Remember the Ladies: Ruby Dandridge

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Actress Ruby Dandridge. Source (WP:NFCC#4)

Actress Ruby Dandridge.
Source (WP:NFCC#4)

Ruby Dandridge (born Ruby Jean Butler; March 3, 1900[1] – October 17, 1987) was an American actress from the early 1900s to the 1950s. She is best known for her radio work in her early days of acting. Dandridge is best known for her role on the radio show Amos ‘n Andy, in which she played Sadie Blake and Harriet Crawford, and on radio’s Judy Canova Show, in which she played “Geranium”. She is recognized for her role in the 1959 movie A Hole in the Head as “Sally”.

Life and career
She was born as Ruby Jean Butler in Wichita, Kansas, to Nellie Simon (who was of mixed Spanish and Indian heritage) and George Butler (who was born in Jamaica in 1860 and came to the United States as a child). On September 30, 1919, she married Cyril Dandridge. She moved with her husband to Cleveland, Ohio, where her daughter, actress Vivian Dandridge (1921–1991) was born. A second daughter, Academy Award-nominated actress Dorothy Dandridge, was born there in 1922, five months after Ruby and Cyril divorced. It is noted that after her divorce, Ruby Dandridge became involved with her companion, Geneva Williams, who reportedly overworked the children and punished them harshly.

One of her earliest appearances (uncredited, as were many of the minor roles she played) was as a native dancer in King Kong.

Death and legacy
Ruby attended her daughter Dorothy Dandridge’s funeral in 1965. On October 17, 1987, she died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California and was interred next to Dorothy at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. In the 1999 film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby is portrayed by Loretta Devine.


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