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Paula Kelly
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    (October 21, 1943-February 9, 2020)
    Born in Jacksonville, Florida
    Broadway stage performer
    Acted in productions of 'Something More!' (1964), 'The Dozens' (1969), 'Story Theatre' (1971), 'Metamorphoses' (1971), and 'Sophisticated Ladies' (1981)
    Acted in films 'Sweet Charity,' 'Trouble Man,' 'Soylent Green,' 'The Spook Who Sat By The Door,' 'The Andromeda Strain,' 'Uptown Saturday Night,' 'Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling,' 'Drop Squad,' and 'Once Upon a Time ... When We Were Colored'
    Guest-starred on episodes of 'Sanford and Son,' 'Good Times,' 'The Golden Girls,' 'Night Court,' and 'Police Woman'
    She shares a name with a big-band 'Modernaire' songstress who frequently collaborated with Glenn Miller.
    She drew controversy as the first Playboy centerfold to show pubic hair while posing (August, 1969).
    Her character in 'Time of Your Life' was written out of the show after being heavily scrutinized by executives who watched the pilot.
    She left the casts of both 'Night Court' and 'Santa Barbara' just as her characters were beginning to gain traction with viewers.
    She has been mistaken for Pam Grier in many of her on-screen appearances (not necessarily a bad thing...)
    As of 2016, she had not worked in a mainstream project since 1999.
    She tended to play ethnic characters with an eccentric flair on shows like 'Sanford' or 'Golden Girls' (in the latter playing a maid whom the girls suspect dabbles in Voo Doo but who is actually studying to be a lawyer).
    She won three NAACP Image Awards.
    She looked (and moved) like Josephine Baker.
    She was encouraged to audition for NYC's Music & Art High School by a school teacher who admired her singing voice in the elementary school choir.
    She later earned a four-year scholarship to the Julliard School of Music, graduating in 1964.
    She toured with Harry Belafonte, Martha Graham, Donald McKayle, Gene Kelly, and Alvin Ailey.
    She received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for 'Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope.'
    She performed a dance solo at the 1969 Academy Awards for the nominated song 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.'
    She received Emmy nominations for her work in 'Night Court' and Oprah Winfrey's 'Women of Brewster Place' (in which she played a lesbian experiencing homophobia in the ghetto).
    She performed the role of Tiger Lily opposite Mia Farrow in the BBC's 'Peter Pan' production (1976).
    She played the role of Cassy in the TV movie version of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (which actually turned out to be a pretty faithful and dignified adaptation of the original book).
    She was the only original cast member of 'Sweet Charity' to be cast in the film version directed by Bob Fosse and starring Shirley Maclaine.
    Beyonce later admitted to modeling the choreography for her 'All the Single Ladies' music video on her's and MacLaine's movements in the 'Something Better Than This' number from the 'Charity' movie.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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