The Josephine Baker Story

The Josephine Baker Story is an American television film that first aired on HBO on March 16, 1991. It stars Lynn Whitfield as Josephine Baker, who is regarded for being the first international African-American star, despite her more prominent success in Europe. The film was generally well received by critics and has become a success on home video and DVD. The original music score was composed by Georges Delerue. The film was nominated for several awards and won 5 Emmy Awards for art direction, costume design, hairstyling, directing by Brian Gibson and for acting by Lynn Whitfield.

The Josephine Baker Story
Screenplay byRon Hutchinson
Story byRon Hutchinson
Michael Zagor
Directed byBrian Gibson
StarringLynn Whitfield
Rubén Blades
David Dukes
Craig T. Nelson
Louis Gossett Jr.
Music byGeorges Delerue
Carolyn Dennis (singing voice: Josephine Baker)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Robert Halmi Jr.
Robert Halmi Sr.
David Puttnam
Producer(s)John Kemeny
Madeleine Henrié (associate producer)
Alisa Taylor (associate producer)
CinematographyElemér Ragályi
Running time130 minutes
Production company(s)Anglia Television
HBO Pictures
Sonar Entertainment
Original networkHBO
Picture formatColor
Audio formatStereo
Original release
  • March 16, 1991 (1991-03-16)


Born into a poor family in St. Louis, Josephine Baker struggles to make a name for herself on the vaudeville circuit. As her career progresses, so does her resentment of racial prejudice, motivating her to move to Paris -- where in a short time, her exotic dance routines make her the toast of the town. Swayed by the influence of her manager, she takes the act back to America. It fails, but Josephine perseveres, proving herself as much humanitarian as entertainer.



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