Entertainer Lena Horne dead at 92

May 10, 2010 at 9:51 AM
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NEW YORK, May 10 (UPI) -- Stage, film, music and television star Lena Horne has died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said. She was 92.

CNN confirmed the Cotton Club singer's Sunday death, but did not report what caused it.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was one of the first African-American artists to sign a long-term movie contract with a major Hollywood studio when she joined MGM in 1942. Her film credits include "Panama Hattie," "Stormy Weather," "Thousands Cheer," "Broadway Rhythm," "Two Girls and a Sailor," "Ziegfeld Follies," "Cabin in the Sky," "Show Boat," "Words and Music," "Death of a Gunfighter" and "The Wiz." She also appeared frequently on TV's "Your Show of Shows" in the 1950s, The New York Times noted.

Although she enjoyed success on stage and as a recording artist, the civil rights advocate frequently said she felt her talents were underused on the big-screen and she was seen as "window dressing" in white movies, CNN said.

"My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman," the Times quoted Horne as saying when she was 80. "I'm free. I no longer have to be a 'credit.' I don't have to be a symbol to anybody; I don't have to be a first to anybody. I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else."

Horne is survived by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley.

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