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Hilda Simms
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    (April 15, 1918-February 6, 1994)
    Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Birth name was Hilda Moses
    Starred on Broadway in the title role of the American Negro Theater production of ‘Anna Lucasta’ (1944-46)
    Appeared in the films ‘The Joe Louis Story’ (1953) and ‘Black Widow’ (1954)
    Recurring role in the TV series ‘The Nurses’ (1962-64)
    Her marriage to William Simms broke up in less than a year.
    Her devoutly Catholic mother refused to see her in ‘Anna Lucasta’ because she portrayed a prostitute.
    She noted about producers’ reluctance to cast her, ‘I don’t look typically Negro enough. I’ve heard this line for the 1,000th time.’
    At the American Negro Theater, in addition to acting, she was in charge of props, sound effects and publicity.
    ’Ebony’ named her one the five most beautiful black women in the world (1954).
    Her acting career was cut short when she was blacklisted in the mid-1950s over her support for civil rights.
    The Justice Department revoked her passport and barred her from a USO tour of Europe (1955), even though she had entertained the troops and gone on War Bond tours during WWII.
    She served as Creative Arts Director for the New York State Human Rights Convention.
    She worked in drug treatment programs in New York City.

Credit: C. Fishel

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