Home CELEBS New York City theater to be renamed after Black actress Lena Horne

New York City theater to be renamed after Black actress Lena Horne

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For the first time, Broadway will have a theater named for a Black woman.

The Nederlander Organization announced Thursday that the Brooks Atkinson Theater will be named for actor and activist Lena Horne, according to The New York Times.

Horne is a veteran of five Broadway shows, making her debut in 1934 with “Dance With Your Gods.” She became the first Black woman nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical in 1958 for “Jamaica.”

Her final appearance was “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music” in 1981, for which she received a Special Tony Award.

A Grammy Award winner and Tony nominee, she also had a lengthy discography and film and television résumé. She was a longtime civil rights activist.

She died in 1990 at age 92.

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The theater was built in 1926 and originally named the Mansfield Theater. It was renamed in 1960 in honor of the New York Times criticizing Brooks Atkinson.

Singer Lena Horne meets fans and signs copies of her autobiographical book at Bamberger's department store at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey on Nov.  16, 1965. Although a small area was chained off to allow the singer some distance from her admirers, she had no part of it and walked away from her escorts into the crowd.

The theater, 256 W. 47th, is currently the home of “Six” and seats 1,069.

This is the second Broadway theater this year with plans to be renamed for a prominent Black performer. In March, the Shubert Organization announced that the Cort Theater will be renamed for James Earl Jones.

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