UL about Dinah Shore's biracial baby [new title]

But a search on Snopes only gives me a piece about Jim Nabors. Since the late 70’s, I’ve heard stories that Dinah Shore at one time gave birth to a mixed race baby. It’d being a scandalous thing for someone to do back in the 50’s or 60’s (when this was supposed to have occurred) it was quickly covered up.

Of course, it has to be an UL, but what’s the source of it? When and where did it originate? Was it originally about some other actress and then get it transferred to Dinah Shore? Enquiring minds want to know!

I have changed the title of this thread from I’d Swear That This Is An Urban Legend … to UL about Dinah Shore’s biracial baby. In the future, please try to choose more descriptive titles.

moderator GQ

I’d find the title even more descriptive if you had chosen not to abbreviate ‘urban legend’. Not many people know what a UL is.

Hope this wasn’t out-of-line.

Ditto that, Kendo.

Wasn’t there a rumor that Dinah herself was mixed?

This strikes a memory from childhood; although I thought she adopted a black child.

The version that I heard was that she had a child and the baby appeared to look biracial but Dinah hadn’t been with a Black man. She subsequently found out that she had a Black ancestor and those genes manifest themselves in her baby…Sounds an awful lot like an urban legend to me!

Here’s the end of a long usenet threadon this issue

If the assumption was that George Montgomery divorced her because of this I would have to call BS on that allegation. I used to occasionally watch the Dinah Shore show as a kid and she had her ex on the show at least once to show off the western themed Fredrick Remingtonesque bronze sculptures he had done. If the animus of a bi-racial child split up their marriage I doubt this would be the case.

Dinah Shore was a Jewish southern girl and had an olive complexion (underneath the makeup) . I would imagine this accounts for the origin of the rumors. In all fairness given her wide nose, generous lips and olive complexion it’s not wildy surprising some jumped to this conclusion. She does look vaguely like a black woman “passing” for white in this photo.

Here’s how she looked when she was young and before she went blonde. It’s very different than later images of her.

Hi, I’m 70 and remember that Dinah sued her mother because the mom knew about the grandma’s hereditary but did not tell. The husband separated from Dinah but returned. The big question or scandalous thing was she gave the child away. All was silenced after court case or after she filed suit. When she stayed married it all blew over eventually. But the law suit against her mom was the big scandal of my memory.

From this website: Dinah Shore (themuglytruth.com)
" Ms. Shore, née Fannye Rose Shore, was a popular actress and singer with a career that spanned decades starting in the 1940s. Kym stated in the show she heard a rumor Ms. Shore sued her parents for not telling her there was African ancestry in their family. What we found out when we did a little research, is that in all likelihood that rumor is false. Her parents were Orthodox Jews who immigrated from Russia, and unfortunately her mother died when Fannye was only 16 years of age. We found a couple scant suggestions that the a rumor Ms. Shore had black ancestry was started by a vengeful peer, but there is no overt, factual documentation of either African ancestry, that Ms. Shore tried to sue anyone at all, or who may have started the rumor."

Ok thanks for your info-- poor Dinah. If it’s true and a peer started it , sure worked!!! didn’t it. Decades later still around. I think the situation was supposed to be an unacknowleged affair in past generation. You know the kind you don’t put in genealogy.

As far as I know you are the only one to bring it up in over a decade, so I don’t think it was “worked” on too many people. References about it are ancient, so I don’t it is still around. Do you?

Yeah, this thread’s a real dinahshore.

Applause. (Then — get out! :slight_smile: )

That is … good.
Very good

This was the misinformation that fueled that story about the royal family member wondering how dark Harry and Meghan’s child would be. (Actually, not at all). There’s several genes that either do or don’t produce a certain amount of melanin. (For some reason, I seem to recall - about 16). AFAIK these are not recessive. For most Europeans, they have none of these. For mixed race children, they have the random amount from each parent, so in the case of a mixed race parent, the child may inherit genes that are producing or not producing. However, if one parent is European, then the child will have at most the same number as the other parent, but in general about half as many - and so be only half as dark.

The misconception is even mentioned in a Sherlock Holmes story- “she is darker than her father ever was”. (Where interestingly enough, a mixed race marriage - in the American south!! - is not treated as inappropriate for a British audience) There were frequent articles about apartheid back in the day about families with two mixed-race parents, where the children had different classifications - some were mixed race, some were black. (Thus highlighting the stupidity of the system). But if one parent contributes no melanin genes, the child cannot be darker.

So if the rumor were true, it would mean Dinah “had relations” with a black man - something considered horrible by the bigoted US standards of the day. In the days before Snopes and SD, and all the resources of Google, UL’s got a lot more traction.

On the other hand, if two mixed-race parents have a child, any given child can be lighter than either parent, or darker than either parent, or anywhere in between. In the extreme case, if each parent were the child of an extremely pale grandparent and an extremely dark grandparent, the youngest generation could be as pale as the pale grandparents or as dark as the dark grandparents.

And this is very relevant, because a very large number of people who think they’re “purely” one race are, in fact, mixed, so you can, for instance, have two parents who both think of themselves as just “white”, but who have a child noticeably darker than either of them. Or in the case of the Sherlock Holmes story, if the black father had a bit of white ancestry (quite likely) and the white mother had a bit of black ancestry (less likely, but still far from rare), their daughter could in fact be “darker than her father ever was”.

In a similar note:

Carol Channing was racially mixed. Her father’s father was Black. (Going from memory here) Apparently he was pretty light skinned, and when he moved from Georgia to the Northeast (NJ, maybe?), he was able to pass for White. Maybe he claimed (as almost all Southerners do) to have had American Indian ancestry.

Actually, her father was half African-American. His mother was African-American and his father was German-American.

“My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, my great-grandfather a monkey.
You see, sir, my family begins where yours ends.”
Alexandre Dumas

What a great Dumas quote!

I’d never heard the Dinah Shore rumors before. Of course, she was big, but not all that big, and she’s been dead a while.