Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Black Garbo

Nina Mae McKinney

Nickname/Alias/ Nom de guerre: 
"The Black Garbo" (a reference to international movie star/ icon Greta Garbo)

June 13, 1912/Lancaster, South Carolina

May 3, 1967/New York City, New York


What Makes Her Bitchin’: 
Dubbed “The Black Garbo” for her smoldering good looks, Nina got her start on Broadway before heading to Hollywood. Recruited by MGM, she became the first African-American actress cast in a leading role in a mainstream motion picture, and the first black movie star to sign a long-term contract with a major studio.

Betcha’ Didn't Know:
Later, during the 1930s and post-war era, she performed internationally in theatre, film, and television. In Great Britain, Nina became one of the first African-Americans to appear on T.V.

To watch Nina struttin’ her stuff, check-out:

For more about this forgotten leading lady, visit:

“The Black Garbo,” Nina McKinney

Nina Mae McKinney (Matinee Classics)

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