Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hollywood Black History: Della Reese, TV Host Pioneer

It's African-American Heritage Month aka Black History Month. So for the next couple of weeks I'm going to do some posts concerning African-Americans and our contributions to the entertainment industry. First up award-winning singer, actress, and ordained minister, Della Reese!

Most of us--70s, 80s kids--know Della Reese best from the hit tv show "Touched By An Angel" or from those oh so funny scenes in "Harlem Knights" with the legendary comedian, Red Foxx. But she holds a higher distinctive honor beyond those memorable roles on the big and small screen. And if you take the time to do a little research, you'll discover she actually began her long career--nearly 60 years in fact--as a singer, NOT an actress. Her first hit record was "And That Reminds Me Of You" on Jubilee Records in 1953.

But that isn't the special distinction I'm referring to. Born Deloreese Patricia Early, she is actually the first African-American to host her own television show, paving the way for Oprah, Tyra, Mo'Nique and others. The self-titled show, "Della", debuted in 1969. Listen to some of what she had to overcome to do the show and have such longevity in this business of show.

Hear the FULL interview of her trail-blazing career in this interview with Tavis Smiley by clicking HERE.

Several years ago I read Della Reese's autobiography. It was a GREAT read! I especially adored the wedding vows she and her husband shared in the book as well as learning about how she triumphed over racism, illness, and other life trials. If you love good biographies get it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

beautiful!!!! i love it