Harlem’s Vera Francis was married twice, a mother of two, and a beautiful talented woman in the 1950’s.
Some thought she was Jamaican and others that she was Indian, she seem to be everywhere as a model, dancer and actress, yet it was a career of highs and lows.
A brief article in the September 25, 1952 issue of Jet magazine profiling the young starlet read:
“Curvaceous Vera Francis, a Hollywood nurse and model, is the comely girl who will steal the affections of Susan Hayward’s husband in the forthcoming 20th Century-Fox film, The President’s Wife the life story of Mrs. Andrew Jackson. Best known for her magazine photo stints, Miss Francis is a Boston-born beauty who worked as a dental assistant and later a nurse for Jeanne Crain’s children before getting a movie break,”
a source writes.
At her highest she was well known in Harlem doing events with Harlem’s Sammy Davis Jr,’ (pictured above), as he was a guest of honor at the Harlem YMCA’s “Salute To Sammy Davis Jr., event with Ms. Francis fixing his “Windsor knot.”
Ms. Francis was also a pinup girl, burlesques performer, and at least since 1952, Vera Francis was a staple on the covers (and pages between) of Jet, Hue, Sepia and other magazines for persons of color.
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At her lowest point in her career, Kitsch Slapped reports that in August 24, 1957, the Lima News reported that Ms. Francis was in a Confidential libel scandal, Vera was named as a paid informant that outed John Jacob Astor and Edward G. Robinson, she would later be blacklisted for this inappropriate behavior.
However, she retained a lot of her allure in African American theater communities, performing in touring productions throughout the 1950s and 1960s and appearing in cabarets and as a model and pitch woman.