Childhood: Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dorothy Dandridge began a show business career at a young age. Dandridge’s mother, Ruby Dandridge, was an actress. Early on she urged her two daughters’, Dorothy and Vivian, to pursue careers in entertainment.
In the 1930s, Dandridge and her sister began performing in a song and dance act under the name, “The Wonder Children.” After dropping out of high school in the late 1930s, Dandridge, Vivian, and Etta James formed a group called the Dandridge Sisters. They performed in such places as the Cotton Club.