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Carolynne Snowden

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Carolynne Snowden
Carrie Artiemissia Snowden[1][2][3]

(1900-01-16)January 16, 1900
Oakland, California, U.S.
DiedSeptember 5, 1985(1985-09-05) (aged 85)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer
Spouse(s)Fontaine Walker (div.)
Manfred Montagu

Carrie Artiemissia Snowden (January 16, 1900 – September 5, 1985), known professionally as Carolynne Snowden, was an American actress, dancer, and singer who broke new ground for black people working in the entertainment industry.


Carolynne was born in Oakland, California, to Frederick Snowden and Nellie Derrick. Early on in her career, she performed on the theater circuit, traveling the country and earning acclaim.[4] She was singing and dancing at New York City's famous Cotton Club by the early 1920s.

By 1925, she had relocated to Los Angeles to perform at the New Cotton Club and at Club Alabam on Central Avenue; she slowly began to get small roles in Hollywood films like The Marriage Clause and The Merry Widow.[5][6] Eventually she signed a five-year contract with John M. Stahl's Tiffany Pictures, which led to a bigger role in 1927's In Old Kentucky alongside Stepin Fetchit.[5][7]

Carolynne left Hollywood around 1933 after her Tiffany contract was up, taking her show on the road and refocusing her efforts on singing and dancing.[8][9] She died in 1985 in Los Angeles, and was survived by her husband Manfred Montagu and her daughter, Esther Smith.[9][10]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ Register of Births; Health Office, Oakland. California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 at Family Search.
  2. ^ Carolynne Snowden's 1954 'Affidavit to Correct a Record' at Family Search.
  3. ^ Calvin, Floyd. "California Movie Star Doing Broadway". The Pittsburgh Courier. October 22, 1927. Page 13. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  4. ^ "Miss Carolynne Snowden". The Pittsburgh Courier. 15 Dec 1923. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  5. ^ a b Petro, Patrice (2010-03-04). Idols of Modernity: Movie Stars of the 1920s. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-4929-3.
  6. ^ a b "Cafe Notes". The Los Angeles Times. 9 Apr 1926. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  7. ^ "The Stage and Screen". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 Jan 1928. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  8. ^ "Colored Ballad Singer Popular at Local Club". Battle Creek Enquirer. 27 Dec 1935. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  9. ^ a b "Carolynne Montagu: Cotton Club Dancer". The Hartford Courant. 11 Sep 1985. Retrieved 2019-12-23.
  10. ^ "Carolynne Snowden Montagu". Alabama Journal. 10 Sep 1985. Retrieved 2019-12-23.

Further reading

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Carolynne Snowden
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