Ethel Waters

  1. Flora Robson, Saratoga Trunk, 1943.   The great Gospel singer and actress  Ethel Waters was the second Afro-American woman nominated  for an Oscar and the first to share billing with her white co-stars (who promptly refused to take bows with her until composer Irving Berlin told  them OK there won’t be any bows!). And yet when head bro Jack Warner paid $175,000 for the rights to  Edna Ferber’s  latest huge (ie rambling) novel, he dropped Waters for the white Brit Flora Robson in the role of  Angelique.
  2. Juanita Moore, Imitation of Life, 1958.     The perfect title for any of the soaps ilathered by producer Ross Hunter and director Doiuglas Sirlk.  At first, Hunter had planned a musical rehash (!) of the 1933 weepie, to star the 1953 Oscar-winner, Shirley Booth and the great gospel singer, once billed as Mama Stringbean.

 Birth year: 1896Death year: 1977Other name: Casting Calls:  1