Vintage Vamp: Actress/Activist Fredi Washington

Long before Halle, Dorothy or Lena ever dreamed of becoming actresses, Fredi Washington starred in one of film history's most important movies about race, 1934's The Imitation of Life. The story, which follows a biracial young woman who rejects her Black mother in order to "pass," struck a chord with Depression-era audiences and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Despite 29-year-old Washington's haunting performance as Peola, studio heads had no idea what to do with an African American woman with ivory skin and pale green eyes... Read More: Vintage Vamp: 'Hair' Star Marsha HuntVintage Vamp: R&B Singer Karyn White
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