Obituaries : Ruby Dandridge; Singer, Actress, Mother of Performer Daughters

Ruby Dandridge, a singer, actress and nightclub entertainer who portrayed a series of maids in films, radio and television and trained her two talented daughters for an act called “The Wonder Children,” is dead at age 87.

Mrs. Dandridge, whose late daughter Dorothy went on to become one of the best-known of black film stars, died Oct. 17 at a Los Angeles nursing home.

Her career began to blossom in the early 1940s when she portrayed Geranium, the cook and maid on the old “Judy Canova Show” (1943-53) on radio and was seen in such pictures as “Cabin in the Sky,” “Corregidor,” “Junior Miss, " “My Wild Rose,” “Porgy and Bess,” which starred Dorothy, and “Malaga.”

Also on radio she was heard on “Tonight at Hoagy’s,” the 1944-45 Hoagy Carmichael musical show, and as Oriole on “Beulah,” which also featured her daughters.


On television she was the maid Delilah on “Father Knows Best” in 1961-62.

In the late 1950s she formed a nightclub act and played in such local clubs as the Moroccan, once the Hollywood Canteen on Cahuenga Boulevard.

Her daughter Vivian survives.