History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


Pearl Bailey

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Beautiful signed half-length publicity portrait of the entertainment icon

Pearl Mae Bailey, 1918–1990.  American actress and singer.  8" x 10" publicity photograph signed, Love / Pearl.

This is a beautiful black-and-white bust portrait photograph of Bailey, one of the most accomplished and popular entertainers of her time.  It shows her wearing a scarf and hat and throwing a playful glancing look at the photographer.  She has boldly signed in purple felt tip pen across her blouse and vest.

The versatile Bailey performed on stage, in film, and on television and recorded more than 30 record albums.  From her start as a nightclub entertainer in Philadelphia, she worked in New York with such stars as Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway before making her Broadway debut in 1946 in the musical St. Louis Woman, for which she won a Donaldson Award as Broadwayʼs best newcomer.  In her most important Broadway role, Bailey portrayed Dolly Levi in the 1967 all-African-American cast version of the musical Hello, Dolly!

Bailey was close to Republican Presidents Gerald R. Ford, who appointed her as a special ambassador to the United Nations in 1975, and Ronald Reagan, for whom she performed at the 50th Inaugural Gala the night before his second inauguration.  President Reagan awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bailey wrote six books, including two autobiographies, The Raw Pearl (1968) and Talking to Myself (1971), and, the year before she died, Between You and Me:  A Heartfelt Memoir on Learning, Loving, and Living (1989).

Based on the back stamp on the photograph, this image dates from the early 1970s.  The back stamp contains the titles of Baileyʼs two autobiographies and encourages people to "Listen To ʻpearlʼs pearls,ʼ" an album that she recorded in 1971. 

This glossy photograph is very nice. It has a few scattered handling marks and a couple of faint paper clip impressions at the top that do not show unless the photo is turned just right in the light.  It is in fine condition and would be beautiful framed.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.


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