Jane White

(1922 - 2011)

A photo of Jane White
Jane White
1922 - 2011
Born
October 30, 1922
Death
2011
New York, NY
Summary
Jane White was born on October 30, 1922. She died in 2011 at New York, NY at 88 years of age.
Updated: February 06, 2019
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Jane White
BIRTH 30 Oct 1922
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
DEATH 24 Jul 2011 (aged 88)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Her papers were donated to SMITH COLLEGE.
Actress. Born in New York City, her parents were active in civil rights causes and with the NAACP. She attended Smith College and the New School before making her professional acting debut on Broadway in the production "Strange Fruit" (1945 to 1946). During the 1950s, she accumulated TV roles on the programs "The Alcoa Hour" and "Kraft Theatre", but it would be on the stage where her most prolific work was to be accomplished, notably her origination of the role as Queen Aggravain in the Tony Award-winning comedy "Once Upon a Mattress" (1959 to 1960). Off-Broadway, she found success in Michael Cacoyannis' "The Trojan Women" (1963 to 1965) and garnered two Obies with "Love's Labor Lost" (1966) and "Coriolanus" (1966). In 1972, she repeated her role in the TV-movie "Once Upon a Mattress" and had supporting parts in the motion pictures "Klute" (1971) and "Beloved" (1998). She donated her papers to SMITH COLLEGE.
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Jane White
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Jane White
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Jane White died in at New York, NY
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Jane White was born on
Jane White died in at New York, NY
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Actress Jane White in a 1941 photograph by Carl Van Vechten. A 1944 graduate of Smith College, White was the daughter of Civil Rights icon Walter White. Ms. White began her career on Broadway in 1945 when Paul Robeson helped her get her first role as the lead in Lillian Smith’s “Strange Fruit,” a story about a doomed interracial love affair. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt praised Ms. White’s work for its “restraint and beauty.”
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Amanda S. Stevenson
12.1k+ favorites
Jane White
Actress and Singer Who Found Racial Attitudes to Be an Obstacle, Dies at 88
By PAUL VITELLO AUG. 7, 2011
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Jane White, an actress who made her reputation in the 1960s and ’70s in Shakespearean and classical Greek drama in New York but who felt hampered by the racial attitudes of casting directors toward light-skinned black performers like herself, died on July 24 at her home in Greenwich Village. She was 88.
The cause was cancer, said Joan K. Harris, her friend and executor.
Ms. White, who also employed a rich mezzo-soprano voice as a sometime cabaret singer, spoke openly about the peculiar racial challenge she faced in the 1960s: though roles for black performers were increasing, casting agents were continuing to think mainly in terms of “black” parts and “white” parts.
“I’ve just always been too ‘white’ to be ‘black’ and too ‘black’ to be ‘white,’ which, you know, gets to you after a while, particularly when the roles keep passing you by,” she told an interviewer in 1968.
In her first major Broadway role, in 1959, as Queen Aggravain (to a young Carol Burnett’s princess) in “Once Upon a Mattress,” Ms. White was asked to lighten her complexion — or “white up” in the terminology of the day — so as not to confuse the audience with what a production staff member called her “Mediterranean” looks.
Sep 02, 2017 · Reply

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Jane White died in 2011 at New York, NY at age 88. She was born on October 30, 1922. We are unaware of information about Jane's family or relationships.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Jane's lifetime.

In 1922, in the year that Jane White was born, on June 22, coal miners in Herrin Illinois, were on strike (coal miners had been on strike nationally since April 1). The striking miners were outraged at the strikebreakers (scabs) that the company had brought in and laid siege to the mine. Three union workers were killed when gunfire was exchanged. The next day, union miners killed 23 strikebreakers and mine guards. No one, on either side, ever faced jail time.

In 1943, at the age of 21 years old, Jane was alive when on June 20th through June 22nd, the Detroit Race Riot erupted at Belle Isle Park. The rioting spread throughout the city (made worse by false rumors of attacks on blacks and whites) and resulted in the deployment of 6,000 Federal troops. 34 people were killed, (25 of them black) - mostly by white police or National Guardsmen, 433 were wounded (75 percent of them black) and an estimated $2 million of property was destroyed. The same summer, there were riots in Beaumont, Texas and Harlem, New York.

In 1956, by the time she was 34 years old, this was the year that the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, became an international sensation. He began the year as a regional favorite and ended the year with 17 recordings having been on the Billboard’s Top 100 singles chart, 11 TV appearances, and a movie. Elvis scandalized adults and thrilled teens.

In 1967, by the time she was 45 years old, on October 2nd, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first black US Supreme Court justice. Marshall was the great-grandson of a slave and graduated first in his class at Howard University Law School. His nomination to the Supreme Court was approved by the Senate, 69 to 11.

In 1998, by the time she was 76 years old, on December 19th, the House of Representatives initiated impeachment charges against U.S. President Bill Clinton. He was subsequently acquitted of these charges by the Senate on February 12th.

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