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Summary Article: Warwick, Dionne (aka Warwicke, Dionne) from Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television

Born in East Orange, New Jersey, December 12, 1940.

Dionne Warwick, born Marie Dionne Warrick, is fondly remembered for her great collaborations with songwriters-producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David. She has charted close to 60 singles in her storied career. These include “Walk on By,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” (garnering her first Grammy Award in 1968), “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Alfie,” “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls,” “A House Is Not a Home", the list is virtually inexhaustible.

She began singing in church at age six and formed the Gospelaires with her sister Dee Dee and Cissy Houston, mother of Warwick's first cousin, singer Whitney Houston. In 1976 she earned a master's degree from the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. She had long tenures as a recording artist with Arista and Warner Bros. Records. Later hits include “Then Came You,” “I'll Never Love This Way Again,” and “Deja Vu.”

In the tradition of many famous singers, Warwick took a stab at an acting career, but was less successful than most. She starred in Slaves (1969). Considering the presence in the cast of the great black actor and director Ossie Davis, and that Warwick was at the top of the pop charts at the time, it was reasonable to assume that Slaves would be a serious exploration of a towering historical issue. What it turned out to be was a low-budget black exploitation film with gratuitous nudity, a soap opera plot, and some of the worst acting of its era. That was the beginning and essentially the end of Warwick's film career. She did appear in a couple of TV movies (The Return of Mickey Spillaine's Mike Hammer (1986) and Sisters in the Name of Love (also '86), and two police films, Rent-a-Cop (1987) and Extralarge: Black Magic (1991). The second was an Italian film, virtually unshown in the U.S., featuring Bud Spencer, the charismatic but weight-challenged Italian film star known mostly for his westerns. It was part of a brief series of films with the detective.

In the 1980s Warwick served as the U.S. ambassador for health and in 2002 was named global ambassador for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Her first book, My Point of View, was published in 2003.

She was married to William Elliot from 1967 to 1975. They have two sons, David and Damon.

Feature Films including TV Movies:

Slaves (1969), The Return of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (TV; 1986), Sisters in the Name of Love (TV; 1986), Rent-a-Cop (1987), Extralarge: Black Magic (1991).

TV:

Hullabaloo (2 segments; 1965-66), Thank Your Lucky Stars (archival; 1965), The Bacharach Sound (1965), The 39th Annual Academy Awards (1967), The Merv Griffin Show (1967), The Joey Bishop Show (1967), Noche del sábado (1967), Upshaw (1967), Dream Girl of '67 (1967), The Ed Sullivan Show (4 appearances; 1967-70), The Best on Record (1968), The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show (1968), Romeo und Julia ‘70 (1969), The Best on Record (1970), The Name of the Game (“I Love You, Billy Baker,” Parts I and II, 1970), The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (5 appearances; 1970-73), Top of the Pops (3 segments; 1970-82), The Dean Martin Show (2 appearances; 1973), The Fifth Dimension Traveling Sunshine Show (1971), The Flip Wilson Show (1972), The Great American Music Celebration (1976), The CBS Festival of Lively Arts for Young People (1976), The Stars and Stripes Show (1976), Switch (3 episodes in the role of Sherri; “The Case of the Purloined Case,” “Legend of the Macunas,” Parts I and II, 1976-77), In Concert Classics Featuring Dionne Warwick (1977), The Day the Music Died (1977), The Rockford Files (“Second Chance,” 1977), The 4th Annual American Music Awards (1977), The Captain and Tennille (1977), Happy Birthday, Las Vegas (1977), The 20th Annual Grammy Awards (1978), The 21st Annual Grammy Awards (1979), Sinatra: The First 40 Years (1980), The 22nd Annual Grammy Awards (1980), The 52nd Annual Academy Awards (1980), Barry Manilow: One Voice (1980), The Big Show (1980), Solid Gold (co-host; 1981), A Gift of Music (1981), The 23rd Annual Grammy Awards (1981), The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981), Debbie Boone … One Step Closer (1982), I Love Liberty (1982), Aplauso (1982), The 25th Annual Grammy Awards (1983), We Are the World (1985), Star Search (judge; 1985), The 27th Annual Grammy Awards (1985), Circus of the Stars 11 (1986), The 1st Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1987), The Fall Guy (“Tag Team,” 1986), Super Password (1986), Live from Her Majesty's (1988), Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (1988), Especiale nochevieja 1987: Super 88 (1988), The 14th Annual People's Choice Awards (1988), The 2nd Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1988), Family Feud (1989), The Probe Team (1989), The 3rd Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1989), Captain Planet and the Planeteers (voice of Dr. Russell; 1990), Sammy Davis, Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration (1990), The 4th Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1990), Dionne and Friends (host; 16 episodes; 1990), The 5th Annual Soul Train Music Awards (1991), The Oprah Winfrey Show (1991), The 34th Annual Grammy Awards (1992), Guest Night (1992), Out All Night (“That's What Friends Are For,” 1992), Child of Mine: Songs to Our Children (1992), Children of Africa (1993), Noche, noche (1993), The Jackson Family Honors (1994), Great Love Songs (1995), Burt Bacharach … This Is Now (1996), The Wayans Bros. (“Grandma's in the Hiz-House,” 1996), Mundo VIP (1997), Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters (archival; 1997), Pauly (“Through the Ringers,” 1997), The Drew Carey Show (“Drew's Brother,” 1997), VH1's Behind the Music (2 episodes; “The Carpenters,” “Gladys Knight,” 1998), League of Legends (1998), Burt Bacharach: One Amazing Night (1998), Arista Records' 25th Anniversary Celebration (1999), So Weird (“Lost,” 1999), Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child (“The Bremen Town Musicians,” 1999), The Beth Littleford Interview Special (1999), Top Ten (“Heartbreakers,” 2000), Walker, Texas Ranger (“Faith,” 2000), The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000), Walk on By: The Story of Popular Song (archival; 2001), Rhythm and Blues 40: A Soul Spectacular (2001), Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration (2001), Biography (3 segments; “Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me Over,” “Burt Bacharach,” “Lesley Gore; It's My Party,” 2001), Christmas at the Vatican (2001), We Are Family (2002), The Brian Conley Show (2002), Tupac: Resurrection (archival; 2003), Top of the Pops 2 (2003), Parkinson (2003), American Juniors (judge; 2003), MADtv (2003), Soul Man: Isaac Hayes (2003), Hollywood Squares (2004), Intimate Portrait (“Dionne Warwick,” 2004), Straight from the Heart: Timeless Music of the '60s & ‘70s (2004), AFI's 100 Years … 100 Songs (2004), The View (2004), The Heaven and Earth Show (2005), Life & Style (2005), Avenue of the Stars: 50 Years of ITV (2005), Saturday Swings (2005), UK Music Hall of Fame (2005), The 8th Annual Soul Train Christmas Starfest (2005), Entertainment Tonight (2006), Legends Ball (2006), American Idol (2006), Celebrity Duets (2 segments; 2006), The Paul O'Grady Show (2006), Ein herz fr kinder (2006), Soapstar Superstar (2007), 2007 Trumpet Awards, Dancing with the Stars (2007).

Video/DVD:

Do It Debbie's Way (1983), Whitney Houston: The Greatest Hits (2000), The Best of Music Flashback Television Shows (2001), The Songmakers Collection (2001), Luthor Vandross: From Luther with Love, The Videos (2004), Soulful Sixties (2004), The History Makers (2005).

© 2010 McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers

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Full text Article Warwick, Dionne (1940)
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