Carmen Miranda
Name: Carmen Miranda
Occupation: Actor
Gender: Female
Height: 152 cm (4' 12'')
Birth Day: February 9, 1909
Death Date: Aug 5, 1955 (age 46)
Age: Aged 46
Country: Portugal
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

Social Accounts

Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda was born on February 9, 1909 in Portugal (46 years old). Carmen Miranda is an Actor, zodiac sign: Aquarius. Nationality: Portugal. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.

Trivia

She was born in Portugal and had a heart attack while dancing on live TV.

Net Worth 2020

Undisclosed
Find out more about Carmen Miranda net worth here.

Does Carmen Miranda Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Carmen Miranda died on Aug 5, 1955 (age 46).

Physique

Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
152 cm (4' 12'') N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Before Fame

She worked at a tie shop at the age of fourteen.

Biography

Biography Timeline

1909

Miranda was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha in Várzea da Ovelha e Aliviada [pt], a village in the northern Portuguese municipality of Marco de Canaveses. She was the second daughter of José Maria Pinto da Cunha (17 February 1887 – 21 June 1938) and Maria Emília Miranda (10 March 1886, Rio de Janeiro – 9 November 1971). In 1909, when Miranda was ten months old, her father emigrated to Brazil and settled in Rio de Janeiro, where he opened a barber shop. Her mother followed in 1910 with their daughters, Olinda (1907–1931) and Carmen. Although Carmen never returned to Portugal, she retained her Portuguese nationality. In Brazil, her parents had four more children: Amaro (born 1911), Cecília (1913–2011), Aurora (1915–2005) and Óscar (born 1916).

1929

Miranda was introduced to Josué de Barros, a composer and musician from Bahia, while she was working at her family’s inn. With help from de Barros and Brunswick Records, she recorded her first single (the samba "Não vá Simbora") in 1929. Miranda's second single, "Prá Você Gostar de Mim" (also known as "Taí", and released in 1930), was a collaboration with Brazilian composer Joubert de Carvalho and sold a record 35,000 copies that year. She signed a two-year contract with RCA Victor in 1930, giving them exclusive rights to her image.

1933

In 1933 Miranda signed a two-year contract with Rádio Mayrink Veiga, the most popular Brazilian station of the 1930s, and was the first contract singer in Brazilian radio history; for a year, in 1937, she moved to Radio Tupi. She later signed a contract with Odeon Records, making her the highest-paid radio singer in Brazil at the time.

Miranda's rise to stardom in Brazil was linked to the growth of a native style of music: the samba. The samba and Miranda's emerging career enhanced the revival of Brazilian nationalism during the regime of President Getúlio Vargas. Her gracefulness and vitality in her recordings and live performances gave her the nickname "Cantora do It". The singer was later known as "Ditadora Risonha do Samba", and in 1933 radio announcer Cesar Ladeira christened her "A Pequena Notável".

1934

Miranda's next screen performance was in the musical Hello, Hello Brazil! (1935), in which she performed its closing number: the marcha "Primavera no Rio", which she had recorded for Victor in August 1934. Several months after the film's release, according to Cinearte magazine, "Carmen Miranda is currently the most popular figure in Brazilian cinema, judging by the sizeable correspondence that she receives". In her next film, Estudantes (1935), she had a speaking part for the first time. Miranda played Mimi, a young radio singer (who performs two numbers in the film) falls in love with a university student (played by singer Mário Reis).

1939

Although she became synonymous with colorful fruit hats during her later career, she began wearing them only in 1939. Miranda appeared in the film Banana-da-Terra that year in a glamorous version of the traditional dress of a poor black girl in Bahia: a flowing dress and a fruit-hat turban. She sang "Diz Que Tem" which intended to empower a social class which was usually disparaged.

Producer Lee Shubert offered Miranda an eight-week contract to perform in The Streets of Paris on Broadway after seeing her perform in 1939 at Rio’s Cassino da Urca. Although she was interested in performing in New York, she refused to accept the deal unless Shubert agreed to also hire her band, the Bando da Lua. He refused, saying that there were many capable musicians in New York who could back her. Miranda remained steadfast, feeling that North American musicians would not be able to authenticate the sounds of Brazil. Shubert compromised, agreeing to hire the six band members but not paying for their transport to New York. President Getúlio Vargas, recognizing the value to Brazil of Miranda's tour, announced that the Brazilian government would pay for the band's transportation on the Moore-McCormack Lines between Rio and New York. Vargas believed that Miranda would foster ties between the northern and southern hemispheres and act as a goodwill ambassador in the United States, increasing Brazil's share of the American coffee market. Miranda took the official sanction of her trip and her duty to represent Brazil to the outside world seriously. She left for New York on the SS Uruguay on 4 May 1939, a few months before World War II.

Miranda arrived in New York on 18 May. She and the band had their first Broadway performance on 19 June 1939 in The Streets of Paris. Although Miranda's part was small (she only spoke four words), she received good reviews and became a media sensation. According to New York Times theater critic Brooks Atkinson, most of the musical numbers "ap[e] the tawdry dullness" of genuine Paris revues and "the chorus girls, skin-deep in atmosphere, strike what Broadway thinks a Paris pose ought to be". Atkinson added, however, that "South American contributes the [revue's] most magnetic personality" (Miranda). Singing "rapid-rhythmed songs to the accompaniment of a Brazilian band, she radiates heat that will tax the Broadhurst [theater] air-conditioning plant this Summer". Although Atkinson gave the revue a lukewarm review, he wrote that Miranda made the show.

Miranda's Hollywood image was that of a generic Latina, blurring distinctions between Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, and Mexico and samba, tango and habanera music. It was stylized and flamboyant; she often wore platform sandals and towering headdresses made of fruit, becoming known as "the lady in the tutti-frutti hat". Her enormous, fruit-laden hats were iconic visuals recognized worldwide; Saks Fifth Avenue developed a line of Miranda-inspired turbans and jewelry in 1939, and Bonwit Teller created mannequins resembling the singer.

Dorival Caymmi's "O que é que a baiana tem?" was his first work to be recorded, and introduced to the US the samba rhythm and Miranda in 1939; it was a Latin category inductee of the 2008 National Recording registry list.

1940

Although Miranda's US popularity continued to increase, she began to lose favor with some Brazilians. On 10 July 1940, she returned to Brazil and was welcomed by cheering fans. Soon after her arrival, however, the Brazilian press began criticizing Miranda for accommodating American commercialism and projecting a negative image of Brazil. Members of the upper class felt that her image was "too black", and she was criticized in a Brazilian newspaper for "singing bad-taste black sambas". Other Brazilians criticized Miranda for playing a stereotypical "Latina bimbo": in her first interview after her arrival in the US in the New York World-Telegram interview, she played up her then-limited knowledge of the English language: "I say money, money, money. I say twenty words in English. I say money, money, money and I say hot dog!"

1941

The Shuberts brought Miranda back to Broadway, teaming her with Olsen and Johnson, Ella Logan, and the Blackburn Twins in the musical revue Sons o' Fun on 1 December 1941. The show was a hodgepodge of slapstick, songs, and skits; according to New York Herald Tribune theater critic Richard Watts, Jr., "In her eccentric and highly personalized fashion, Miss Miranda is by way of being an artist and her numbers give the show its one touch of distinction." On 1 June 1942, she left the production when her Shubert contract expired; meanwhile, she recorded for Decca Records.

During the war years, Miranda starred in eight of her 14 films; although the studios called her the Brazilian Bombshell, the films blurred her Brazilian identity in favor of a Latin American image. According to a Variety review of director Irving Cummings' That Night in Rio (1941, Miranda’s second Hollywood film), her character upstaged the leads: "[Don] Ameche is very capable in a dual role, and Miss [Alice] Faye is eye-appealing but it’s the tempestuous Miranda who really gets away to a flying start from the first sequence". The New York Times article said, "Whenever one or the other Ameche character gets out of the way and lets [Miranda] have the screen, the film sizzles and scorches wickedly." Years later, Clive Hirschhorn wrote: "That Night in Rio was the quintessential Fox war-time musical – an over-blown, over-dressed, over-produced and thoroughly irresistible cornucopia of escapist ingredients." On 24 March 1941, Miranda was one of the first Latinas to imprint her hand- and footprints on the sidewalk of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

1942

In 1942, 20th Century-Fox paid $60,000 to Lee Shubert to terminate his contract with Miranda, who finished her Sons o' Fun tour and began filming Springtime in the Rockies. The film, which grossed about $2 million, was one of the year's ten most-successful films at the box office. According to a Chicago Tribune review, it was "senseless, but eye intriguing ... The basic plot is splashed over with songs and dances and the mouthings and eye and hand work of Carmen Miranda, who sure would be up a tree if she ever had to sing in the dark".

1943

In 1943, she appeared in Busby Berkeley's The Gang's All Here. Berkeley's musicals were known for lavish production, and Miranda's role as Dorita featured "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat". A special effect made her fruit-bedecked hat appear larger than possible. By then she was typecast as an exotic songstress, and under her studio contract she was obligated to make public appearances in her ever-more-outlandish film costumes. One of her records, "I Make My Money With Bananas" seemed to pay ironic tribute to her typecasting. The Gang's All Here was one of 1943's 10 highest-grossing films and Fox's most expensive production of the year. It received positive reviews, although The New York Times film critic wrote: "Mr. Berkeley has some sly notions under his busby. One or two of his dance spectacles seem to stem straight from Freud."

1944

The following year Miranda made a cameo appearance in Four Jills in a Jeep, a film based on a true adventure of actresses Kay Francis, Carole Landis, Martha Raye, and Mitzi Mayfair; Alice Faye and Betty Grable also made brief appearances. In 1944 Miranda also starred with Don Ameche in Greenwich Village, a Fox musical with William Bendix and Vivian Blaine in supporting roles. The film was poorly received; according to The New York Times, "Technicolor is the picture's chief asset, but still worth a look for the presence of Carmen Miranda". In her Miami News review, Peggy Simmonds wrote: "Fortunately for Greenwich Village, the picture is made in Technicolor and has Carmen Miranda. Unfortunately for Carmen Miranda, the production doesn't do her justice, the overall effect is disappointing, but still she sparkles the picture whenever she appears." Greenwich Village was less successful at the box office than Fox and Miranda had expected.

Miranda's third 1944 film was Something for the Boys, a musical comedy based on the Broadway musical with songs by Cole Porter and starring Ethel Merman. It was Miranda's first film without William LeBaron or Darryl F. Zanuck as producer. The producer was Irving Starr, who oversaw the studio's second-string films. According to Time magazine, the film "turns out to have nothing very notable for anyone". By 1945, Miranda was Hollywood's highest-paid entertainer and the top female taxpayer in the United States, earning more than $200,000 that year ($2.88 million in 2020, adjusted for inflation).

In The House Across the Bay (1940, produced by Walter Wanger and released by United Artists), Joan Bennett performed the Mirandaesque "Chula Chihuahua." Babes on Broadway's (1941) finale opens with "Bombshell from Brazil", where Mickey Rooney (dressed as Miranda) sings "Mamãe Eu Quero". The finale of Time Out for Rhythm (1941) begins with the Three Stooges performing a rumba number; Curly Howard is dressed as Carmen Miranda. The United Fruit Company created a banana-woman character in 1944, Chiquita, whose fruit hat resembled Miranda's. In Small Town Deb (1942), Jane Withers does an impression of Carmen Miranda and sings "I, Yi, Yi, Yi, Yi (I Like You Very Much)," which was one of Miranda's signature songs. In the British comedy, Fiddlers Three, Tommy Trinder gives a bizarre performance as "Senorita Alvarez" from Brazil, a bold impersonation of Miranda.

1945

Although Miranda's film career was faltering, her musical career remained solid and she was still a popular nightclub attraction. From 1948 to 1950, she joined the Andrews Sisters in producing and recording three Decca singles. Their first collaboration was on radio in 1945, when Miranda appeared on ABC's The Andrews Sisters Show. Their first single, "Cuanto La Gusta", was the most popular and reached number twelve on the Billboard chart. "The Wedding Samba", which reached number 23, followed in 1950.

1946

In If I'm Lucky (1946), her follow-up film for Fox when she was no longer under contract, Miranda was again fourth on the bill with her stock screen persona firmly in evidence: heavily-accented English, comic malapropisms, and bizarre hairstyles recreating her famous turbans. When Miranda's contract with Fox expired on 1 January 1946, she decided to pursue an acting career free of studio constraints. Miranda's ambition was to play a lead role showcasing her comic skills, which she set out to do in Copacabana (1947, an independent production released by United Artists starring Groucho Marx). Although her films were modest hits, critics and the American public did not accept her new image.

1947

Desiring creative freedom, Miranda decided to produce her own film in 1947 and played opposite Groucho Marx in Copacabana. The film's budget was divided into about ten investors' shares. A Texan investor who owned one of the shares sent his brother, David Sebastian (23 November 1907 – 11 September 1990), to keep an eye on Miranda and his interests on the set. Sebastian befriended her, and they began dating.

Miranda and Sebastian married on 17 March 1947 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills, with Patrick J. Concannon officiating. In 1948, Miranda became pregnant, but miscarried after a show. Although the marriage was brief, Miranda (who was Catholic) did not want a divorce. Her sister, Aurora, said in the documentary Bananas is My Business: "He married her for selfish reasons; she got very sick after she married and lived with a lot of depression". The couple announced their separation in September 1949, but reconciled several months later.

1953

In April 1953, she began a four-month European tour. While performing in Cincinnati in October, Miranda collapsed from exhaustion; she was rushed to LeRoy Sanitarium by her husband, Dave Sebastian, and canceled four following performances. Miranda became depressed and underwent electroshock therapy; when that failed to cure her, her physician suggested a return visit to Brazil. According to Bananas Is My Business, Miranda's family blamed her troubled, abusive marriage for her nervous breakdown which forced her to return to Rio de Janeiro for four months to recuperate. She returned to the US on 4 April 1955.

1955

Miranda performed at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas in April 1955, and in Cuba three months later before returning to Los Angeles to recuperate from a recurrent bronchial ailment. On 4 August, she was filming a segment for the NBC variety series The Jimmy Durante Show. According to Durante, Miranda had complained of feeling unwell before filming; he offered to find her a replacement, but she declined. After completing "Jackson, Miranda, and Gomez", a song-and-dance number with Durante, she fell to one knee. Durante later said, "I thought she had slipped. She got up and said she was outa breath. I told her I'll take her lines. But she goes ahead with 'em. We finished work about 11 o'clock and she seemed happy."

After the last take, Miranda and Durante gave an impromptu performance on the set for the cast and technicians. The singer took several cast members and some friends home with her for a small party. She went upstairs to bed at about 3 a.m. Miranda undressed, placed her platform shoes in a corner, lit a cigarette, placed it in an ashtray and went into her bathroom to remove her makeup. She apparently came from the bathroom with a small, round mirror in her hand; in the small hall which led to her bedroom, she collapsed with a fatal heart attack. Miranda was 46 years old. Her body was found at about 10:30 a.m. lying in the hallway. The Jimmy Durante Show episode in which Miranda appeared was aired two months after her death, on 15 October 1955, and a clip of the episode was included in the A&E Network's Biography episode about the singer.

1956

Miranda is buried in São João Batista Cemetery in Rio de Janeiro. In 1956 her belongings were donated by her husband and family to the Carmen Miranda Museum, which opened in Rio on 5 August 1976. For her contributions to the entertainment industry, Miranda has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at the south side of the 6262 block of Hollywood Boulevard.

1972

In Diplomatic Courier (1952), during a nightclub sequence, Arthur Blake performs impersonations of Carmen Miranda, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bette Davis. Caetano Veloso appeared dressed as Miranda in January 1972, in his first show after his return to Brazil from London.

1973

Jimmy Buffett's 1973 album A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean contains the song "They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More".

1976

In 1976, musician Leslie Fish wrote and recorded a song called "Carmen Miranda's Ghost," on her album Folk Songs for Folk Who Ain't Even Been Yet. The song describes the chaos that ensues when the singer's ghost appears on a space station. It was later the basis for a multi-author short story anthology edited by Don Sakers. John Cale's 1989 Words for the Dying features a song co-written with Brian Eno titled "The Soul of Carmen Miranda."

1995

Helena Solberg filmed a documentary, Carmen Miranda: Bananas is My Business, in 1995. Eduardo Dusek recorded a cover version of the song "Tá-Hi (Pra Você Gostar de Mim)", written by Joubert de Carvalho and recorded by Miranda in 1930, for the 2003 telenovela Chocolate com Pimenta. In 2004, Caetano Veloso and David Byrne performed live at Carnegie Hall a song they had written together, "Dreamworld: Marco de Canaveses", that pays homage to Miranda. In 2007, BBC Four produced Carmen Miranda – Beneath the Tutti Frutti Hat, a one-hour documentary which included interviews with biographer Ruy Castro, niece Carminha and Mickey Rooney. That year, singer Ivete Sangalo recorded a cover version of the song "Chica Chica Boom Chic" for the DVD MTV ao Vivo. For Miranda's centenary, Daniela Mercury recorded a "duet" with the singer on a cover of "O Que É Que A Baiana Tem?", which includes the original 1939 recording.

1998

On 25 September 1998, a square in Hollywood was named Carmen Miranda Square in a ceremony headed by honorary mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant (one of Miranda's friends since World War II) and attended by Brazilian consul general Jorió Gama and the Bando da Lua. The square is located at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, across from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, near where Miranda gave an impromptu performance on V-J Day.

2005

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Miranda's death, a Carmen Miranda Forever exhibit was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro in November 2005 and at the Latin America Memorial in São Paulo the following year. In 2005, Ruy Castro published a 600-page biography of "the most famous Brazilian woman of the 20th century." Brazilians "tend to forget," Castro told Mac Margolis of Newsweek, that "no Brazilian woman has ever been as popular as Carmen Miranda – in Brazil or anywhere."

2009

In 2009 she was the subject of São Paulo Fashion Week and a short film, Tutti Frutti, by German photographer Ellen von Unwerth. Two years later, Macy's wanted to use Miranda to promote a clothing line. Other products influenced by her stardom are the Brazilian fashion brand Malwee's "Chica Boom Chic" collection for women, and the Chica Boom Brasil company's high-end Carmen Miranda line, which includes Miranda-themed bags, wall clocks, crockery and placemats.

In 2009, Miranda served as the inspiration for a photo shoot on the 12th season of the reality tv show, America’s Next Top Model.

2011

Miranda, Selena, Celia Cruz, Carlos Gardel and Tito Puente appeared on a set of commemorative US Postal Service Latin Music Legends stamps, painted by Rafael Lopez, in 2011. Marie Therese Dominguez, vice president of government relations and public policy for the postal service, said: "From this day forward, these colorful, vibrant images of our Latin music legends will travel on letters and packages to every single household in America. In this small way, we have created a lasting tribute to five extraordinary performers, and we are proud and honored to share their legacy with Americans everywhere through these beautiful stamps".

2017

Down Argentine Way and The Gang's All Here were inductees of the 2014 National Film Registry list. The 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony included a tribute to Miranda before the athletes' parade, with Roberta Sá portraying the singer. On 9 February 2017, Miranda was the subject of a Google Doodle created by Google artist Sophie Diao commemorating the 108th anniversary of her birth.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Carmen Miranda is 112 years, 9 months and 19 days old. Carmen Miranda will celebrate 113th birthday on a Wednesday 9th of February 2022.

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