She was compared to another tragic Hollywood heroine, Marilyn Monroe-so glamorous was her image and turbulent was her life. “In 1954, she won the lead role in the movie that would make her a star-Carmen Jones- a lavish musical based on the nineteenth-century French opera Carmen by Georges Bizet that tells the story of a beautiful but fickle gypsy girl whose seductive ways lead to tragedy.” (Carmen Jones....)
This role came to her lot on the basis of her sex-appeal. When she was not selected in her first audition, she practiced the intended role to perfection with an authentic-sounding southern accent, her tight skirt and low-cut blouse exhibited her feminine assets, she tousled her hair, the make up was brilliant and the result was obvious. She made the perfect character and won the heart of the director personally as well, though the liaison ended on an unfortunate note.
The movie was a stupendous commercial success, Dorothy became the toast of Hollywood, reporters, publishers, photographer vied with each other to describe this black sex-bomb, and Life Magazine described her as one of the most beautiful women in America. Love, passion, betrayal and tragedy marked Carmen Jones which is an adaptation of Bizets legendary opera, which Dorothy plays to perfection. Her extraordinary beauty, and tremendous sex appeal is the object of desire of many men. Carmen successfully traps an army officer, he succumbs to her physical charms and forsakes the sweetheart to whom he is engaged.
In the 1950-1960s Hollywood was sill plagued with racism and no black-woman would think of securing the lead role. Minor domestic and subservient roles came to their lot. Notwithstanding the maiden success of Carmen Jones, the producers and studio bosses refused to accept African American actresses for roles other than domestic servants, tramps and seductresses. In such a situation, the lusty young woman Dorothy