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HomeDaily Dose of HistoryDAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Paula Kelly - Actress

DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Paula Kelly – Actress

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Paula Kelly, Black Actress, Black History, DDH: Daily Dose of History

Daughter of Jazz

Paula Kelly was born on October 21, 1943, in Jacksonville, Florida. She was the daughter of a jazz musician and was raised in Harlem, New York. She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art as a music major. After graduating from high school, she continued her studies at the Juilliard School of Music.


While attending the Juilliard School of Music, Kelly majored in dance. She eventually earned an M.S. degree and soon began performing as a soloist for major dance companies, including Alvin Ailey. She landed her first role on Broadway as Mrs. Veloz in the 1964 musical, ‘Something More!’


Kelly soon began working as a guest artist and assistant choreographer for a number of television specials. She worked with Sammy Davis, Jr. on ‘Sammy and Friends,’ she worked on Quincy Jones’ tribute to Duke Ellington, ‘We Love You Madly,’ and she worked alongside Richard Pryor on ‘The Richard Pryor Show.’

Paula Kelly, Black Actress, Black History, DDH: Daily Dose of History


During the late 1960s, Kelly performed a dance solo at the 41st Academy Awards. She danced to the title track from the 1968 film, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.’ She later performed in London opposite Juliet Prowse in the stage play, ‘Sweet Charity.’ She won the London Variety Award for Best Supporting Actress. Kelly then returned to the states, starring in another stage play titled, ‘Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.’ As a result of her stellar performance, she won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and an NAACP Image Award.


Kelly later broke into the film industry. She landed several roles in smaller films, television movies, and sitcoms. She was nominated for Emmy Awards for her work on the sitcom ‘Night Court’ and for her performance in ‘The Women of Brewster Place.’

Alive and Well

After playing a number of roles for stage and screen productions, Kelly stepped out of the limelight by 1999. Her last appearance on television was on the show titled, ‘Any Day Now.’ At the age of 74 years old, Paula Kelly is alive and well. Paula Kelly, Black Actress, Black History, DDH: Daily Dose of History    
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**
Thank you all for reading my article. I’m a part of the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses called We Buy Black. Similar to Etsy or Amazon, this website allows for Black-owned businesses to create a shop and sell their amazing products to the world! If you have a product, you should definitely join this platform! We Buy Black also has it’s Inaugural We Buy Black Convention happening this November 16th-17th in Atlanta, GA and I hope to see you all there. In fact, I along with hundreds of others will be wearing our official We Buy Black T-shirt, so here’s my gift to you: Get 50% off the official WBB T-shirt using my code WBB2018. Peace, family!]]>

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