DATE OF BIRTH: June 11, 1920
PLACE OF BIRTH: Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
EDUCATION: The Juilliard School, New York, USA
CAREER:                                 Scott began playing the piano at the age of three and moved to New York, USA, at the age of four where she went on to perform in concert when she was eight. She later received a scholarship to study classical music at The Juilliard School. With a repertoire that included classical, jazz, and blues music, Scott performed twice at Carnegie Hall, New York, USA, and in the show "Priorities of '42." She was married to U.S. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. from 1945 to 1956, by whom she had one child before their divorce, Adam Clayton Powell III. In the late 1940s, she became the first Black woman to host her own television show, "The Hazel Scott Show," which premiered on the DuMont Television Network on July 3, 1950. However, her career suffered a setback when she was accused (along with hundreds of other Americans) of being a Communist sympathizer during the Joseph McCarthy era. With her public opposiiton to McCarthyism and racial segregation, her show was canceled in 1950; the final broadcast was September 29, 1950. She refused to perform for segregated audiences and became an outspoken critic of McCarthyism and racial injustice in America. She lived in Paris, France, for about five years in the 1960s then returned to the USA to continue her television and nightclub career. She was known for improvising on classical themes and also played boogie-woogie, blues, and ballads. Her album "Relaxed Piano Moods" on the Debut Record label with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, is generally the album most highly regarded by critics today. She was credited with putting the "swing in European classical music." Scott recorded several albums and appeared, primarily as a pianist, in the following films:
  • 1943 - Something to Shout About [Character: Self]; The Heat's On [Character: Self]; I Dood It [Character: Self]
  • 1944 - Broadway Rhythm [Character: Self]
  • 1945 - Rhapsody In Blue [Character: Self]
  • 1958 - The Night Affair [Character: Valentine Horse]
  • 1964 - Dead Ringer [Character: Organist]
  • 1969 - Trial Run [Character: Self]
  • 1998 - Scandalize My Name: Stories from the Blacklist [Character: Self]
DIED: October 2, 1981, from pancreatic cancer at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, USA
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit