Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Girl of the Day - Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda... now that's a name I've heard all my life, but I don't think I've ever seen a single movie of hers or heard a single song. It's her birthday today, as well, born in 1909. Miranda, called the "Brazilian Bombshell" in Hollywood, was famous as a "samba" singer of Latin American tunes, and even more famous for her costumes, which invariably involved wearing fruit on her head, as here:
What I didn't know was how extraordinarily successful she was. According to Wikipedia, by 1946 Miranda was Hollywood's highest-paid entertainer and the top female tax payer in the United States, earning more than $200,000 that year ($2.2 million in 2010 adjusted for inflation), according to IRS records. That might not seem like a lot given what Hollywood stars make now, but remember that it was immediately after World War II. What a different world!
Here's Miranda singing a song from the 1943 Busby Berkeley musical, The Gang's All Here: