coaching a dance student

Annette Starr Bruce Hudson (March 16, 1920 – October 8, 2002) was a charm school, modeling and dance instructor, businesswoman, newspaper columnist, public relations officer, and executive director of the American Cancer Society.

Born to Elmer G. and Marguerite Starr in Oakland, California, she was mainly raised by her grandmother, Mary A. Starr following the death of her mother when she was 7 years old.

Starr attended Golden Gate Junior High School and in 1939 graduated from University High School. During the Golden Gate Exposition in 1939 Starr worked as a waitress. Beginning in 1950 Starr began to teach charm and etiquette classes at the DeFremery Recreation Center in West Oakland.

She opened a Merle Norman Studio selling cosmetics and perfumes, after graduating from the Merle Norman Institute in 1953.

Then in 1954 Starr opened a charm and modeling studio, the Annette's Studio of Transformation in Berkeley, California, which trained hundreds of graduates each year in personality development, voice and diction, wardrobe, modeling, makeup, hairstyling, figure control, visual poise, and social grace.

Throughout the 1950s, Hudson also wrote the social event column, People!, Places!, and Things!, for the African American newspaper The California Voice.

Starr moved to Los Angeles in 1960 where she worked as a Public Relations officer at the performing arts center, Studio West, and then served as the Regional Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Branch of the American Cancer Society.

She married funeral director Luther M. Hudson in 1970, and remained active in civic and community organizations, such as the Church of Christian Fellowship, and the NAACP until her death in 2002.

The Annette Starr Bruce Hudson papers are kept in the archives at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland and consist of photographs, correspondence, brochures, programs, newspapers clippings, awards, and ephemera documenting her career as an instructor of dance, modeling and charm classes.

feeding an Eggo waffle to Earl "Fatha" Hines for a radio spot 1

Links and References

  1. Annette Starr Bruce Hudson papers at AAMLO