Ethel Waters Research Paper

697 Words3 Pages
My name is Ethel Waters. I was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on October 31, 1896 as a result of the rape of my teenaged mother, Louise Anderson; she was 13 years at that time. My father John Waters is a pianist and family acquaintance from a mixed-race middle-class background, but he played no role in raising me. I was an American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. I frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although I began my career in the 1920s singing blues.
When I was young, I was raised in poverty and never lived in the same place for more than 15 months. I have said of my difficult childhood, "I never was a child. I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family." I grew much taller that my peers. I was already 5 feet 9 ½ inches in my teens. My birth in the North and my peripatetic life exposed me to many cultures. I married at the age of 13, but soon left my abusive
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In 1950, I won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for my performance. In 1950, I starred in the television series Beulah, becoming the first African-American actress to have a lead role in a television series.
Despite these successes, my brilliant career was fading. I lost tens of thousands in jewelry and cash in a robbery, and had difficulties with the IRS. My health suffered, and I worked only sporadically in following years. In 1950-51 I wrote the autobiography His Eye is on the Sparrow with Charles Samuels, in which I wrote candidly about her life.
My best-known recordings include "Stormy Weather," "Taking a Chance on Love," "Heat Wave," "Supper Time," "Am I Blue?" and "Cabin in the Sky," as well as my version of the spiritual "His Eye Is on the Sparrow." I was the second African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award. I am also the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award, in
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