Ethel Williams (December 21, 1891 - died after 1961)
Ethel Waters was an African-American blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress. She frequently performed jazz, big band, and pop music, on the Broadway stage and in concerts, although she began her career in the 1920s singing blues. Her best-known recordings include Dinah, Stormy Weather, Taking a Chance on Love, Heat Wave, Supper Time, Am I Blue? and Cabin in the Sky, as well as her version of the spiritual His Eye Is on the Sparrow. Waters was the second African American, after Hattie McDaniel, to be nominated for an Academy Award. She is also the first African American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award, in 1962. Ethel Waters had a lesbian relationship with dancer Ethel Williams that led to them being nicknamed 'The Two Ethels'. Alberta Hunter and Lottie Tyler, Waters and Williams were black show business luminaries who were not excessively careful to hide their bisexuality in Harlem. “These women, who did not take great pains to pretend to exclusive heterosexuality, must have believed that in their own sophisticated circles of Harlem, bisexuality was seen as interesting and provocative. Although unalloyed homosexuality may still have connoted in 1920s Harlem the abnormality of “a man trapped in a woman’s body,” bisexuality seems to have suggested that a woman was super-sexy.” Lillian Faderman
Timeline & Places:
• December 21, 1891: born.
• 1920s: lived at 580 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10030, Stati Uniti, sharing with Ethel Waters