Geri Branton, actor Jack Holt, and Dorothy Dandridge photographed on the Warner Brothers lot in the late 1940s.
“They were only going to let Dottie get so far. They were not ready to let her [a black woman] become a really big star.”
Geri Branton on Dorothy Dandridge
(L-R) Dorothy Dandridge, Harold Nicholas, Viola Nicholas, Fayard Nicholas, Geri Nicholas [Branton], and Herb Jeffries.
Both Dorothy and Geri had to win the approval of Harold and Fayard’s mother, Viola Nicholas. Because she managed her sons’ careers, she was accustomed to managing ALL aspects of their lives as well. Viola didn’t want anyone tampering with her sons’ lives. Eventually she grew extremely find of both ladies, and they became close to her.
Candid photo of Dorothy Dandridge enjoying herself among friends, including Geri Branton and Mario Cole (wife of Nat King Cole).
“Dorothy Dandridge’s looks made the other actresses jealous. She had the most beautiful face and the perfect body, and her smile and eyes were totally mesmerizing.” - Diahann Carroll
Geri Branton, Joel Fluellen, and Dorothy Dandridge at a fundraiser that Dorothy hosted in her home. At one time, Mr. Fluellen served on the board of the Actors Lab. He also catered many parties for Dorothy.
According to her sister Vivian Dandridge, Dottie thought the world of Harry Belafonte. She often confided her romantic fantasies about him, and thought it would be wonderful if they married. Dottie’s manager, Earl Mills, said that an on-again, off-again romantic relationship between the two initially began during the filming of Bright Road, and went on for several years. Mr. Belafonte had never confirmed this. He’s simply said “if I wanted to be her leading man in private, I would have been her leading man in private.”
Dorothy Dandridge and director Gerald Mayer on the set of Bright Road.
"She was certainly one of the most absolutely ladylike people I ever met. She never boosted about how good she was. She never complained. I think she was probably shy, but it didn’t show up. If you would meet her, she was pleasant and personable with great charm. The shyness didn’t show. But you know, she was an actress, too." - Gerald Mayer