Cyril Dandridge Biography, Early Life, Educational Background, Career, Wife, Children, Parents, Marital Life Problem


Cyril Dandridge biography

Cyril Dandridge was a cabinet maker by trade and an ex former Baptist minister in the city of Cleveland. He was also known to be more of a traditional man character-wise.

He was born on the 25th of October 1895 and he is 128 years old as of 2023 although he is long dead. Cyril passed away on 9th July 1989 and he was 94 years old at the time of his death.

He was a handsome man Slightly built and fine-boned with curly woolly hair, Cyril “was very attractive” with sharp features and light brown color, what every black lady of his time would want in a man.

Early Life

Cyril Dandridge was born and raised in the city of Cleveland, Ohio by his parents James Henry Dandridge and Florence Jessie Locke. He lived his entire life in the same city of Cleveland where he was born, and he also married and settled down with his wife in the city. 

Educational Background

Cyril did not attend any school back in the day so he did not have any formal education.


As a young man, Cyril Dandridge started off his career as a clerk, and later he became a mechanic, and then a draftsman. He later settled finally as a Baptist minister and a cabinet maker in the city of Cleveland where lived all his life.


Ruby Dandridge in a black-and-white picture of the 90s

Cyril was married to ruby Dandridge a well-known American actress from the early 1900s through to the late 1950s. They both got married in a ceremony performed by the Reverend J. S. Jackson. at the time of their marriage, Ruby Jean was just 20 years old. Cyril was 23 years old. After their marriage ceremony, He moved his young bride, Ruby, into the house he shared with her mother on East 103rd Street.

Ruby, an American actress, was best known for her role on the radio show Amos ‘n Andy, in which she played Sadie Blake and Harriet Crawford, and on radio’s Judy Canova Show, in which she played Geranium. She was also known for her role as Sally in the 1959 movie titled a hole in the head. She was born on the 3rd of March, 1900 in Wichita, Kansas, U.S. as ruby jean Butler before he got married to Cyril, and she died on the 17th of October, 1987 (aged 87) in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Ruby corpse was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, a privately owned cemetery in Glendale, California.


Vivian Dandridge the first child of Cyril and ruby

Cyril Dandridge and his wife ruby both had two children who were known to be Vivian Alferetta Dandridge and Dorothy jean Dandridge. Vivian was Cyril’s first child while Dorothy was the second child of the family. 

Vivian, his first child, was a notable American singer, actress, and dancer, best known for being the older sister of the famous actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge and the daughter of actress Ruby Dandridge. Vivian was also known to be a member of the Dandridge Sisters musical group, along with her friend Etta Jones and sister Dorothy Dandridge from 1934 until the group disbanded in 1940. She went on to take on minor roles in film acting and television shows from 1940 through the early 1960s. She was born on the 22nd of April, 1921, and died on the 26th of October 1991 at the age of 70.

Dorothy Dandridge the second daughter of Cyril and ruby

Dorothy, his second child, was also an African American actress, singer, and dancer, but was more famous than his older sister Vivian. She is known to be the first-ever African American to be nominated for some prestigious awards such as the Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe Award for Porgy and Bess. And she was a lead character in many notable movies and TV shows. She was born on the 9th of November 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. and she died on the 8th of September 1965 at the age of 42 in west Hollywood California U.S.


Cyril Dandridge was the only son of his parents. He was born into the family of Mr. Henry Dandridge and Mrs. Florence Locke Dandridge. His father was a cook while his mother was a hairdresser born in Canada in 1873. Cyril’s mother was a woman known for her active and energetic manner and the way she pampers and praises her child. She looked more like a Caucasian than African American. Cyril lived with his parents at 4710 Central Avenue for several years before he left for Greener pasture.

Marital Life Problem

After Cyril moved her newly married wife to live with him and his mother, The marriage was headed for trouble in a short time. Ruby openly complained about the time and attention Cyril gave to his mother rather than to her. She maintained that he was not a good enough provider and was precisely what everyone knew him to be, just a mama’s boy.

Still, Ruby stayed and coped with the situation. Less than two years after the marriage ceremony, Ruby was pregnant. On April 22, 1921, she gave birth to her first child, Vivian Alferetta Dandridge. Afterward, it looked as if the Dandridges might now settle into blissful domesticity.

Ruby, however, felt nothing had changed. Neither Cyril nor Florence could understand her. She in turn appeared not to care to understand them. Unlike most wives who were expected to enjoy the fruits and pleasures of their families, to find satisfaction in their household responsibilities, and to take pride in their husband’s ambitions and achievements rather than their own, Ruby, although a good cook, showed no interest in the home and little in Cyril. She must have wondered too how she could focus on her husband’s goals when, in her eyes, Cyril didn’t have any. She, on the other hand, had many. To stay stuck inside a house twenty-four hours a day–saying yes to her husband while always walking on eggshells around her mother-in-law–was not one of them.

Their conflicts grew. Cyril complained that the house had become filthy. The same was true, he said, of Ruby’s personal habits.

The real friction between Ruby and Cyril and his mother grew out of differing views on life itself. Their lives were settled, fixed, and stagnant. Not much would ever change for them. Ruby, on the contrary, was bursting with energy, interest, and enthusiasm. She wanted adventure, change, diversity, and freedom. And even in the early years of her marriage, she also wanted to perform.

Finally, exasperated with her mother-in-law, Cyril, and the entire domestic set-up, Ruby did something few women would have then dared. She packed her bags, picked up two-month-old baby Vivian, and moved out. Just up and abandoned him, as Cyril was to say later. Gone for six weeks, she most likely stayed at the home of her cousin.

She might have stayed away longer, but with no money, no training, and no profession, she was just a Colored woman out on her own with a young daughter and not much of a future. Cyril persuaded her to come back.

The two attempted a reconciliation, and by the spring of 1922, Ruby was pregnant again. But–for her–this was probably the worst news of all. The idea of being homebound in a household with two children, a meek husband, and a testy mother-in-law scared her. She also had to admit that Cyril did not excite her and could never answer her basic needs. She decided once again she had to get out.

And so in July, five months pregnant, Ruby Dandridge picked up baby Vivian and walked out on her husband for the second time. On November 9, 1922, she entered Cleveland’s City Hospital where she gave birth to her second daughter, Dorothy Jean Dandridge, a name her daughter would later sign on official papers and documents but never officially appeared as such on the birth certificate. It was simply Dorothy Dandridge.  Now Ruby had made up her mind to survive without Cyril. She wanted nothing more to do with him. If it were possible, she would have erased him completely from her memory. For many years, she managed to erase him from the memory of her daughters, who as children never saw their father, and for years would never know some of the more complicated reasons why their mother had left him. The girls were raised believing Cyril had no interest in them. And for some years, Ruby even told them that he was dead. Later she admitted he was still living but claimed he had deserted them.

Within the next few years, Ruby moved several times, perhaps because she was running away from Dandridge but always remained on the Cleveland east side. 

On East 103rd Street, Cyril Dandridge was in a panic. He knew of Dorothy’s birth. But his wife and children had vanished and he launched a search to find them. Once he finally located Ruby, Cyril pleaded with her to come back, but Ruby remained adamant. Under no circumstances would she live as his wife again. But she insisted that he provide support for the girls. Their relations turned stormy and ugly.

After all the problems, and fights between Cyril and his wife Ruby, he finally accepted the fact that Ruby would never return to his home and that their marriage was over. But he refused to stand by and let Ruby take his two daughters away from him. He found an attorney, John P. Green, and in June of 1924, he filed for divorce.

In his divorce suit–a “Petition for Divorce, Custody of Children and Relief”–Cyril’s anger and impatience boiled over. Ruby was guilty of “Gross Neglect of Duty,” he charged, “in that she has ever since said marriage refused and neglected to perform her proper household duties.” He argued that she had not prepared meals for him and, worst, was “filthy and unclean about her person and likewise about her home.”

Also charging her with “Extreme Cruelty,” Cyril accused Ruby of lying, saying she “has made all manner of false and untrue statements” to friends and relatives about his conduct toward her. Ruby had caused him great humiliation, Cyril complained, by having him arrested on false charges and “grossly misrepresented him in every way all to his mental distress and agitation.” His suit stated that Ruby was “not the proper person to care for and nurture” the children. Cyril wanted custody of Dorothy and Vivian.

Ruby decided to fight him on her terms. She hired the law offices of Clarke and Costello to file a countersuit in August 1924. She denied Cyril’s allegations and requested that his complaint/petition be dismissed. Instead, she sought a divorce from him. Cyril had not been “a faithful and dutiful husband,” she charged and was guilty of Gross Neglect of Duty. She also stated that he failed and refused to provide her with a home; that she was compelled to live with relatives; that about two years earlier, the plaintiff had deserted her; that he refused to come back to her and the children; that for a considerable period, he had contributed nothing to the support of the children; that for a short time, he paid her $10 a week for the support of their daughters by virtue of an order of Juvenile Court.

She also charged that rather than provide for her Cyril gave his money to his mother. And she stated that for the past two years–ever since the break-up with Cyril–she had been “compelled to work to support herself and their children.” She requested an “absolute divorce” from him and asked to be “awarded the sole care, custody, and control” of Vivian and Dorothy. She also asked to be granted “a reasonable sum as and for alimony; and that she may be given such other and further relief as may be just and equitable.”

The suits, countersuits, charges, countercharges, petitions, complaints, and accusations between Cyril and Ruby dragged on for years, probably longer than either had ever expected. Just weeks after Dorothy’s fourth birthday in November 1926, Cyril filed a new amended divorce petition. He accused Ruby of deserting him shortly after Vivian’s birth in 1921 and just months before Dorothy was born in 1922. The next month, Ruby’s lawyers filed a cross-petition and again asked for custody of the children and alimony.

Cyril, however, probably still hoped for a reconciliation with his wife. He made plans to visit Ruby’s home at Christmas. On the evening of the visit, ruby went and hid her two daughters Dorothy and Vivian where her ex-husband could not see them. Cyril looked for them to take them away but couldn’t find them, at the scene of talking to ruby to provide him with the girls, their voices became so loud and full of anger that later culminated into a heated quarrel, Cyril left that night without seeing his daughters and that was the last time he confronted his ex-wife at her home in the issue of their daughters.


Cyril Dandridge died in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, United States of America on the 9th of July 1989 2 years after the death of his wife ruby who died in 1987.

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