Pearl Bailey (March 29, 1918 – August 17, 1990) was an American actress and singer. She made her stage-singing debut when she was 15 years old. Her brother Bill Bailey was beginning his own career as a tap dancer, and suggested she enter an amateur contest at the Pearl Theatre in Philadelphia. Bailey won and was offered $35 a week to perform there for two weeks. She later won a similar competition at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater and decided to pursue a career in entertainment. After appearing in vaudeville she made her Broadway debut in St. Louis Woman in 1946. She won a Tony Award for the title role in the all-black production of Hello, Dolly! Her rendition of “Takes Two to Tango” hit the top ten in 1952. She received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1976 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom on October 17, 1988. On November 19, 1952, Bailey married jazz drummer Louie Bellson in London.