Fredi Washington

  1. Diahann Carroll, Porgy and Bess, 1958.  Columbia’s hated  czar, Harry Cohn, wanted  – incredibly – to do it in black-face.  With Fred Astaire as    Sportin’  Life opposite Al Jolson’s Porgy and Rita Hayworth’s Bess!  Said the Gershwin brothers:  “Get outa here!”  Columbia gave up and sold its rights to Fox which  fancied Fredi as Clara before selling out to Samuel Goldwyn’s final production starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge. Actress Isabel Washington’s sister, Fredi (also billed as Edith Warren) was a  civil rights advocate and co-founder of the Negro Actors Guild.  She was urged to pass for white “and become a bigger star than Garbo!” She always refused. “Because I’m honest and because you don’t have to be white to be good”

 Birth year: 1903Death year: 1994Other name: Casting Calls:  1