She was one of the first African-American film stars in the United States and England and starred in the 1929 film Hallelujah!
She would perform antics on her bicycle as a child and acted in school plays.
She was named 'The Black Garbo' in reference to Greta Garbo because of her beauty.
She was married to Jazz musician, Jimmy Monroe from 1935 to 1938.
She co-starred with actor Paul Robeson in the 1935 film Sanders of the River.