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Linda Hopkins

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Previous star: Spring Byington


Linda Hopkins

Source: www.americaswings.net

Linda Hopkins (b. December 14, 1924) is an African-American actress and singer. She was born as Melinda Helen Matthews in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 1951, began performing at Slim Jenkin's Night Club in the Oakland, California area . There she met Johnny Otis and Little Esther Phillips who created her stage name, Linda Hopkins. In 1952, Hopkins toured Hawaii and Japan for two years which included a stint with Louis Armstrong at The Brown Derby in Honolulu. She recorded for the Crystalette, Forecast, Federal and Atco labels and often appeared at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem.

In 1960, Hopkins first toured Europe in the production Broadway Express, the restaged production of Jazz Train. She recorded "Shake a Hand" with Jackie Wilson on the Brunswick label, which is her sole hit single ranking 21 on the R&B chart. She also attended Stella Adler's Acting School in New York City.

During the 1970s, Hopkins performed in the Broadway musical, Purlie, and with Sammy Davis, Jr. for nine months. In addition, she performed at one of President Jimmy Carter's inaugural balls. In 1972 she was awarded a Tony and Drama Desk Award for her performance in Inner City Blues. She has recorded classic, traditional, and urban blues, and performed R&B and soul, jazz, and show tunes, all with distinction and style.

Hopkins starred in Me and Bessie, a one-woman show paying homage to blues singer Bessie Smith, conceived and written by Hopkins and Will Holt. The world premiere was in Washington, D.C. in 1974. After a run in Los Angeles it transferred to the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway. The critically acclaimed show ran for 13 months and 453 performances, and Hopkins was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.

Fact file

  • Birthname: Melinda Helen Matthews
  • Born: December 14, 1924, New Orleans
  • Occupation: Singer and Actress

Read more about Linda Hopkins at Wikipedia or at the Internet Movie Database

In the news

Linda Hopkins, a Tony-Winning Actress and Singer, Dies at 92
NY Times Music, 2017-04-11 23:13:03
Her soaring, gospel-rooted voice was heard on Broadway in “Inner City,” “Black and Blue” and her long-running one-woman show, “Me and Bessie.”

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