Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Barney Bigard in New Orleans (1947, dir. Arthur Lubin)
New Orleans featured Holiday’s only major film role. Holiday had several musical numbers in the film, however, she was unhappy that her role was that of a maid. In her autobiography, she wrote:
“I thought I was going to play myself in it. I thought I was going to be Billie Holiday doing a couple of songs in a nightclub setting and that would be that. I should have known better. When I saw the script, I did. You just tell one Negro girl who’s made movies who didn’t play a maid or a whore. I don’t know any. I found out I was going to do a little singing, but I was still playing the part of a maid.”
Some of Holiday’s scenes & performances from the film can be seen here.