Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Life and Death of Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda(1909-1955) was a singer, dancer, and actress from Brazil. She would later be invited to come Hollywood to sing, act and dance. Carmen was know to have been instrumental in popularising the 'samba'. Carmen was later given the nickname "The Brazilian Bombshell".

Carmen was born in the small northern Portuguese town of Marco de Canaveses, to Portuguese parents. She a small business because she liked making hats.

Carmen started out singing on Radio and later signed a record deal with RCA records. She later appeared in 6 while still in Brazil.(there is still a museum there that honors' her.)

Carmen arrived in the U.S. in 1939 with her band, 'the Bando da Lua'. She appeared in more than 14 films while in Hollywood from 1940 to 1953.

Although Carmen was known to not drink or smoke until in her late 30s, she later became addicted to alcohol and tobacco and was also known to regularly use amphetamines and barbiturates, all of which are believed to have later weakened her heart.

On August 4, 1955, during a dance segment of a live TV show, Carmen became dizzy while dancing, then suddenly fell to the floor. She was helped back up by the host. She continued to dance, then left the stage. Although no on knew it at the time, she had suffered a mild heart attack.

She was found dead in her bathroom by her husand the next morning at the age of 46. It was ruled that she had died from 'toxemia' and 'heart failure' .

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