(The stage and soap opera actress recounts her struggle wi...)
The stage and soap opera actress recounts her struggle with racism during her long career on the program, One Life to Live, a struggle complicated by her light skin, her relationship with Harry Belafonte, and her alcoholism.
In 1952 Ellen received Bachelor of Arts at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Then she studied acting at Perry-Mansfield School of the Theater.
Ellen Holly turned to writing relatively late in life, after working over forty years as an actress. Throughout much of Ellen Holly’s career there were few acting jobs for women of color, and Holly did not win many of them because she was considered too fair-skinned for African American roles. Hence, the acclaim she received for her acting abilities, both on stage and film, never materialized into concrete opportunities to perform.
Holly made her acting debut on a New York Stage in 1955, but she did not climb into the national spotlight until 1968. That year she won the part of Carla Benari on the daytime television drama "One Life to Live." This character would be a fixture on the show for the next seventeen seasons, until a dispute with the soap’s director pushed her to move to a competitor’s drama. Noting the many facets of Ellen Holly’s career, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted how Holly “depicts the mercurial world ot show biz” and “displays a vivid sense of justice in this outspoken memoir.”
(The stage and soap opera actress recounts her struggle wi...)1996