Actress Leslie Uggams played Lena Horne on stage last year in "Stormy Weather" at the Pasadena Playhouse. Horne died Sunday at the age of 92.
Along with playing her onstage, Uggams also had met Horne in real life and described her as "sassy."
"She did straight talk," said Uggams. "She told you exactly how she felt. And sometimes you could be with Lena and she was laughing and joking and sometimes she was a little testy. And that’s what made her so interesting."
Horne broke barriers in Hollywood and on the nightclub circuit when racial segregation was routine in custom and law. Uggams said the challenges Horne faced throughout her life helped to shape and toughen her.
“Through all her difficulties, the marriage in the beginning, and the problems of not getting the exact roles that she would have loved to have done in Hollywood, and stuff like that, it molded her into this incredible fabulous woman,” said Uggams.
Horne was married twice and had two children.
(Audio: KPCC's Alex Cohen spoke with Uggams)