Written by Jocelyne Ninneman
Rest in Power, Rest in Peace, Rest in Paradise | The world lost the incomparable American singer, actress, dancer & civil rights activist, Ms. Lena Horne this week on 05.09.10, and if there are ever people that are simply embody the term icon, Ms. Horne was certainly one of the most adored and respected. Her mixed-heritage beauty breathtaking, her talent unmatched and her commitment to civil rights stealth, Horne influenced generations of performance artists and minorities, especially young African-American women.
She represented countless human rights organizations, even after leaving her native New York City for Hollywood, the famed Cotton Club landing her her start in show business. A Blue Note recording artist for more than a decade, she was of course known for her roles in the classic films “Stormy Weather” and “Cabin in the Sky” – although she spent much time on the stage and on Broadway, trained in her early years (like Eartha Kitt) by another late, great dance and human activism icon, Ms. Katherine Dunham – both women known for pioneering the boycott of segregated theatre. To say that she aged gracefully would be an understatement, as she passed at the age of 92, after having done commercials and talk shows even into her 80s.
A biopic with Janet Jackson cast as Horne was produced in 2004 but pulled from release due to Jackson’s SuperBowl wardrobe scandal. Rumors report that Oprah may produce it instead with Alicia Keys cast as Horne.