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When Lena Horne Played the Waldorf | Vanity Fair
Still, the humor never pierced her mystique. As she explained, “They kept saying, ‘There’s so much mystery about her. What is she thinking? And she’s so sexy.’ Oh, God! I wasn’t. I just didn’t like them, really. I said, ‘I’m not gonna let them know what I’m thinking about.’ So I had this kinda grand attitude, which went very well in the nightclubs.”
It certainly impressed her peers. Sammy Davis Jr. sat ringside with a pad and pencil, noting everything Horne did. Martha Graham watched in fascination. “There is not one spontaneous gesture,” the modern-dance pioneer noticed. “It’s as calculated as Kabuki or a Hindu dance.” Stella Adler, the eminent acting coach, told her class that Horne and Judy Garland were the greatest singing actors. To a young man attempting a monologue from Othello, she recommended Horne as an example of fiery but controlled rage.