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Dancer, Activist, Spy: Paula Patton Set To Star As Josephine Baker In Film She's Also Producing About The Icon

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Paula Patton is gearing up to star and produce a project about the life of Jazz Age icon Josephine Baker. Deets inside…

Paula Patton is about to give us a story that needs to be told, shared and seen by all. The Precious star is gearing up to star and produce a project about legendary entertainer Josephine Baker. She has optioned both the film and television rights to Sherry Jones' novel, "Josephine Baker's Last Dance"

The project is still in the beginning stages as a script writer for the adaptation is currently being sought.

“Josephine Baker had an incredible life and was a remarkable woman,” Paula told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s been a childhood dream of mine to play such an inspirational person and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to tell her story.”

The dancer/activist/spy was born June 3, 1906  and died April 12, 1975 at age 68. The Jazz Age icon – born Freda Josephine McDonald – gained fame in Paris for killing it as a performer at the Paris cabaret music hall Folies-Bergère. She starred in several films, notably Siren of the Tropic, Zouzou, and Princesse Tam Tam, which earned her the rights to being named as the first international Black female celebrity. Woot!

Not only was she an entertainer, she was also a civil rights activist. The Missouri native-turned-French citizen refused to perform at venues with segregated audiences, which some historians believe helped with desegregating the Las Vegas casinos. She also marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1963 March in Washington. Josephine also assisted the French Resistance as a spy during World War II, becoming the first American-born woman to receive the French military honor, the Croix de Guerre.

Shadow & Act reports:

This would be the second project on Baker. The 1991 HBO movie, The Josephine Baker Story, starred Lynn Whitfield as Baker, alongside Louis Gossett Jr. and Rubén Blades. Whitfield won an Emmy for the role. Prior to this, Diana Ross had attempted to get a Baker project off the ground but it didn't come to fruition. A few years ago, Noosa Films won the rights to Baker's autobiography from its French publishers, Editions Robert Laffont. Unfortunately, nothing ever came of the project.

We'll keep you posted on any updates when they're available.

By the way, Paul Patton Patton is starring in the upcoming BET+ project, Sacrifice, which drops December 19th.




Photo: lev radin/shuttershock.com

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