Women in the Performing Arts

Ethel Waters

29-cent Ethel Waters stamp
The Ethel Waters stamp was issued September 1, 1994.

Ethel Waters (1896-1977) is one of the most outstanding African American popular artists of her time. Like many artists, Waters began her career on the vaudeville stage before she achieved national fame in the 1920’s. In the 1930’s she made Broadway history by becoming the first African American to receive equal wages with her white co-stars for her role in As Thousands Cheer. Waters continued to have a successful career into the 1940’s, and in 1949 received an Academy Award nomination for her role in Pinky. Because of her immense success during her career, Ethel Waters has remained an important figure of popular music throughout the twentieth century.