Carmen Miranda

Born 9 February 1909. Died 5 August 1955.
Carmen Miranda

Biography

Carmen Miranda, GCIH (, 9 February 1909 – 5 August 1955) was a Portuguese-born Brazilian samba singer, dancer, Broadway actress, and film star who was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.

By the 1930s, Miranda was a local star, singing and dancing in musicals and five Brazilian feature films. The original copies of those films were lost or badly damaged. In 1940, she made her first Hollywood film Down Argentine Way with Don Ameche and Betty Grable, her exotic clothing and Latin accent became her trademark. In the same year, she was voted the third most popular personality in the United States, and was invited to sing and dance for President Franklin Roosevelt, along with her group, "Bando da Lua".

Nicknamed "The Brazilian Bombshell", Carmen Miranda is noted for her signature fruit hat outfit she wore in her American films, particularly in 1943's The Gang's All Here. By 1945, she was the highest paid woman in the United States.

Miranda made a total of fourteen Hollywood films between 1940 and 1953. Though hailed as a talented performer, her popularity waned by the end of World War II. She later grew to resent the stereotypical "Brazilian Bombshell" image she cultivated and attempted to break free of it with limited success. Undaunted, Miranda focused increasingly on her nightclub appearances, also becoming a fixture on television variety shows—indeed, for all the stereotyping she faced throughout her career, her performances made huge strides in popularizing Brazilian music, while at the same time paving the way for the increasing awareness of all Latin culture.

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