the year 1934, Lena Horne got her first break as an actress when she was able to land a role for the ‘Cotton Club Parade’. Actress and singer Adelaide Hall, who was also a part of the project, became her earliest mentor in the industry.
  • // 1937 To 1944
    In the year 1937, Lena married Luis Jordan Jones at the age of 20 and the couple was blessed with a daughter named Gail and a son named Edwin. The daughter went on to become writer. The couple got divorced in the year 1944.
  • // 1938
    In the year 1938 she was featured in a musical known as ‘The Duke in Tops’, however it was a production made on a low budget and did not much further her career as an actress. Two years later she featured in shorter movie known as ‘Boogie Woogie Dream’.
  • // 1942
    In 1942, she got her big break when she got the job of being a singer at a famous Hollywood nightclub named ‘Felix Young Little Trot’. During her time there she became well known among the power brokers of Hollywood.
  • // 1943
    Lena hit the big time when she signed a contract with Hollywood heavyweights ‘Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer’ in the year 1943. It was indeed a momentous occasion as Horne became the first black person to have represented a Hollywood studio of that size.
  • // 1947
    Three years after her first marriage ended in divorce, Lena got married for the second time to music director Lennie Hayton in 1947. They had no children and the couple separated after 15 years of marriage.
  • // 1956
    Lena became a member of the ‘Progressive Citizens of America’ that was a group known for left wing views and that got her black listed from further work in the movies in the early 1950s. However, she continued to work in nightclubs as an entertainer till the ban was lifted in 1956.
  • // 1963
    She was also a member of the ‘National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’ and was a major face of the civil rights movement in the country at the time. In the year 1963, she participated in a civil rights march in Washington.
  • // 1978
    In the year 1978, Horne finally bade goodbye to her career as an actress with the film ‘The Wiz’ in which she starred alongside such stars as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. It is worthwhile to not that it was also one of those rare movies in which the entire cast consisted of African Americans.
  • // 1981
    Although she had an outstanding career in Hollywood, it was much later in life that she produced her best work. In the year 1981, she produced the Broadway show ‘Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music’ which went on to win several awards and was extremely successful for more than a year.
  • // 9th May 2010
    She died on May 9, 2010 in her home in New York. Horne will forever be remembered as one of the institutions of American entertainment and civil rights movement.

// Famous African American Singers

Lena Horne's FAQ

  • What is Lena Horne birthday?

    Lena Horne was born at 1917-06-30

  • When was Lena Horne died?

    Lena Horne was died at 2010-05-09

  • Where was Lena Horne died?

    Lena Horne was died in Manhattan

  • Which age was Lena Horne died?

    Lena Horne was died at age 92

  • Where is Lena Horne's birth place?

    Lena Horne was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant

  • What is Lena Horne nationalities?

    Lena Horne's nationalities is American

  • Who is Lena Horne spouses?

    Lena Horne's spouses is Lennie Hayton, Louis Jordan Jones

  • Who is Lena Horne childrens?

    Lena Horne's childrens is Gail Buckley, Terry Jones

  • What was Lena Horne universities?

    Lena Horne studied at Girls' High School, Boys and Girls High School

  • How tall is Lena Horne?

    Lena Horne's height is 166

  • Who is Lena Horne's father?

    Lena Horne's father is Edwin Fletcher

  • Who is Lena Horne's mother?

    Lena Horne's mother is Edna Louise Scottron

  • What is Lena Horne's sun sign?

    Lena Horne is Cancer

  • How famous is Lena Horne?

    Lena Horne is famouse as Singer