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Monday, May 10, 2010

Lena...

I know I haven't lived up to my promise of posting, but I just haven't had the energy to do so lately. I had to pay my respects to the alpha mother of Black film, Lena Horne. I used this pic cause she looks almost exactly like my grandmother here--something I didn't notice until googling her picture. She looks so naturally beautiful, inside and out.

While I don't speak much on early Black cinema such as "Cabin In The Sky", etc. (though I really should), I have talked about Lena a few times. Like how sexy she was in that Gap commercial in 1997, though she was like 80, and wishing that if I'm blessed to live that long to be even half that sexy. I hope I am even half that sexy now!

Also, I talked about a biopic (which was supposedly confirmed by Oprah), that was to start filming in '08 with Alicia Keys playing Horne. Thank the most high that travesty didn't happen; sassy Lena was absolutely no joke, and didn't suffer fools easily, and to me, Keys would just not be the one for the job. But like I said back then--at least it wasn't Halle Berry.



I'm gonna sum up this tribute to "The Horne", as Fred G. Sanford of the respected Sanford And Son put it, by putting up the post from "D-Listed"

If you witnessed a tiny crystal bubble floating through Manhattan last night, it was Lena Horne gliding off to the Emerald City in the sky. Lena passed away on Sunday at the age of 92. Lena's rep wouldn't give anymore details.

Lena kicked down racial barriers when she became one of the first black performs to sing with an all-white orchestra in the 1940s. She was also the first black actress to land a long-term contract at a major movie studio. Lena starred in Panama Hattie, Stormy Weather, Cabin in the Sky and of course as Glenda the Good Witch in The Wiz. In the early 1960s, Lena became a prominent civil rights activist. If you haven't yet, you should read her obit at The New York Times.

Lena's Gap commercial:



And cause I'm a lover of Lena and Flip (TV Land, please bring back the Flip Wilson Show again!) here is another of her; singing a Kris Kristofferson song of all things:

11 comments:

msladydeborah said...

Miss Horne is always going to be a class act in my memories.

Sergio said...

She had more class and dignity in one finger than anyone working today. Truly the end of an era. Back when black entertainers really had respect for themselves and the audience.

And PLEASE no movies about her! Alicia Keys? Paula Patton? Forget it! There was only ONE Lena and no one can come even close

The Film Junkie said...

First and foremost, R.I.P. Lena Horne! Such a vibrant class act and so full of talent, she will be missed! Now as for the bio-pic issue, I would actually love to see a film about Miss Horne, provided they can do it right. I don't know who could play her, Alicia Keys resemble's her but isn't quite good enough of an actress yet, maybe Thandie Newton, but she's kinda skinny so I dunno. I actually like Halle Berry as an actress, she's proven that with the right direction she can really deliver, but I have no interest in seeing her play Lena. But, then again, Diana Ross looked nothing like Billie Holiday and she delivered a stellar performance, even if it was in a film that was good, not great.

Candice Frederick said...

such an incredibly sad day. what a classy, classy legend (without even trying to be one).

and p.s. PLEASE for the love of all that is holy do not allow alicia keys to "play" lena horne. that's just blasphemy! that chic cannot act!

bklyn6 said...

Long live Lena!

Thanks for posting.

(I'd like to see The Flip Wilson Show back on the air, too!)

Ms☆Go (dcmoviegirl) said...

Yeah, it seems like we're losing all of the old school classy entertainers.

I'm *still* mourning Eartha. :(

I don't count out Alicia. Despite the singer to actor thing, and her lacking chops shown thus far.

IDK, I've started thinking about all the white actors given a pass Kris Kristofferson, Sinatra, etc... who do this but somehow, black rapper-actors *especially* get a lot of hate.

I do understand a lot of that stems from the fact that the industry favors them over those who started out as actors because of name recognizablitity among the black hoard :P...

But that's not their fault. They're just playing the game.

Personally, I'm getting sick of the biopics about our legendary entertainers. I'd like see some of our other historical stories, like something about the first all-female big band, which was also notable for being mixed, another movie about Gullah-speaking people, Black Canadian settlements, etc...

Just something other movies about civil rights, slavery (though I would *kill* to see a Harriet Tubman movie), ex-slavery, or biopics on our entertainers.

Keith said...

I so sad to hear of her passing. Definitely a legend. What a beautiful and powerful voice.

Marvalus said...

I absolutely just loved her fire and spirit!

Don said...

Enjoyed the post. Of all the blog post I have read concerning Lena Horne, only this post and another really captured her true essence. Amazing how dignified and classy and professional this sista managed to remain over the course of her career and life.

I am sure she will never be forgotten.

Karen said...

That first photo is new to me. Horne will be missed.

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