RIP, Lena Horne!

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    May 10, 2010 12:36 PM GMT
    Lena Horne passes away at 92 (http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/05/10/lena-horne-dies/)

    by Christine Spines

    Categories: In Memoriam, Music, News, Stage, Television

    Lena Horne, the ground-breaking singer, actress and civil rights activist who, in 1942, became the first African-American performer to be put under contract by a major studio, died on Sunday, May 9, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92. According to the New York Times, Horne’s death was announced by her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley.

    Though her movie career spanned nearly six decades and included a smattering of well-regarded films, like Stormy Weather (1943), Ziegfeld Follies (1946), and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956), Horne was best known for her singing. Her music highpoints include blockbuster collaborations with Tony Bennett, Grammy-winning recordings of her Vegas nightclub act (1981′s The Lady and Her Music, Live on Broadway, and 1995′s An Evening With Lena Horne), and her Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway musical, Calypso. Horne grew up in an upper-middle-class African American enclave of Brooklyn, raised primarily by her grandparents after age 3, when both her parents left the family. By the time she was 16, Horne had scored a regular singing gig at Manhattan’s Cotton Club. Her knack for dramatic flourish and romantic renditions of jazz standards led to appearances on TV variety shows including The Ed Sullivan Show and The Dean Martin Show, as well as a role in the big-screen musical, The Duke Is Tops (193icon_cool.gif. Though she never found the substantial, satisfying work she sought on film, Horne did make an impact, later in life, on TV in recurring roles on The Muppet Show and The Cosby Show.

    Throughout her career, Horne was equally dedicated to her advocacy for civil rights. She was an early pioneer in the movement for equality, fighting for desegregation alongside such legends of the movement as Paul Robeson and Medgar Evers. She also fought with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws. The combination of Horne’s disarming talent and fierce individuality created a powerful force in breaking down racial barriers in Hollywood and beyond.

    Horne is survived by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley. Horne’s husband and her son both died in 1971, the latter of kidney failure.
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    May 10, 2010 12:46 PM GMT
    Yes, a sad day. Seems like all the greats are gone now. Lena, Eartha.....


    does anyone honestly think we'll see an Obit commiserating the passing of Madonna in the same vein? Or Taylor Swift? Or Molly Cyrus?icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 10, 2010 1:04 PM GMT
    This is sad. Rest in Peace in that Cabin in the Sky, Lena. One of my favorite performances.
  • jgymnast733

    Posts: 1783

    May 11, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
    I'll always remember her,
    After the Gala opening nights performance of Alvin Ailey's american dance theater- Lena Horne graced us with her presence at the post performance party...She was beautiful, kind and a true star,,she had a glow about her that i'd never seen before, it didnt take me long to realize that i was witnessing the DIVA-DOM of old hollywood.....
    I loved the way she made me feel that evening, i'll never forget it... One day while waiting in the exc office's at Alvin Ailey a young man came in and he was damn cute, i was informed by the receptionist that he was there to meet someone who was going to present him to Lena Horne's granddaughter. [ well kid's ] once he got a look at the size the my ass he asked me to hang with him later that evening and i said okay,[ you know i did ya'll]..
    Anyway, he was a princeton boy from a good family and turned out to be a first class jerk....[true story]
    Rest in Peace Lena....icon_exclaim.gif
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    May 11, 2010 12:24 AM GMT
    I remember her from the Dean Martin show--






  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    May 11, 2010 12:32 AM GMT
    I was just thinking about her last week, wondering when her bio pic was going to get made/released. I remember hearing about it around the time of Janet Jackson's superbowl incident since Janet was considered to portray her.

    She's a fine talent and will surely be missed.
  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    May 11, 2010 12:41 AM GMT
    icon_sad.gif
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    May 11, 2010 12:47 AM GMT
    A legendary talent with timeless music! Her musical gift to us is incredible!
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    May 11, 2010 12:58 AM GMT
    Truly a great lady!!!!!
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    May 11, 2010 1:03 AM GMT
    Class with a capital C. You will be missed, Miss Lena!
  • Midas426

    Posts: 965

    May 11, 2010 1:05 AM GMT
    Yeah it's truly sad. Another legend is gone. But her memory lives on in her legacy of work.
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    May 11, 2010 1:21 AM GMT
    pure talent pure class
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    May 11, 2010 1:30 AM GMT
    RIP Lenaicon_cry.gif
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    May 11, 2010 7:43 AM GMT
    [url][/url]

    I'm so lucky. I got to see and hear her sing a number of times in my life. What a beautiful woman - and a powerful singer. I'll never forget her.

    Lena Horne was in her 50's in this clip. She once said she began taking good care of herself and preparing for her old age when she was 28. I shook hands with her when she was in her mid sixties. I couldn't believe how young her hands looked. Her face remained beautiful as well - and apparently was not ever surgically enhanced. I'm not surprised she made it to 92.

    I saw Lena doing a duet of the song Day In, Day Out with Judy Garland on the T.V. series from the 1960's. You know, she was five years older than Judy Garland, yet she lived 41 years longer than Judy. It pays to take care of ourselves.
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    May 15, 2010 11:01 PM GMT
    As a follow-up to Ms. Horne's passing, I am deeply offended that many news channels, especially those entertainment news shows, did not dedicate enough time toward remembering this iconic class act of American culture. Aside from being a timeless musical entertainer, her distinguished devotion to equal rights was profound and immeasurable. Yet, both her passing and coverage of her recent funeral proceedings were just mere snippets and not a touching tribute. This is a true shame, but since her life wasn't as tragic or trashy like many current celebrities, perhaps profiling someone with dignified decency and class is a strong no-no in today's entertainment world.
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    May 15, 2010 11:03 PM GMT
    She was fuckin awesome.

    PBS put up the American Master's episode of her online as a memorial. You can watch the whole thingy on the internets.



    Great quote from Bobby Short in this documentary:

    "Anybody who wasn't madly in love with Lena Horne should report to his undertaker immediately, and turn himself in."
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    May 15, 2010 11:30 PM GMT
    jgymnast733 saidI'll always remember her,
    After the Gala opening nights performance of Alvin Ailey's american dance theater- Lena Horne graced us with her presence at the post performance party...She was beautiful, kind and a true star,,she had a glow about her that i'd never seen before, it didnt take me long to realize that i was witnessing the DIVA-DOM of old hollywood.....
    I loved the way she made me feel that evening, i'll never forget it... One day while waiting in the exc office's at Alvin Ailey a young man came in and he was damn cute, i was informed by the receptionist that he was there to meet someone who was going to present him to Lena Horne's granddaughter. [ well kid's ] once he got a look at the size the my ass he asked me to hang with him later that evening and i said okay,[ you know i did ya'll]..
    Anyway, he was a princeton boy from a good family and turned out to be a first class jerk....[true story]
    Rest in Peace Lena....icon_exclaim.gif


    the current crop of studio augmented, media whored out MTV "divas" pale in comparison to the real thing like Lena Horne. icon_sad.gif