Black History: Celebrating Marpessa Dawn | Faces of Black Fashion: Black History: Celebrating Marpessa Dawn

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Black History: Celebrating Marpessa Dawn

Marpessa Dawn is best known for her role as Eurydice in the 1959 critically-acclaimed film, Black Orpheus. Born in the United States to African-American and Filipino parents, Marpessa relocated to Europe as a teenager to pursue a career in acting. A few years later at 24 years old, Marpessa would win the starring role of Eurydice. Black Orpheus won the Palme d’Or in 1959, which is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and the next year it won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. The film’s acclaim catapulted Marpessa into fame resulting in an Ebony Magazine feature and appearances on a number of American talk shows. After her role in Black Orpheus, Marpessa remained in Europe  where she continued to pursue acting without much  success. Yet she left her mark in her starring role as Eurydice in an era where acting roles for black women were extremely limited. 


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