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Monday, September 17, 2018

Vivian and Dorothy

Jack Denison, Failure and Womanizer

Failed Restaurant

Copper Cart

Copper Cart was known as a favorite eatery and known for it's prime rib.

"Denison was a con-artist who wanted to live off her earnings and have her provide financially for his sinking restaurant businesses. He put a good front, but on their wedding night he was broke." ~ Earl Mills, Dottie's Manager

When they wed, Dorothy was earning about $250,000 a year.  Denison was persuasive enough to get his wife to make a series of bad decisions.  Pouring money into his failed restaurants and even sang regularly at his "third-rate" club, a move she knew would drastically reduce her standing in the show business world.  But she did it anyway.  Then, again, heartache entered the picture.  When Dandridge's bank account had been milked dry, the marriage ended. ~ Geri Branton, Dottie's Best Friend

The Womanizer

Slick and Petty Denison with Beautiful Dorothy
Friends of Dorothy say that Jack was "the most disastrous and destructive element in Dorothy's life."

Jack was handsome, smooth-talking man who reportedly jumped at the chance to woo a vulnerable heart-sick woman.

In her autobiography, Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy, she said: "Some people kill themselves with drink, others with overdoses some with a gun; a few hurl themselves in front of of trains or autos. I hurled myself in front of another white man” 

Punk Ass Denison...even in this photo you can tell he is up to no good

During the divorce proceedings Jack reportedly wanted half of everything she had left and allegedly cut sheets, pillow cases and other items right down the middle.

Whenever I returned from a singing engagement or a picture, Jack Denison was there. Sometimes he talked of doing a book. He knew Las Vegas very well and understood the inner workings of that notorious center. He was ambitious to make ...

John Demetelin AKA Jack Denison, New Information


Met a lady through her reaching out to me through FaceBook Messenger.  This is what she shared with me about Jack Denison: 

Hi Karmen.  
I see that you are the blogger for Dorothy Dandridge.  Amazing all the information you have collected about her marriage to Jack Denison.  

A distant cousin of mine, Tina, who discovered me through ancestry dot com,  has been doing research to help find the real parents and grand parents for a guy named David who is half Greek, was adopted and born in Canada in 1958.  

Tina sent me the link to your blog after I told her what I’m about to tell you.  To try to make a long story short, DNA testing led her to me because of my relations to Greeks from Canada related to my dad.  

My dad met my mom, who was living with her sister in Montreal, while visiting his relatives in Canada in 1934.  My dad lived in Washington DC.  My mom dated Jack Denison in Montreal, Dorothy’s Greek husband,  and broke up with him right before she met my dad.  Somehow my dad was related to Jack and his sister Mary and that’s whose family he was visiting.  My mom told me this story many times—Jack Denison was NOT his real name!  His real name was John Demetelin and his sister Mary, shown in one of the pictures in your blog, was Mary Demetelin, not Denison.

My mom, who was very beautiful BTW,  broke up with him because she found out he was sleeping with one of the waitresses where she was working.  Her exact words were, “he was a womanizer!” just like your article said, lol.  According to my mom, he begged her to take him back many times and she refused.  She claims that’s why he left Montreal, moved to Los Vegas and changed his name to Jack Denison.  But who knows what the real reason was.  

I always knew who Dorothy Dandridge was growing up because of my mom.  My mom remained friends with his sister Mary and they corresponded by mail for many years.  I was born in 1953 and I even remember her writing Mary and getting letters from her.  My mom would talk about John like she never got over him.  Would tell me how handsome he was and how she loved his thick black hair.  (Of course she never spoke of him around my dad.) I’m trying to find a picture I have of him with my dad and his sister Mary taken in Canada.  I’ll send it when I do find it.  It’s definitely him.  My mom passed away in 2009 at the age of 95.  I showed her the well known picture of him with Dorothy that I found on the Internet after seeing the movie with Halle Berry and told her it’s a good thing she broke up with him because he was abusive.  She agreed and repeated about what a womanizer he was.  

So that’s what I know and thought you might like to know about Jack Denison’s true identity.  As for Dave, who is still trying to find out who his real Greek grandfather was in Canada, Tina is still working on that for him.  The name Denison came up as a possible relative to Dave, as well as my maiden name Zazanis, my dad’s sister’s married name Deoudes, and many other relative names I’m familiar with.  Because Dave, who now lives in CA, was adopted there’s a lot of red tape in Canada to find out who his true relatives are.  Hopefully he will find out soon.
Sincerely, Tula.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy (Part 3) A Wondering Kid

'You ain't going to work in Mister Charley's kitchen like me. I don't want you to go into service. You are not going to be a scullery maid. We're going to fix it so you be something else than that.' - Ruby to Dorothy

Ruby had three brothers.  Her father was a musical and religious West Indian known as George Frank or George Butler.  George was born in Jamaica and he married a Mexican girl (which means Maternal Grandmother 1/2 Spanish and 1/2 West Indian).  Ruby's dad George had a winning West Indian accent.  Dorothy never met him or her uncles.  He ran a local grocery store and later a local Negro school in Kansas, as a principal.

I had been raised with no man around the house; I had never seen a man shaving; I had never seen a man in his shorts. ~ Dorothy

The marriage to Harold almost did not happen.  Dorothy had an interim small romance with a
saxophone player named Joe.  Dorothy was at one point hesitant about Harold,  Joe gave Dorothy an ear-gasm.  Dorothy was a calculating girl through and saw the Nicholas Brothers moving up in the entertainment world, Harold had talent and money and a career before him.  Harold wanted Dorothy and Dorothy wanted him.

At 17 you might marry a thrill in the ear, at 30 you'll thrill as hard if a guy shows he can pay the rent ~ Dorothy (philosophizing)

Dorothy's mind was made up once the Nicholas Brothers secured a contract with Twentieth Century in Hollywood.

While seated on a piano stool singing to Dorothy, Harold whipped out a ring and they set a date after of course her saying yes.

Dorothy and Harold's home located on Cimmaron and Arlington on 27th street.  They selected the furniture together. Shopping at the good stores,  Had the house remodeled and visited it while it was being redone.  Twin beds in bedroom.  Dorothy selected them.  She had fears of a double (full) bed.

Essentially Dorothy wanted a house, children, a domestic life, not the world of entertainment.

Boys and girls should be raised together.  They need to know something about one another from the earliest days.  You cannot overcome wrong teaching and alienation by reason or imagination. ~ Dorothy

Within days of their marriage Harold started cheating on Dorothy.  They bickered back and forth.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Joe Adams

Joe Adams was one of  L.A.'s most popular disc jockeys.

Was Ray Charles' personal manager for 45 years.

Fayard Nicholas

Fayard taught Harold to dance.  Harold's dance inspiration was not Bojangles or John Bubbles or Astaire?  It was Fayard.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Clarence Muse

Clarence Muse loved saying he foresaw Dorothy Dandridge's stardom.  

Ruby wanted Muse to help her daughters get into the movies.  Clarence told her to forget Hollywood and take her girls back to Cleveland where thy had come from.  According to him her daughters were too light skinned for the movies.  

Muse  said this later about Ruby and her daughters, "I paid their first damn money for an apartment they lived in and I never got my $70 back either."