PEARL BAILEY BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Pearl Bailey was born on March 29th, 1918 in Newport News, Virginia with the birth name Pearl Mae Bailey. She was born to parents, Joseph, a minister and Ella Mae Bailey. She spent most of her early childhood in Washington DC and grew up with an interest in dancing and performing.
She first began her involvement in entertaining when she would tour the mining towns throughout Pennsylvania and also was a singer in vaudeville. Then she relocated to New York in the early 40’s and worked as a dancer and singer touring with the cootie Williams orchestra.
As her career progressed she would make appearances in a number of nightclubs and began to make a name for herself. It did not take long before she could be heard on the radio and seen in a number of television and stage appearances.
Some of her stage roles were on, “Arms and the Girl”, “St. Louis Woman”, “House of Flowers”. And “Hello Dolly!”, for which she won a special Tony Award for her performance. She is also very well remembered for her role opposite Nat King Cole in the film, “St. Louis Blues” (1958) along with other roles in such films as, “The Landlord” (1970) and “Norman…Is that You?” (1976).
She also released a number of soundtracks such as, “Tired” (1947), “I Shoulda Quit When I was Ahead” (1948), “Oh, I Can’t Sit Down” (1959), “If My Friends Could See Me Now”, “Hello Dolly” and “The Two of Us” (all 1969).
Throughout her lifetime she married twice. First to, John Randolph Pinkett from 1948 through 1952. She then married Louie Bellson in 1952 and they had two children together before she passed away on August 17th, 1990 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after suffering from heart failure.
She was a lovely woman and because of her kindness, she was recognized for it in a number of ways such as, being appointed as a special ambassador to the United Nations in 1975 by President Gerald Ford. She was also a recipient of the Women’s International Center Living Legacy Award in 1989. Bailey was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Radio. She is buried at Rolling Green Memorial Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
1989 Peter Gunn
1985 ABC Afterschool Specials
1984-1985 Silver Spoons
1982 As the World Turns
1982 The Member of the Wedding
1981 The Fox and the Hound
1978 The Love Boat
1976 Norman... Is That You?
1975 Tubby the Tuba
1973 Love, American Style
1970 The Landlord
1960 All the Fine Young Cannibals
1959 Porgy and Bess
1958 St. Louis Blues
1956 That Certain Feeling
1954 Carmen Jones
1948 Isn't It Romantic?