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Mon, 04.15.1918

Hilda Simms, actress and Black talent supporter

Hilda Simms

This date in 1918 marks the birth of Hilda Simms. She was an African American stage and film actress.

Born Hilda Moses in Minneapolis, MN she graduated from South high school. Sims joined the American Negro Theater at Harlem, NY, in 1943, and was given the title role in Anna Lucasta. When the production moved to Broadway in 1944, it became the first all-Black production to be performed on Broadway without a racial theme. It had a run of over 950 performances.

Simms was also the creative arts director of New York State’s human rights division. During this time she was instrumental in bringing discrimination against Black actors to public attention during the 1960s.  She also played a Black neurologist in the TV series The Nurses 1962-64. Other movie credits were The Joe Louis Story and Black Widow. Hilda Simms died on February 6th 1994. Her younger brother, Richard died March 31, 2006.

Hamline University
Mick Caouette, Producer
Humphrey Documentary Project
St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

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