Lena Mary Calhoun Horne Net WorthReal Name: Lena Mary Calhoun Horne
Date of Birth: 06/30/1917
Place of Birth: Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York
2017 Net Worth: $1 Million (TBD)
Profession: Singer, actress, Civil Rights Activist
Lena, Lena Horne, Mary Horne, Mary Calhoun Biography
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born in Brooklyn, New York, in June of 1917. Her father abandoned the family when Horne was 3. Horne was raised mainly by her grandparents. When she was 5. Horne began traveling with her mother, who worked as an actress with a black theater group. She finally settled down in New York when she was 12 to attend school, but she dropped out before earning her diploma.
Horne joined the chorus line at The Cotton Club in 1933. Within a few months, Horne had a featured role at the club. She made her first records with the Noble Sissie’s Orchestra in 1941. Horne had performed in two, low budget films, which released her songs from those roles as singles. She signed with MGM in late January of 1942. Horne was the first black female to sign a long term contract with a major film or recording studio. While she appeared in a number of MGM musicals, she was never able to secure the lead and many of her films had to be re-edited as some movie houses refused to show films with any black actors or actresses. Horne was also the first African-American to serve on the board of directors for the Screen Actors Guild.
Horne was very active in the civil rights movements between the late 1940’s and 1960’s. During WWII, she refused to perform for segregated audiences, noting that German POW’s were placed in front of black American soldiers. When the army refused to integrate the audience, Horne walked down the aisle and sang directly in front of the black soldiers, with her back to the German’s.
Disillusioned with Hollywood, Horne went on to perform on the night club circuit. She became one of the premier night club performers of her era. While she continued to appear on television, her movie roles were few and far apart after the 1960’s. Although she intended to retire in 1980, she found herself recording quite a few albums in the 1990’s.
Horne passed away May 9th, 2010, in New York City. Many of the personal items from her home were auctioned off in 2011, bringing in $316,000, almost double the estimates. Her exact net worth is being determined at this time, but her personal worth to the world is priceless.