One Life: The Autobiography of an African American Actress

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Kodansha International, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 275 pages
Known to millions as Carla Benari Hall on One Life to Live, Ellen Holly has led a life filled with fairy-tale glitter and profound personal tragedy. From her earliest childhood Holly was primed with the idea that she was to be useful to her race. Through acting she aspired to rewrite the script not only for herself, but also on behalf of all black people. In 1956 she made her debut on Broadway in a play by the South African Alan Paton. What neither the ecstatic reviewers nor spellbound audience realized was that when Ellen Holly stepped onto the stage for the first time, her pale skin had been stained black with a dye concocted by her chemist father. Despite the rave notices, in audition after audition Holly would be told that she was too fair-skinned and "too elegant" to play a "real" black woman. In her story of the on-again, off-again affair with Harry Belafonte, Holly is unsparing about what his love meant to her, and what it meant to lose him to a white woman. With unflinching poise, she documents her raw descent into alcoholism and depression. Holly captures the heady excitement of the glamorous, upwardly mobile Harlem of the 1950s. During the volatile 1960s she worked with James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, and Roscoe Lee Browne as well as those talents who never made it to major stardom. Her damning expose of the racist underside of the entertainment industry reveals how studio executives maneuvered to keep black actors in what they considered their place.

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We are all made in God's image. If someone of another race come into your life that could very possibly be God's plan. I do not believe it changes your love for your race.

Contents

ACKNOWLEOGMENTS ix
1
ONE
5
TWO
13
Copyright

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