DANDRIDGE, Ruby

(1900–1987)
   Ruby Dandridge was an African American actress of the pre–civil rights era who primarily played comic Negro roles. She was the mother of the much more famous screen star of the 1950s, Dorothy Dandridge. Ruby Dandridge usually played a white actress’s childlike serving woman, cook, or some other menial role. In Republic’s Home in Oklahoma (1946), Roy Rogers (as himself) is trying to solve the murder of Sam Talbot. Dale Evans (Connie Edwards), out riding the dead man’s horse, is thrown and the horse comes racing back to the ranch. At the same time, Devoria (Dandridge) hears a train whistle but thinks she hears Talbot moaning from his grave. She had heard the same noise the day Talbot was killed. Rogers solves the case when he figures out that Talbot had been killed much earlier than thought, namely when the train was making a scheduled run in the area. Devoria’s fear reinforces typical white stereotyping of African Americans in Westernsof the period.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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