18. Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge made history as the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. The beautiful actress was a skilled singer and dancer, as well. Despite her immense talent, she had difficulty landing leading roles due to racism. When she performed at nightclubs, she was prohibited from interacting with the patrons or even using the restroom, because of segregation laws.
Dandridge had trouble in her personal life, as well. After two failed marriages, she began taking antidepressants and drinking heavily.
Her abusive second husband mishandled and lost most of her money. She was nearing bankruptcy and her career was floundering. She could no longer afford medical care for her disabled daughter, who was born with brain damage. Her daughter had to be placed in a state institution, and the devastated mother suffered a nervous breakdown.
In 1965, the talented yet troubled actress was found dead in her home at age 42. An investigation revealed the cause of death was an overdose of antidepressants. At the time of her death, the groundbreaking actress had only $2 in her bank account.
Photo source: Dandridge Dorothy by loloman66