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Actress and singer Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was one of the most popular performers of her time, known for films such as Cabin in the Sky and The Wiz as well as her trademark song, Stormy Weather.
See the fact file below for more interesting Lena Horne facts or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born on June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York.
- Her father was Edwin “Teddy” Horne, a numbers game banker, who left the family when she was three.
- Her mother, Edna, was a part of various theater troupes that travelled extensively, so Lena lived with her grandparents Cora Calhoun and Edwin Horne.
- She left school at age 16 to help support her family and became a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem.
- Lena’s movie career began in 1938 when she appeared in The Duke Is Tops.
- In 1942, she got her big break when she became a singer at a famous Hollywood nightclub, Felix Young Little Trot.
- Lena hit the big time when she signed a contract with Hollywood’s ‘Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’ in 1943. She became the first black person to have represented a Hollywood studio of that size.
- She starred in many famous movies for MGM and also worked for 20th Century Fox after being granted permission by her employers at MGM.
- She won critical acclaim for her performance in Stormy Weather (1943) and for singing the movie’s title song.
- With her singing career, she had several albums including It’s Love (1955) and Stormy Weather (1957).
- She also had a hit single with her version of Love Me or Leave Me, and her live set, Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria, became the biggest selling album by a woman for her label at the time.
- In the year 1978, Lena bid goodbye to her career as an actress with the film The Wiz in which she worked with stars such as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
- After some time out of the limelight, she made an award-winning comeback with her 1981 show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.
- She was also known for her work with civil rights groups and refused to play roles that stereotyped African-American women.
- By the end of the 1940s, Lena sued a variety of restaurants and theaters for discrimination.
- Lena became a member of the ‘Progressive Citizens of America’, a group known for left-wing views and that got her blacklisted from further work in the movies in the early 1950s.
- Lena was blacklisted for condemning racism, as well as for her association with Paul Robeson, an actor with Communist ties.
- She continued to work in nightclubs as an entertainer until the ban was lifted in 1956.
- Lena Horne died on May 9, 2010.
Lena Horne Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Lena Horne Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the actress and singer Lena Mary Calhoun Horne who was one of the most popular performers of her time, known for films such as Cabin in the Sky and The Wiz as well as her trademark song, Stormy Weather.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Lena Horne Facts
- Who is Lena Horne?
- Lena’s Career
- Career Comeback
- Fight Racism
- Poet’s Corner
- Word Power
- Racial Discrimination
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Link will appear as Lena Horne Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 12, 2017
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