American movie stars died in 1961

Here are 30 famous actresses from United States of America died in 1961:

Anna May Wong

Anna May Wong (January 3, 1905 Los Angeles-February 3, 1961 Santa Monica) a.k.a. Wong Liu Tsong, Anna Wong, Anna Mae Wong, Wong Lew Song or Huáng Liǔshuāng was an American actor.

She was the first Chinese-American Hollywood actress and became a leading lady in the film industry during the 1920s and 1930s. Wong's career was celebrated for breaking stereotypes and challenging the prevalent yellowface practice in Hollywood. Despite her success, she faced discrimination in the US and was often denied leading roles. Wong was a trailblazer for Asian-American actors and was praised for her graceful acting abilities and beauty. She also appeared in Broadway productions and starred in a number of international films. Later in her career, Wong became a vocal advocate for civil rights and was recognized for her contributions to the entertainment industry with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Dorothy Page

Dorothy Page (March 4, 1904 Northampton-March 26, 1961 LaBelle) also known as Dorothy Lillian Stofflett was an American singer, actor and estate agent.

Dorothy Page was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1904. She began her career as a singer, performing in nightclubs and other venues in New York City in the 1920s. She also appeared in several films, including "The Ninth Guest" and "Murder on a Honeymoon."

In the 1930s, Page moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. She quickly became one of the most successful agents in the state, earning a reputation for her honesty and integrity. She was also deeply involved in her community, serving on the board of the LaBelle Chamber of Commerce and as president of the local garden club.

Despite her success in real estate, Page never lost her love of performing. She continued to sing and act throughout her life, often performing at local events and fundraisers. She died in LaBelle in 1961, leaving behind a legacy as both a successful businesswoman and a talented entertainer.

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Marion Davies

Marion Davies (January 3, 1897 Brooklyn-September 22, 1961 Hollywood) otherwise known as Marion Cecilia Douras, Marion Davis or Marion Cecelia Douras was an American actor, film producer, screenwriter and philanthropist.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York and became a Ziegfeld girl before transitioning to silent films in the 1920s. Known for her beauty and comedic timing, Davies became one of the biggest stars of the era and was often compared to her contemporary, Mary Pickford. In 1924, she signed a lucrative contract with William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Productions and became his mistress, a relationship that would last until his death in 1951. Despite allegations of nepotism and being viewed as a talentless starlet, Davies continued to work in Hollywood and produced many of her own films. She was also known for her philanthropy, donating millions to charity throughout her life. Davies died of stomach cancer in Hollywood in 1961.

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Dorothy Burgess

Dorothy Burgess (March 4, 1907 Los Angeles-August 21, 1961 Riverside County) a.k.a. dorothy_burgess was an American actor.

She began her acting career in 1924, appearing in silent films such as "The Dixie Handicap" and "The First Year". Burgess was known for playing seductive and alluring characters, often causing trouble for the leading man. She transitioned to talkies with ease and continued to work steadily in films throughout the 1930s. In addition to her acting work, Burgess was also an accomplished singer and dancer. However, by the 1940s, her film roles became less frequent, and she later transitioned to working primarily in television. Burgess passed away at the age of 54 due to a heart attack in Riverside County, California.

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Elsie Ferguson

Elsie Ferguson (August 19, 1883 New York City-November 15, 1961 New London) also known as Elsie Louise Ferguson or "The Aristocrat of the Screen" was an American actor.

Ferguson began her career on the Broadway stage before transitioning to silent films in the early 1910s. She quickly became a popular leading lady known for her grace, beauty, and sophistication on and off screen. Some of her notable films from this time include "The Witness for the Defense" (1919) and "The Bat" (1926).

In the late 1920s, Ferguson successfully transitioned to talking films, but her popularity began to fade in the 1930s. She continued to act sporadically in films and on stage throughout the 1940s, but retired from acting altogether in 1950.

Outside of her acting career, Ferguson was known for her philanthropic work and humanitarian efforts. She was particularly invested in animal welfare and spent much of her time and money supporting various animal charities.

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Nita Naldi

Nita Naldi (November 13, 1894 New York City-February 17, 1961 New York City) a.k.a. Nonna Dooley, Mary Dooley or Mary Nonna Dooley was an American actor.

She began her career as a dancer in various Broadway productions, before transitioning to silent films in the 1920s. Naldi became known for her exotic looks and was often typecast as a femme fatale or vamp. She was a frequent collaborator with director Cecil B. DeMille and starred in several of his films, including "The Ten Commandments" (1923) and "The Volga Boatman" (1926). Despite her success in Hollywood, Naldi's career declined with the advent of talkies in the late 1920s. In later years, she made occasional appearances on stage and on television. Naldi never married and had no children. She died in New York City in 1961, at the age of 66.

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Juanita Hansen

Juanita Hansen (March 3, 1895 Des Moines-September 26, 1961 Los Angeles) also known as Juanita C. Hansen, The Queen of Thrills, Juanita Parsons, Wahnetta Hanson or Wahneta Hanson was an American actor.

Hansen began her career in vaudeville before transitioning to silent films in the 1910s. She quickly became a popular leading lady, starring in over 250 films throughout her career. Known for her beauty and athletic abilities, Hansen often performed her own stunts in her films. She starred in a variety of genres, including Westerns, dramas, and comedies.

However, Hansen's career was plagued by personal struggles, including addiction to drugs and alcohol. She was also involved in a scandal in the 1920s after being accused of shooting and injuring her secretary. Despite these setbacks, Hansen continued to work in films until the early 1930s, when she retired from acting.

After leaving the film industry, Hansen's life continued to be marked by tragedy and personal struggles. She struggled with poverty and health problems in her later years, and ultimately died of cancer in 1961 at the age of 66. Despite these difficulties, Hansen is remembered today as a talented actor and one of the leading ladies of the silent film era.

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Kathleen Kirkham

Kathleen Kirkham (April 15, 1895 Menominee-November 7, 1961 Santa Barbara) otherwise known as Cathleen Kirkham or Katherine Kirkham was an American actor.

She began her career in the silent film era and appeared in over 60 films throughout her career. Kirkham was known for her versatility and range, playing everything from leading ladies to character roles. She also performed on stage in various productions on Broadway and on tour. In addition to her acting career, Kirkham was also an accomplished painter and held exhibitions of her artwork. She passed away in Santa Barbara at the age of 66.

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Fritzi Ridgeway

Fritzi Ridgeway (April 8, 1898 Butte-March 29, 1961 Lancaster) also known as Fritzie Ridgeway or Fritzie Ridgway was an American actor.

She began her career in vaudeville and later transitioned into silent films, often playing spunky and feisty characters. In 1923, she appeared in the film "Souls for Sale," which became a critical and commercial success. Ridgeway continued to act in films throughout the 1920s and 1930s, but her career declined with the advent of talking pictures. She made her final film appearance in 1936's "The Milky Way." In addition to her work in film, Ridgeway was also a talented dancer and singer. After retiring from the entertainment industry, she owned and operated a successful beauty salon in Los Angeles.

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Esther Dale

Esther Dale (November 10, 1885 Beaufort-July 23, 1961 Hollywood) was an American actor.

She began her career in entertainment as a vaudeville performer before transitioning to film in the 1930s. She appeared in over 80 films, often playing the role of a stern matron or motherly figure. Her most notable roles include Aunt Genevieve in "Curly Top" (1935) and Mrs. Meade in "Gone with the Wind" (1939). Dale was also active in television, appearing on shows such as "I Love Lucy" and "The Twilight Zone". She continued acting until her death in 1961 at the age of 75.

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Vivienne Osborne

Vivienne Osborne (December 10, 1896 Des Moines-June 10, 1961 Malibu) also known as Vera Vivienne Spragg or Vivian Osborne was an American actor and salesperson.

Osborne began her career in the entertainment industry as a chorus girl on Broadway. She then transitioned to acting in silent films, including the first film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" in 1926. Osborne continued to act in both silent and sound films throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Some of her notable roles include "The Cat and the Canary" (1927) and "The Divorcee" (1930).

In addition to acting, Osborne also worked as a salesperson for a cosmetic company. She was known for her beauty and her ability to sell the products she represented. In the late 1940s, Osborne retired from acting and focused solely on her sales career.

Osborne was married three times, and had no children. She passed away in Malibu, California in 1961 at the age of 64.

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Ruth Chatterton

Ruth Chatterton (December 24, 1892 New York City-November 24, 1961 Norwalk) was an American actor and novelist.

She was a prominent leading lady of the early 20th century and had a successful career in film and theatre. Chatterton began her career on Broadway in 1914 and transitioned into silent films in the 1920s. She quickly became a popular actress and appeared in several successful films, including "Madame X" (1929) and "Sarah and Son" (1930) for which she was nominated for an Academy award.

In the 1930s, Chatterton transitioned to the stage and continued to act until the 1950s. In addition to her acting career, she was also a successful novelist, publishing several books throughout her life.

Chatterton was married four times, including to actors Ralph Forbes and George Brent. She was known for her strong-willed and independent personality, both on and off screen. Chatterton passed away in 1961 at the age of 68.

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Gail Russell

Gail Russell (September 21, 1924 Chicago-August 26, 1961 Brentwood) also known as Elizabeth L. Russell or Elizabeth Russell was an American actor.

Russell started her career in Hollywood in the late 1940s and gained popularity for her roles in the films "The Uninvited" (1944) and "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay" (1944). She also starred in several Western films, including "Angel and the Badman" (1947) alongside John Wayne.

However, Russell struggled with alcoholism throughout her career and personal life, which affected her performances and caused several delays in film productions. Despite her troubles, she continued to act in films such as "Calcutta" (1947) and "Moonrise" (1948) before retiring from acting in the early 1950s.

Tragically, Russell died at the age of 36 from a heart attack caused by chronic alcoholism. Her last film, "The Silent Call" (1961), was released posthumously. Despite her relatively short career, Russell is remembered as a talented and beautiful actress who left an indelible mark on Hollywood films.

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Alice Howell

Alice Howell (May 20, 1886 New York City-April 11, 1961 Los Angeles) also known as Alice Clark was an American actor. Her child is called Yvonne Howell.

Alice Howell was a prominent figure in Hollywood during the silent film era. She initially started her career as a comedic stage performer and later transitioned to a film career. Howell gained immense popularity as a character actress, renowned for her comedic roles. She worked for various studios including Vitagraph, Universal, and Keystone. In her professional career spanning over three decades, Howell appeared in nearly 200 films. Her notable films include "How Stars are Made" (1916), "A Pair of Tights" (1929), and "Going Spanish" (1934). Despite her success in the industry, Howell retired in the early 1930s to focus on her family.

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Helen Ainsworth

Helen Ainsworth (October 10, 1901 San Jose-August 18, 1961 Hollywood) also known as Cupid Ainsworth was an American actor and film producer.

Helen Ainsworth began her career as an actor in the silent film era, appearing in small roles in films like "The Valley of the Moon" and "The Cat and the Canary." She gained recognition as a comedic actress in the 1930s, appearing in films such as "The Awful Truth" and "The Women." Ainsworth also had a successful career as a film producer, with her most notable production being the 1944 film "National Velvet," which launched the career of a young Elizabeth Taylor. In addition to her work in the film industry, Ainsworth was also a philanthropist, supporting various charitable causes throughout her life.

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Gwen Lee

Gwen Lee (November 12, 1904 Hastings-August 20, 1961 Reno) a.k.a. Gwendolyn La Pinski, Gwendolyn Lee, Gwendolyn Lepinski or Gwen Lee, Gwendolyn Lepinski was an American actor and model.

Born in Hastings, Nebraska in 1904, Gwen Lee started her career as a model in Chicago. She then made her way to Hollywood in the 1920s and quickly became a successful actor. She appeared in over 70 films throughout her career, often playing the lead female role. Some of her notable films include "The Painted Desert" (1931), "Public Cowboy No. 1" (1937), and "The Lady Confesses" (1945).

Lee was known for her versatility and ability to play a range of roles, from tough and independent women to soft and romantic leads. Her career slowed down in the 1940s, and she began appearing in more B-movies and lower budget films. She retired from acting in the early 1950s and lived a private life until her death in 1961 in Reno, Nevada. Despite her success in the film industry, Lee is often overlooked in contemporary discussions of early Hollywood and its stars.

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Ann Codee

Ann Codee (March 5, 1890 Antwerp-May 18, 1961 Hollywood) a.k.a. Ann Codeé was an American actor.

She was born in Antwerp, Belgium and emigrated to the United States in 1922. Codee began her acting career in vaudeville and later transitioned to film. She acted in over 60 films throughout her career, often playing comedic or maternal roles. Some of her notable film roles include "The Life of Emile Zola" (1937), "Oh, Johnny, How You Can Love!" (1940), and "The Inspector General" (1949). Codee also made appearances on several television shows in the 1950s, including "I Love Lucy" and "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show." She passed away in Hollywood in 1961 at the age of 71.

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Blanche Ring

Blanche Ring (April 24, 1871 Boston-January 13, 1961 Santa Monica) also known as Ring, Blanche was an American singer and actor.

She began her career in vaudeville and went on to work on Broadway, starring in several hit musicals such as "The School Girl" and "Hitchy-Koo." Ring was known for her comedic timing and her ability to play both tomboyish and feminine roles. In 1913, she starred in the silent film "The Keystone Hotel," which was one of the earliest comedy films. Ring continued to perform in theater productions and films throughout the 1920s and 1930s. She later retired to California, where she lived until her death in 1961 at the age of 89.

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Maya Deren

Maya Deren (April 29, 1917 Kiev-October 13, 1961 Manhattan) also known as Eleanora Derenkowsky, Eleanora Derenkowskaia, Eleanora Derenkovskaya, Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская or Eleanora Solomonovna Derenkovsky was an American film director, artist, screenwriter, cinematographer, actor, author, choreographer, poet, writer, photographer, dancer, teacher and visual artist.

She is best known for her avant-garde films, which often explored themes of spirituality and the human experience. Deren's most well-known film, "Meshes of the Afternoon," is a surreal and dreamlike exploration of the subconscious mind. Deren was also a prominent figure in the New York avant-garde art scene in the 1940s and 50s, and was heavily involved in the development of experimental dance. In addition to her creative work, Deren was a prolific writer and teacher, and her writings on film theory are still studied today. Her groundbreaking work has had a major influence on the development of experimental film and art.

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Annabelle Moore

Annabelle Moore (July 6, 1878 Chicago-December 1, 1961 Chicago) also known as Annabelle Whitford or Annabelle was an American actor.

She began her acting career in the early 1900s on the stage, and later transitioned to silent films. Annabelle appeared in over 200 films in her career, often playing character roles. Some of her notable films include "The Crowd" (1928), "The Thin Man" (1934), and "Gone with the Wind" (1939). She also worked as a dialogue coach for several films, including "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). Despite her prolific career, Annabelle never achieved leading lady status but was a respected character actor. She retired in 1946 and passed away in 1961 at the age of 83.

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Jean Darnell

Jean Darnell (November 27, 1889 Sherman-January 20, 1961 Dallas) a.k.a. Jean Jarratt Darnell was an American actor.

Darnell appeared in over 70 films throughout her career, primarily in small supporting roles. She began her acting career on the stage in the 1910s and made her film debut in the silent film "The Stronger Love" in 1916. Darnell scored one of her more notable roles in the 1939 film "Gone with the Wind" as Mrs. Meade. Other notable films include "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939), "Saratoga Trunk" (1945), and "The Unsuspected" (1947). In addition to her work in film, Darnell also appeared on several television shows in the 1950s.

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Tsuru Aoki

Tsuru Aoki (September 9, 1892 Fukuoka-October 18, 1961 Tokyo) also known as Tsuru Aoki Hayakawa, Mrs. Sessue Hayakawa, Miss Tsuru Aoki, Tsuro Aoki, Tsura Aoki, Tsuri Aoki, 青木 鶴子 or Aoki was an American actor. She had three children, Yukio Hayakawa, Yoshiko Hayakawa and Fujiko Hayakawa.

Tsuru Aoki began her acting career in silent films during the early 1910s, after being discovered by the producer Thomas Ince. She became a popular actress of the time and frequently starred alongside her husband Sessue Hayakawa, who was also an actor. Her notable film appearances include "The Wrath of the Gods" (1914), "The Typhoon" (1914), "The Cheat" (1915), and "The Dragon Painter" (1919).

Aside from acting, Aoki was also involved in producing films, both with her husband and independently. She was one of the few Asian women to be involved in behind-the-scenes work during a male-dominated era of early Hollywood.

After retiring from the film industry in the late 1920s, Aoki and her husband started a successful mail-order business selling soy sauce and other Japanese products. It was one of the first Japanese businesses in the United States. Aoki also worked as a translator and interpreter during World War II, leading language classes for military personnel.

Despite her successful career and contributions to both film and business, Aoki was often subjected to racism and discrimination due to her Japanese heritage. She was interned with her family during World War II, an experience that deeply affected her. Aoki passed away in Tokyo in 1961, leaving behind a legacy as a pioneering Asian American actress and businesswoman.

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Winifred Greenwood

Winifred Greenwood (January 1, 1885 Geneseo-November 23, 1961 Woodland Hills) also known as Winifred L. Greenwood, Winnifred Greenwood or Winifred Greenwood Field was an American actor.

She began her acting career in the silent film era, appearing in films such as "The Princess and the Highwayman" (1915) and "Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman" (1917). In the 1920s, she transitioned to the stage, performing in several Broadway productions.

Greenwood also had success on radio, lending her voice to programs such as "The Story of Mary Marlin" and "Portrait of a Lady". She was also a regular on the daytime soap opera "When a Girl Marries".

Later in her career, Greenwood returned to the screen, appearing in films such as "Jamaica Inn" (1939) and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), which was released posthumously. She was married to fellow actor Reginald Barlow until his death in 1943.

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Anita Stewart

Anita Stewart (February 7, 1895 Brooklyn-May 4, 1961 Beverly Hills) otherwise known as Anna May Stewart, Anna M. Stewart, Anna Stewart or Anna Stuart was an American actor and film producer.

She started her film career in 1911, initially working as an extra and starring in small roles. In the early 1910s, she signed a contract with the Vitagraph Studios and became one of the most popular actresses in silent films.

Stewart was known for her versatile acting skills and often played a wide range of roles, including dramatic, comedic and romantic leads. Her notable films during this period include "The Adventures of Dollie" (1908), "The Battle Cry of Peace" (1915), and "Her Crowning Glory" (1917), which she also co-directed.

In 1918, Stewart founded her own production company, which produced a number of successful films, including "The Grim Game" (1919) and "Baree, Son of Kazan" (1925). She worked with several renowned filmmakers such as D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Erich von Stroheim.

Stewart retired from acting in the early 1930s but continued producing films until the late 1940s. She also became a sculptor later in life and was known in the art world for her works. Stewart passed away in 1961 at the age of 66.

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Joan Davis

Joan Davis (June 29, 1907 Saint Paul-May 22, 1961 Palm Springs) also known as Madonna Josephine Davis was an American comedian, actor and film producer. She had one child, Beverly Wills.

Davis began her career in vaudeville and later moved on to movies and television. She is best known for her role as a scatterbrained housewife in the 1950s sitcom "I Married Joan," which ran for three seasons. Davis was also a successful film producer, producing movies such as "Hold That Ghost" and "She Gets Her Man." In addition to her comedic talent, Davis was also a skilled singer and dancer. She passed away in 1961 from a heart attack at the age of 53. Despite her untimely death, Joan Davis left a lasting legacy in the world of comedy and entertainment.

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Louise Groody

Louise Groody (March 27, 1897 Waco-September 16, 1961 Canadensis) was an American actor, singer and dancer.

She began her career in vaudeville before transitioning to Broadway, where she starred in several productions including "Roberta" and "On Your Toes". Groody also appeared on film, with notable roles in "The Great Ziegfeld" and "The Harvey Girls". In addition to her on-stage and on-screen work, she also lent her voice to several animated films and cartoons. Groody was known for her comedic timing and larger-than-life personality, and was a popular performer throughout her career. She was married to actor Ted Healy, with whom she had two children.

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Grace George

Grace George (December 25, 1879 New York City-May 19, 1961 New York City) was an American actor. Her child is called William A. Brady.

Grace George began her acting career at the age of four, performing with her parents in a touring theatrical troupe. She made her Broadway debut in 1898 and quickly became a popular leading lady in both comedic and dramatic roles. In addition to her successful stage career, George also acted in silent films and later made the transition to talkies. She was known for her distinctive voice and elegant stage presence, and she became a popular public figure and fashion icon. In 1927, George starred in the original Broadway production of the play "Outward Bound," which was later adapted into a successful film. After retiring from acting in the 1940s, she remained active in philanthropy and social causes.

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Joan McCracken

Joan McCracken (December 31, 1917 Philadelphia-November 1, 1961 Fire Island) a.k.a. McCracken, Joan was an American comedian, dancer and actor.

She was born on New Year's Eve in 1917 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joan started performing at a young age and eventually made her way to Broadway. She is perhaps best known for her hilarious performance in the original Broadway production of "Oklahoma!" where she played the role of Ado Annie.

Joan was a highly talented dancer and appeared in several other Broadway productions, including "Bloomer Girl" and "The King and I." She also appeared in films such as "Good News" and "When the Boys Meet the Girls."

Unfortunately, Joan's career was cut short when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She continued to perform despite her illness but ultimately passed away at the young age of 43 due to complications from diabetes. Despite her short career, Joan McCracken is remembered as a talented performer and a beloved member of the Broadway community.

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Julia Peterkin

Julia Peterkin (October 31, 1880 Laurens County-August 10, 1961 South Carolina) otherwise known as Julia Mood was an American writer, novelist and actor.

Peterkin was the first South Carolina author to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel "Scarlet Sister Mary." Raised on a farm, she was able to capture the voices and experiences of African American sharecroppers in her writing. She was an advocate for civil rights and used her platform to speak out against racism and segregation. Peterkin also acted in plays and movies, including the film adaptation of "Scarlet Sister Mary." She died at her home in South Carolina at the age of 80.

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Clarice Vance

Clarice Vance (March 14, 1870 Louisville-August 24, 1961 Napa) also known as Clara Etta Black or The Southern Singer was an American singer and actor.

She gained fame in the early 1900s for her performances in vaudeville and opera houses. Vance was one of the first African American performers to receive national recognition and was known for her powerful contralto voice. She performed in several famous venues, including Carnegie Hall, and toured internationally. Vance was also an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement, using her platform to fight for equality and justice for African Americans. She continued to perform until her retirement in the 1940s and passed away in Napa, California, at the age of 91.

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