Fredericka Carolyn 'Fredi' Washington (December 23, 1903--June 28, 1994) was an accomplished African American dramatic film actress, who was active during the period known as the Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s). She is best known for her role as Peola in the 1934 version of the film Imitation of Life. Fredi Washington was born in Savannah, Georgia to Hattie and Robert T. Washington, who according to her sister Isabel, were both African American. Fredi was the second of their five children. Her mother, Hattie, died when Fredi was a girl. As the oldest girl in her family, Fredi helped raise her younger siblings Isabel, Rosebud and Robert with the help of her grandmother, who the family called 'Big Mama.'
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