Remembered for her roles in 1930s films such as Professional Sweetheart (with Ginger Rogers), Hold Your Man (with Jean Harlow and Clark Gable), and Baby Face (with Barbara Stanwyck), this African-American actress and singer also appeared in several Val Lewton-produced films of the 1940s.
In her early adulthood years, she studied music at the University of California-Los Angeles and performed with a musical theater group called the Lafayette Players.
She made her first on-screen appearance as a singer in the 1929 feature Thunderbolt.
She grew up in Texas and California as the daughter of Louisiana natives Mable and Isaiah Harris. In the 1950s, she retired from show business and married a physician named George Robinson.
She and Eddie Rochester Anderson acted opposite each other in both the 1940 film Buck Benny Rides Again and the 1943 movie What's Buzzin' Cousin.