Gertrude Jeannette

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Gertrude Jeannette (born November 28, 1914)[1] is an African-American film and stage actress. She was blacklisted during the Red Scare, along with her friend Paul Robeson. She founded the H.A.D.L.E.Y Players in Harlem, New York, and remains active in mentoring African-American actors in New York City.[2][3]

Jeannette was born in Urbana, Arkansas. In 1935 she became the first woman to get a license to drive a motorcycle in New York City, and she joined her husband's motorcycle club in the early 1940s. [4][3] In 1942, she took and passed the cab driver's test and became the first female cab driver in New York City. [3] She continued to drive a cab until 1949 when she got her first big acting gig on Broadway in the play "Lost in the Stars." [5]

Jeannette is one of several prominent African American theater directors featured in the 13 minute documentary Drama Mamas: Black Women Theatre Directors In the Spotlight and Remembered, which was shown at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York in March 2006.

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Role
Nothing But A Man 1964 Mrs Dawson
Black Girl 1972
The Legend of Nigger Charley 1972 Theo

'Come Back Charleston Blue' (1972)

Theater Credits[edit]

Title Year Role
Vieux Carre 1977 Nursie
Nobody Loves an Albatross 1963-64 Sarah Washington
Lost in the Stars 1949-50 Grace Kumalo

Awards[edit]

  • 1984 Audelco Outstanding Pioneer Award
  • 1987 AT&T and Black American Newspaper's Personality of the Year Award
  • 1991 Named a Living Legend at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • 1992 Harlem Business Recognition Award from the Manhattan Section of the National Council of Negro Women
  • 1992 Paul Robeson Award [1]
  • 1999 Inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame

References[edit]

  1. ^ Profile, thehistorymakers.com; accessed February 22, 2017.
  2. ^ Profile, danaroc.com; accessed December 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Biodata, actorsequity.org; accessed December 23, 2014.
  4. ^ Biography, thehistorymakers.com; accessed December 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Profile of Jeannette, nydailynews.com; accessed December 23, 2014.