Sep 062015
 

Ethel Waters (1896-1977), Vocalist / Actress

1940s-ethyl-waters copy

Ethel Waters

Lesbian legend Ethel Waters was the second African-American to be nominated for an Academy award, (the first being Hattie McDaniel, who in 1939 was nominated and won for her role in the movie “Gone with the Wind.”) Ethel Water

Hattie McDaniel playing "Mammy" in Gone with the Wind

Hattie McDaniel playing “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind

Two Incredible Afro-Americans

Two black women had been honored before at the Academy Awards, both in the best supporting actress category: Hatty McDaniel, in 1939, the first African American ever to be nominated for an Oscar, and to win; and Ethel Waters, in 1949.

The Fearless Ethel

Ethel Waters was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her singing.  She started out singing the blues and performed pop music on Broadway.  She managed to avoid scandal when she lived with her girlfriend Ethel Williams.

Ethel WILLIAMS dancer

Ethel WILLIAMS dancer

Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters had a lesbian relationship with dancer Ethel Williams that led to them being nicknamed ‘The Two Ethels’.

The Two Ethels went to great lengths to conceal the truth.

Ethel Water’s Early Life

Ethel describes her early years:  “We never had a bathtub. Mom would bathe me in the wooden or tin washtub in the kitchen, or in a big lard can. ” – and – “Mom never quit on me.  My only regret is that she didn’t live long enough to share some of the money and comforts my work in show business has brought me.”

 Lesbian Love Life

Ethel Waters had other lesbian lovers; among was Alberta Hunter.  (more about these two women in a future blog/post)   paula.

Ethel Waters

Ethel Waters

Alberta Hunter, a talented artist and lover of Ethel Waters

Alberta Hunter, a talented artist and lover of Ethel Waters

 

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