Pearl Bailey

Pearl Mae Bailey ( born March 29, 1918 in Newport News, Virginia; † 17 August 1990 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was an American actress and singer.


Bailey sang as a child in the choir of the Pentecostal Church of her father. Deciding on a career as a singer was when she won an amateur competition of the 1933 Perl Theatre in Philadelphia. In the 1940s, she was a singer in various big bands. Her acting career began in 1946 when she won an award as the best Broadway newcomer for her role in the comedy St. Louis Woman.

A hit she succeeded in 1952 when her single Takes Two To Tango court reached 7 on the U.S. charts and 17 weeks was recorded in the charts. It should be their only hit.

There followed in 1954 the role of Frankie in the film Carmen Jones alongside Harry Belafonte and in 1959 the role of Maria in Porgy and Bess alongside Sidney Poitier and Dorothy Dandridge. From 1967 to 1969 she appeared in her most famous stage role in Hello, Dolly! on, for which she received a Tony Award. 1971 to 1972 she had her own television show, The Pearl Bailey Show at the ABC. Later, she began to study theology at Georgetown University, from which she graduated in 1978 with the Bachelor. She also wrote several books, including an autobiography.

Bailey has received numerous awards. In 1970, she appointed President Richard Nixon as America's Ambassador of Love, 1975, she became a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations and in 1988 she recorded Ronald Reagan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Under Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush was an American goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. In 1976 she was honored by the Screen Actors Guild for their " commitment to the care of the ideals of acting " with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and in 1989 by the Women's International Center for its global commitment to human rights.

Filmography (selection)