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Monday, September 8, 2014

Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy (Part 1) View From Abyss

"Hollywood's first authentic love goddess of color."









Author, Earl Conrad

Many of her close friends told her that her autobiography was a disgrace and should be kept quiet
Earl Conrad




The Tragedies
Legally evicted from my showcase home in the Hollywood Hills, lost fortune (due to poor investments in Arizona oil wells), retarded 19 year old daughter returned to me, in court to divorce second husband (Jack Denison)....All of these events converged with paralyzing swiftness, with crisis upon crisis.  At the end, all I wanted was to tale a long walk off Malibu Beach.  My career seemed crushed and over with.

Desiring death more than anything.  Pills to pep up.  Pills to pipe down.  Pills taken Benzedrine (dangerous if overdosed).  Dexamil and Dexedrine (appetite deterrents).  Thyroid pills and digitalis.  More on and about the drugs Dorothy took




Dorothy used 3 trucks from Bekins Van and Storage Company, during the eviction process.





I am nothing but emotion; I am nothing but a wind of emotion; and everything was blowing as I took the last look at the interior of the house.  (Dorothy's assets at that time was $5,000.  Her debts nearly $130,000).




Long living room - beige carpeting (deep), beige walls, cream colored frames on the pictures, long brown sofa, low round marble topped table brown oak legs, decanters of brandy and wine, translucent ash trays, ornamental lamps, vases choking with flowers, four tan and white cushions, garden side yard flowers.





My ornamental candelabra sitting on my Mason & Hamlin piano.  Harolyn use to play do,re,mi....on the piano all the time.  Actually after being cared for by the same lady from the ages of 9-19 she was returned to me at the same time I was being evicted.  After never missing a payment for ten years....was only behind two months she was returned to me.  Lynn sat at that piano and kept playing the same notes over and over again.  Very nerve wrecking.  Still I put on a smile.


Papers kept arriving and I, grinning as if this were all a routine ritual, served hamburgers and coffee, and applauded my daughter, and patted the dogs.   Yet inwardly I could see and feel my whole career in show business - and my whole personal life - tapping right offstage.





Roofed patio Jack and I used to sit and have breakfast or squabble.  I tired of trying to get him up off the floor. He came to depend on me as the breadwinner, and that irked me terribly.



Also in that area, walnut paneled downstairs den. This is where I read scripts and played records.



Sammy Davis Jr. and May Britt lived next door.  



Herb Jeffries and Tempest Storm lived further down on the same block.




With Cissy, little mongrel.   Had to let go of Cissy and Duke (husky).  After giving up Cissy and Duke, I had a half dozen of pink and white cloth dogs to settle for in place of them.  Stayed in a nearby hotel until an apartment was available.  As I stayed by myself in this neat, clean, well-equipped dead end.  I asked myself over and over.  What happened?  How did I get here? What do I do now?




Took a small apartment near the Hollywood Strip.  




Earl Conrad 
(co-author of the auto-biography (with Dorothy Dandridge) Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy)

It was not suicide, it was a murder that took a lifetime ~ Earl Conrad






Earl Conrad (17 December 1912 - 17 January 1986), birth name Cohen, was an American author who penned at least twenty works of biography, history, and criticism, including books in collaboration. At least one that he 'ghost' wrote was the biography of actor Errol Flynn, titled My Wicked, Wicked Ways.

Conrad was born to Eli and Minnie Cohen in Auburn, New York, into a Jewish family with nine siblings. He was "reared in the Judaic tradition" but chose to Anglicize his name when he began his career as a professional journalist. He wished to be a writer from a young age, and his early experience included a stint at the Auburn Advertiser-Journal. He worked as a journalist for the newspaper PM in New York City, and other papers. As the Harlem Bureau Chief for then Chicago Defender, he investigated lynchings in the south. This work brought him into contact with Heywood Patterson. In 1950, Conrad co-wrote Patterson's memoir, Scottsboro Boy, about his experience as one of a group of nine men accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. 

He married Anna Alyse Abrams in 1938, and they had one son, Michael Earl Conrad. The Conrads lived in San Francisco at least during the 1967-1972 period in an apartment near downtown, not far from Union Square. In the early 1980s, they lived in Coronado, California. Some of his papers are in the local history collection of the Cayuga Community College in Auburn. Other papers are in the collection of the university of Oregon. He died on January 17, 1986, of complications from lymphoma.

His interests as a writer included biographies of show business personalities, such as his memoir of Errol Flynn and his biography of Dorothy Dandridge; and issues related to African Americans, such as his biographies of Harriet Tubman. He wrote a fantasy novel about an African American nation being carved out of the American South, a country in the shape of Africa.

Works
Conrad penned these following works under his name, or with collaboration.

Harriet Tubman: Negro Soldier and Abolitionist (1942)
Harriet Tubman (1943)
Rock Bottom (1952)
The Da Vinci Machine (short stories, 1968)
Errol Flynn: A Memoir (1978)
Typoo
The Premier
The Trial of William Freeman
Scottsboro Boy (with Haywood Patterson)
The Philology of Negro Dialect
Horse Trader
Gulf Stream North
The Invention of the Negro
Battle New York
Jim Crow America
The Public School Scandal
Billy Rose: Manhattan Primitive
Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy

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Dorothy Dandridge, Angel Face

Portrait in Black

Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy (Part 1) View From Abyss

"Hollywood's first authentic love goddess of color."









Author, Earl Conrad

Many of her close friends told her that her autobiography was a disgrace and should be kept quiet
Earl Conrad




The Tragedies
Legally evicted from my showcase home in the Hollywood Hills, lost fortune (due to poor investments in Arizona oil wells), retarded 19 year old daughter returned to me, in court to divorce second husband (Jack Denison)....All of these events converged with paralyzing swiftness, with crisis upon crisis.  At the end, all I wanted was to tale a long walk off Malibu Beach.  My career seemed crushed and over with.

Desiring death more than anything.  Pills to pep up.  Pills to pipe down.  Pills taken Benzedrine (dangerous if overdosed).  Dexamil and Dexedrine (appetite deterrents).  Thyroid pills and digitalis.  More on and about the drugs Dorothy took




Dorothy used 3 trucks from Bekins Van and Storage Company, during the eviction process.





I am nothing but emotion; I am nothing but a wind of emotion; and everything was blowing as I took the last look at the interior of the house.  (Dorothy's assets at that time was $5,000.  Her debts nearly $130,000).




Long living room - beige carpeting (deep), beige walls, cream colored frames on the pictures, long brown sofa, low round marble topped table brown oak legs, decanters of brandy and wine, translucent ash trays, ornamental lamps, vases choking with flowers, four tan and white cushions, garden side yard flowers.





My ornamental candelabra sitting on my Mason & Hamlin piano.  Harolyn use to play do,re,mi....on the piano all the time.  Actually after being cared for by the same lady from the ages of 9-19 she was returned to me at the same time I was being evicted.  After never missing a payment for ten years....was only behind two months she was returned to me.  Lynn sat at that piano and kept playing the same notes over and over again.  Very nerve wrecking.  Still I put on a smile.


Papers kept arriving and I, grinning as if this were all a routine ritual, served hamburgers and coffee, and applauded my daughter, and patted the dogs.   Yet inwardly I could see and feel my whole career in show business - and my whole personal life - tapping right offstage.





Roofed patio Jack and I used to sit and have breakfast or squabble.  I tired of trying to get him up off the floor. He came to depend on me as the breadwinner, and that irked me terribly.



Also in that area, walnut paneled downstairs den. This is where I read scripts and played records.



Sammy Davis Jr. and May Britt lived next door.  



Herb Jeffries and Tempest Storm lived further down on the same block.




With Cissy, little mongrel.   Had to let go of Cissy and Duke (husky).  After giving up Cissy and Duke, I had a half dozen of pink and white cloth dogs to settle for in place of them.  Stayed in a nearby hotel until an apartment was available.  As I stayed by myself in this neat, clean, well-equipped dead end.  I asked myself over and over.  What happened?  How did I get here? What do I do now?




Took a small apartment near the Hollywood Strip.  




Earl Conrad 
(co-author of the auto-biography (with Dorothy Dandridge) Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy)

It was not suicide, it was a murder that took a lifetime ~ Earl Conrad






Earl Conrad (17 December 1912 - 17 January 1986), birth name Cohen, was an American author who penned at least twenty works of biography, history, and criticism, including books in collaboration. At least one that he 'ghost' wrote was the biography of actor Errol Flynn, titled My Wicked, Wicked Ways.

Conrad was born to Eli and Minnie Cohen in Auburn, New York, into a Jewish family with nine siblings. He was "reared in the Judaic tradition" but chose to Anglicize his name when he began his career as a professional journalist. He wished to be a writer from a young age, and his early experience included a stint at the Auburn Advertiser-Journal. He worked as a journalist for the newspaper PM in New York City, and other papers. As the Harlem Bureau Chief for then Chicago Defender, he investigated lynchings in the south. This work brought him into contact with Heywood Patterson. In 1950, Conrad co-wrote Patterson's memoir, Scottsboro Boy, about his experience as one of a group of nine men accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. 

He married Anna Alyse Abrams in 1938, and they had one son, Michael Earl Conrad. The Conrads lived in San Francisco at least during the 1967-1972 period in an apartment near downtown, not far from Union Square. In the early 1980s, they lived in Coronado, California. Some of his papers are in the local history collection of the Cayuga Community College in Auburn. Other papers are in the collection of the university of Oregon. He died on January 17, 1986, of complications from lymphoma.

His interests as a writer included biographies of show business personalities, such as his memoir of Errol Flynn and his biography of Dorothy Dandridge; and issues related to African Americans, such as his biographies of Harriet Tubman. He wrote a fantasy novel about an African American nation being carved out of the American South, a country in the shape of Africa.

Works
Conrad penned these following works under his name, or with collaboration.

Harriet Tubman: Negro Soldier and Abolitionist (1942)
Harriet Tubman (1943)
Rock Bottom (1952)
The Da Vinci Machine (short stories, 1968)
Errol Flynn: A Memoir (1978)
Typoo
The Premier
The Trial of William Freeman
Scottsboro Boy (with Haywood Patterson)
The Philology of Negro Dialect
Horse Trader
Gulf Stream North
The Invention of the Negro
Battle New York
Jim Crow America
The Public School Scandal
Billy Rose: Manhattan Primitive
Everything and Nothing: The Dorothy Dandridge Tragedy

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RetroVision Theater Presents Ebony - Dorothy Dandridge