Category Archives: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Ms. Ross!

Happy Birthday Ms Ross!

In my world, March 26th is an unofficial holiday. Every year, in honor of this special day,   I like to pay tribute to Diana Ross, the singer, the actress, the legend. Although her film and television credits are few in comparison to her music credits, they are all memorable.

Happy Birthday Ms. Ross

Ross received critical acclaim in 1972 for her first film performance as Billie Holiday in the film Lady Sings the Blues. In his review of the film, famed critic Roger Ebert praised Ross for her willingness to transform herself for the role:

“As a gangly adolescent set out to work as a maid in a whorehouse, the diva Ross somehow manages to actually look gangly and adolescent. When she is transformed into a great beauty later in the film, it is a transformation, because she was brave enough and good enough, to really look awful at first.”

For her efforts, Ross earned a Golden Globe and received an Academy Award nomination.

Happy Birthday Diana Ross

Ross’ next two film roles in Mahogany and The Wiz did not garner the same critical acclaim as Lady Sings the Blues.  But both films are fan favorites. In Mahogany, Ross plays Tracy, an aspiring fashion designer who has to choose between career and love. The film is full of great fashion and great music. And Tracy and Brian (Billy Dee Williams) are one of my favorite movie couple of all time.

Directed by the late, great Sidney Lumet, The Wiz is a classic in my house. The all-black version of The Wizard of Oz  is considered to be one of the great financial film disasters of the time, but fans love it.

The all-star cast includes Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Richard Pryor and Lena Horne. Visually, The Wiz is colorful and exuberant. When paired with the vibrant dance numbers and the soulful music, what’s not to love about it?

Happy Birthday Diana

The Wiz marked the end of Ross’ big screen career. However, she gave an amazing performance in the 1994 made for television movie Out of Darkness in which she portrayed a woman battling schizophrenia.

Here is a scene from Out of Darkness:

The movie is one of my favorite made for television movies. Ross was nominated for another Golden Globe Award for her performance.

Happy Birthday Ms. Ross

I am a huge Diana Ross fan and saw her perform live in concert last year.  Undoubtedly, she will go down in history as a legendary singer and performer. But I think Diana Ross is an equally talented actor. She once said,

“I’m not really a songwriter – I’m an interpreter. So in a sense, I am an actress first and foremost. I act out the songs, and I lead with my heart.”

I agree with her 100%. So to celebrate the life of the living legend, I challenge you all to take a Diana Ross Twirl Break and seize the day! Do it for Ms. Ross!

Happy Birthday, Ms. Ross

Happy Birthday, Renee Elise Goldsberry (aka Happy Birthday My Dearest, Angelica)

Happy Birthday, Renee Elise Goldsberry!!

Happy Birthday, Renee GOldsberry

I have been a fan of Renee since she started on One Life to Live as Evangeline Williamson.  She is also in one of my favorite movies, All About You, which features one of my favorite movie couples. Renee has tackled the theater, television, and film.  She is a truly talented performer.

Additionally, Renee is an accomplished singer and is featured on the All About You soundtrack. Renee also recorded her own LP entitled Beautiful.  Renee also exhibits her rapping skills as Angelica Schulyer on the Hamilton Broadway cast album.  Her work earned her a Grammy and a Tony award. RS Renee CD

Here is her AMAZING acceptance speak at the 2016 Tony Awards:

So, Happy Birthday, RENEE!!!

Birthday Twins: Gabrielle Union & Tracee Ellis Ross

Birthday Twins!!! Today two of my faves, Gabrielle Union and Tracee Ellis Ross are celebrating birthdays.

birthday twins

I am obsessed these birthday twins!  I love that in addition to being great actresses, they are smart women who are passionate about improving the condition of women and girls.

I also love how versatile they are.  Gabrielle is currently killing it on Being Mary Jane. And she can be seen in the upcoming holiday film Almost Christmas.   And I don’t know a black girl alive who doesn’t love Tracee Ellis Ross (and Joan Clayton).  Currently, she is bringing her quirky girl magic to black-ish (and let us never forget T-Murda).

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to these two amazingly funny, super talented, awesomely dope women.

Happy 80th Birthday Diahann Carroll

Today is Diahann Carroll’s 80th birthday. In honor of the occasion, I decided to pay tribute to the legendary actress and singer. Although I came along in the 1980s and missed the first wave of Ms. Carroll’s fame, she has always been one of the women in entertainment whose career has inspired me.


Born Carol Diane Johnson on July 17, 1935, Ms. Carroll grew up in the New York the eldest of John and Mabel Johnson’s two daughters. At age 19, she got her big break and was cast in the Broadway play House of Flowers opposite Pearl Bailey.

Diahann Carroll FLowersIn 1954, Ms. Carroll appeared on film for the first time in Carmen Jones, starring Dororthy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Pearl Bailey.

Diahann Carroll Carmen

Ms. Carroll made history by becoming the first black woman to star in her own television series when her show Julia premiered in 1968. I have seen episodes of Julia throughout the years and I think it is a solid show.

Diahann Carroll Julia

It was groundbreaking  but more importantly, it portrayed a black woman that the public had not seen previously. Julia represented an independent, middle class black woman and mother.   Check out Ms. Carroll’s own comments on the show:

Ms. Carroll won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Julia and was nominated for an Emmy for the role. The accolades continued when in 1974, she became only the fourth black actress to receive a “Best Actress in a Leading Role” nomination at the Academy Awards. She garnered the nomination for her work in the 1974 film Claudine.

Diahann Carroll

As an 1980s baby, my first introduction to Ms. Carroll was on the prime time soap opera, Dynasty. Her character, Domonique Devereaux symbolized everything that we love about the eighties: excessive wealth and big hair.

Diahann Carroll DOminique

Ms. Carroll joined the show in 1984 as a foil to Joan Collins’ character Alexis Carrington. She was later revealed to be the half sister of the show’s leading male character Blake Carrington, played by John Forsythe.

Ms. Carroll has achieved so much during her career that has spanned for nearly 50 years. What I love most is her range. Ms. Carroll excels in comedy (like her Emmy-nominated role as Marion Gilbert on A Different World) and drama and her talents cross mediums as she has appeared on the stage, television, and film. A few years ago I read Ms. Carroll’s memoir “The Legs Are the Last to Go” and discovered new reasons to adore the legendary artist. Beneath the regal glamour lies a woman who is candid, honest, and comfortable in her own skin. That is truly beautiful.

Happy 80th Birthday , Ms. Carroll!!

Happy Birthday Josephine Baker!

The iconic Josephine Baker was born 108 years ago today.  The super star will forever be remembered for her enormous talent, stunning looks, and fearless sexuality.

Josephine BakerBorn Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri,  the performer rose from a childhood of abandonment and abuse to become one of the most influential women of her time.  She gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance before moving overseas and becoming the most successful American performers in Paris.

Josephine was a staunch supporter of the American Civil Rights movement and often refused to perform for segregated audiences. She worked closely with the NAACP and was considered a leader in the movement.  Her work with the movement and her belief in equality led her to adopt ten children of various races and nationalities.  Josephine affectionately referred to her family as “The Rainbow Tribe.”

Josephine Baker 2Josephine was a true pioneer.  The way she embraced her sexuality was groundbreaking. Her legacy can be seen in the work of today’s stars who emulate her style.   Her willingness to stand her ground and use her voice to shine a light on the injustices of racial discrimination inspired those beyond the realm of entertainment. A truly liberated spirit, Josephine Baker will be remembered for generations to come.

Happy Birthday Josephine!

Happy Birthday Kerry Washington!!

Happy Birthday to one of my faves, the super talented Kerry Washington.

Kerry-Washington-PregnantI have been a huge fan of Kerry since her early roles in the films Our Song and Save the Last Dance.  She also co-stars in one of my favorite Spike Lee joints, She Hate Me. Over the past few years, I have fallen more in  love with Kerry’s work, mainly because of Scandal and Olivia Pope. Kerry’s weekly performance as the political fixer has been nothing short of amazing to watch.

Check out this video from where Kerry discusses some of her notable film roles:

What is your favorite Kerry Washington role?

Happy Birthday Renee Goldsberry

Happy Birthday to one of my absolute favorites, Renee Elise Goldsberry.


I have been a fan of Renee since she started on One Life to Live as Evangeline Williamson.  She is also in one of my favorite movies, All About You, which features one of my favorite movie couples. Renee has tackled the theater, television and film.  She is a truly talented performer.

Renee on stage

She is also an accomplished singer and was featured on the All About You soundtrack as well as her own LP.

RS Renee CD

Here she as Mimi in Rent: Live on Broadway singing “Out Tonight:”

Happy Birthday Meta Golding!

Happy Birthday to the beautiful and talented  Meta Golding.


If you aren’t familiar with Meta, you DEFINITELY will be soon. For me, I remember her from her guest starring roles on prime time television shows such as Crossing Jordan, The Division, and Cold Case. But I fell in love with her work while on the short-lived series Day Break (co-staring Taye Diggs) and her arch on my favorite show, Criminal Minds.


Meta can next be seen as Enobaria in Catching Fire, the second film in the Hunger Games series. I am a HUGE fan of the series and look forward to seeing Meta on the big screen.

Happy Birthday Ruby Dee!

Happy 89th Birthday Ruby Dee!!
Ruby Dee

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland, OH, Ruby Dee is an actress, activist, and writer. In 1948 she married actor Ossie Davis and the two remained a fixture in Hollywood and the political world until his death. Ruby has won a Grammy, Emmy, Obie, Screen Actors Guild Award, and SAG Lifetime Achievement Awards. She is also the recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2007 she was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the film American Gangster.

Ruby is a living legend and an icon and should be revered and respected for her artistic and political contributions.  Happy Birthday and many more, Ruby Dee!