Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers Tamara Dobson

We recently featured an article that a rumor was circulating that actress Tamara Dobson may be returning to the screen. Unfortunately, the buzz was unfounded. Tamara Dobson, former model and star of the Cleopatra Jones films of the 1970s died recently in her hometown of Baltimore after a battle with mutiple sclerosis. She was only 59.

If you are unfamililar with Ms. Dobson's accomplishments, here's a biography that we featured on the Cocoa Lounge in our early days:

Tamara Dobson earned a degree in Fashion Illustration at the Maryland Institute of Art. It was no suprise that the striking 6' 2" Baltimore native would later decide to head to New York to become a model. Before heading to Hollywood, Tamara Dobson plugged products for 25 television commercials. In the early 1970s it was almost impossible to see adverstisements geared to black audiences that didn't include Tamara Dobson or then-model, Richard Roundtree (who also became a huge action star in the Shaft films).

She later won the role of Cleopatra Jones beating out over 100 other young ladies who auditioned. Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975) were two of Dobson's most popular films, providing young black women with a classy, sassy film icon that they could identify with. After the Cleopatra Jones films, however, Dobson would appear in only a few televsion movies and series and would disappear from the Hollywood scene forever, leaving two films to stand as testament to the box-office clout that black women can have--when given the opportunity.




Related Posts: Tamara Dobson Returns?

21 comments:

Sicily said...

RIP

GinaRenay said...

A friend of mine emailed me to tell me of the news--I'm saddened, such an exquisite lady!
Thanks for posting about it....
GinaRenay

Anonymous said...

I grew up idolizing Cleopatra Jones. I'm so sad to hear this but at least her battle is over. May she rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

She was never forgotten though she may not have been on the screen, she will be missed as she was major in my life as a child.

Rest In Peace.

She conquered and women were empowered.

Jaime said...

I remember watching her movies as a young girl. She was strong and beautiful. I always wanted to be tall and statuesque like her. She was the first black woman I ever saw that could kick ass and take names. Made me realize I could be whatever I wanted to be. She will be missed RIP

Anonymous said...

Tamara Dobson was also my hero. I just loved her poise and tall statue. I loved the way in which she portrayed Cleopatra Jones. Although she was beautiful, she didn't use her sexiness to kick butt, but she used her skills in defense. I often wondered where she was and why she wasn't invited back into the entertainment field like others in the 70s error. I was so sorry to here about her death and the illness she suffered. May she rest in peace. Forever a fan.

Beverly V. Brandon-Simms

Anonymous said...

I can't believe she's gone... I'll never forget that trademark roundhouse kick she rocked in Cleo Jones. So gorgeous, so tough. An icon. She was a goddess. RIP, Tamara...

-fis

Devans00 said...

What a beautiful hommage to Ms. Dobson.

My sympathies and condolences to her family and global fans.

P said...

BUT of course.

I am very tall. So was she. I remember in the ninth grade, watching (daily on VHS) what was then a ten plus year old movie, and just being enamored with her.

Cleopatra Jones is iconic.

Mervin, aka Mirror Ball said...

Cocoa – thank you for writing this. I was dumbstruck to hear about Ms. Dobson's passing. A fellow blogger alerted me the day before yesterday. She was special to me for so many reason. I blogged about her at my blog yesterday...

"Curtis" said...

It's ironic I was just asking whatever happen to Tamara and then I look on the internet today to see that she passed. We really need to say thanks to those who paved so many ways for Blacks by showcasing our many skills and talents. We too often keep recognizing the popular and overlooking some others. A reality show of "where are they now" the good, bad or ugly would be appreciated, and could help others recognize the gifts and downfalls that can await those who dare to chase their dreams. Thanks to the Cocoa Lounge, Oprah and the few others who take the time and use their resources to say "Thanks".
It's too late for her to hear...Thanks Queen Tamara (Cleopatra) Dobson.
"Curtis" USAF(Ret)Bossier City, LA.

theo said...

When I was 16, you couldn't tell me I wasn't Cleopatra Jones. Tall, platform shoes, fur jackets, the works. She was my idol. Tamara will be deeply missed.

Nikky said...

May she rest in peace, I was so mesmerized by her work in her movies as a little girl. Truly an amazing woman!

Sybil said...

I was saddened to read that Ms. Dobson had died. I,too,often wondered what had become of her and would check occasionally to see if anyone had current info on her--that is how I learned of her demise. I loved her fashion style as well as her portrayal of Cleopatra Jones and wish her soul peace.

dluvly said...

Ms.Tamara Dobson epitimized strength in black woman.I was a teen when I saw Cleopatra Jones. I also saw a few photos of her when she modeled. To me she was an icon. During the seventies when black women were taking their clothes off Ms. Dobson kept hers on. She was STUNNING and POWERFUL. Thankyou, Tamara for giving us young black sisters someone to look up to in film. GOD BLESS.

Anonymous said...

Seeing Cleopatra Jones when I was a child changed my life. I wanted all her outfits, speak different languages, and kick butt looking that good. We need more images and idols like her today. RIP

Anonymous said...

She was a true and natural BEAUTY.
R.I.P.

gigigisele said...

R.I.P...Miss Tamara Dobson...She was a stunning beauty...Those eyes and grace.. Tyra Banks had nothing on her...She totally embodied that film...Cleopatra Jones...She did more with her wit...than Pam grier exposed in nude scenes...Much respect...

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