Lena Horne (1917–2010) was an actress and singer. Horne came into the spotlight with her rendition of "Stormy Weather," but because of the Hays Production Code imposed on films of the time, she was never cast in a leading role. Horne instead focused on her nightclub career, civil rights, and various Broadway endeavors. One of her last film roles was that of Glinda in the African American version of The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz.
She was the guest star on episode 111 of The Muppet Show, in which she performed the jazz standard "I'm Glad There Is You" and "Sing" (among others). She teamed up with the Muppet Show crew again when she submitted a recipe for Strawberry and Champagne Sorbet for Miss Piggy's 1996 cookbook In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy.
Horne recorded several inserts for Sesame Street:
- "How Do You Do?" with Grover (EKA: Episode 0536)
- A gospel version of "The Alphabet Song" with The Anything Muppets (EKA: Episode 0600)
- "Bein' Green" with Kermit the Frog (EKA: Episode 0871)
Her recording with Grover was featured on the album The Stars Come Out on Sesame Street.
A clip from the How do you do? was shown at the 2010 Emmy Awards Ceremony after her death.
Aside from her struggles with the Hays Production Code during the early part of the 20th century, Horne was also blacklisted in Hollywood during the red scare. She was a multiple Grammy award-winner, was nominated for a Tony and an Emmy, received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1984.
While acting credits were sparse, Horne made numerous appearances as herself, including the television special Keep U.S. Beautiful (on which the Muppets also appeared), The Cosby Show, Reading Rainbow, Night of 100 Stars, and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.