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History :: Ethel Waters

Born in Chester, Ethel Waters moved to York City in 1919, where she recorded songs for Black Swan Records and then Columbia Records while playing in revues and performing on the white vaudeville circuit during the 1920s. She began her acting career in 1927 with the musical, Africana. She went on to play singing roles in other Broadway productions: Blackbirds (1930), Rhapsody in Black (1931), As Thousands Cheer (1933), At Home Abroad (1936), and Cabin in the Sky (1940). Waters played more dramatic roles in Mamba's Daughters (1939) and The Member of the Wedding (1950). Appearing in nine films between 1929 and 1959, she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress in Pinky (1949). Additionally, she toured with evangelist Billy Graham from 1957 to 1976 and authored two autobiographies: His Eye is on the Sparrow (1951) and To Me, It's Wonderful (1972). Two of her more popular songs were "Dinah" (1925) and "Stormy Weather" (1933).