- (1884-1936)Born Rosalie Virginia Scott in Greenville, South Carolina, the African American actress came to New York City with her family when she was six. In 1904, she married Dr. Henry Pruden McClendon, a chiropractor and Pullman porter. A 1916 scholarship enabled her to study under Frank Sargent at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and professional engagements followed. She rose to stardom on the New York stage and recognition as "the Negro race's first lady" through her performances in Deep River (1926), In Abraham's Bosom (1926), Porgy (1927), and The House of Connelly* (1931). She contributed to planning for the Negro Unit of the Federal Theatre Project* and performed for a time in Mulatto* (1936) until her final illness necessitated her leaving the cast.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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