Legendary actress Lena Horne will be the first Black woman to have a Broadway theater named in her honor. The Brooks Atkinson Theater on West 47th Street will soon be named after the actress.
Horne starred in several Broadway productions beginning in 1934 with Dance With Your Gods. She also starred in several Hollywood movies in the 1940s such as Stormy Weather and Cabin in the Sky before starring on Broadway again in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, for which she was given a Special Tony Award in 1981. The late actress was also the first Black woman to be nominated for a Tony Award in 1958. She was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Jamaica.
President of the Nederlander Organization, James L. Nederlander, revealed his father used to produce Horne’s old Broadway shows and called the accomplished actress, singer and dancer a legend.
Journalist Michael Paulson shared the story on social media and captioned the post, “Broadway will soon be home to a Lena Horne Theater. The Nederlander Organization is going to rename the Brooks Atkinson Theater after Horne this fall. This will be the first Broadway theater named for a Black woman.”
The actress was also an activist and passionate civil rights advocate who sued several theaters for racial discrimination. Horne passed away in 2010 at the age of 92, and her granddaughter, Jenny Lumet, said the family is proud to know a theater will be named after a Black woman and artist.
“I’m really proud that people might find a spark of creativity in a space that has her name on it — that’s all you can ask for,” said Lumet. “And it means something that there will be a theater, in the mecca of theater, named after a Black female artist. I couldn’t be prouder.”