Was she a dancer? Was she a singer?
No one knows they just remember the fruit."
Carmen Miranda (born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha; 9 February 1909—5 August 1955) was a Portuguese-Brazilian singer, dancer, and actress.
Miranda, a native Portuguese, came to Brazil in 1910 and became a popular radio star there in the 1920's. She entered film in the 1930's and entered the Hollywood scene in the 1940's with Down Argentine Way. She was at least partially responsible for popularizing samba and platform shoes in the United States and by 1945 was the highest paid woman in Hollywood.
Despite her lively, fun, and vibrant image, her personal life was a great deal more tempestuous. An unhappy marriage and an addiction to alcohol and barbiturates would ultimately contribute to her premature death in 1955 of pre-eclampsia.
- A Voz do Carnaval (1933)
- Alô, Alô, Brasil (1935)
- Estudantes (1935)
- Hello, Hello, Carnival! (1936)
- Banana da Terra (1939)
- Laranja-da-China (1940)
- Down Argentine Way (1940)
- That Night in Rio (1941)
- Week-End in Havana (1941)
- Meet the Stars #5: Hollywood Meets the Navy (1941)
- Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
- The Gang's All Here (1943)
- Greenwich Village (1944)
- Something for the Boys (1944)
- Four Jills in a Jeep (1944)
- The All-Star Bond Rally (1945)
- Doll Face (1945)
- If I'm Lucky (1946)
- Copacabana (1947)
- "Slick Hare" (1947)
- A Date with Judy (1948)
- The Ed Wynn Show (1949)
- Texaco Star Theater (1949-1952)
- Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
- Don McNeill's TV Club (1951)
- What's My Line? (1951)
- The Colgate Comedy Hour (1951-1952)
- All-Star Revue (1951-1953)
- Scared Stiff (1953)
- Toast of the Town (1953)
- The Jimmy Durante Show (1955)
- Bilingual Bonus/Bilingual Dialogue: Often her characters will, in the heat of the moment, go between English and Portuguese (often with hilarious outcomes).
- The Capital of Brazil Is Buenos Aires: Both the characters of her films and her real life bear shades of this trope. While it might be confusing at best and a bit stereotypical at worst, it should be noted that Brazil is considered a Latin-American country, despite being the only one there that doesn't have Spanish as a national language.
- Costume Porn: In over a dozen years onstage and in film, she had dozens of stunning costumes and hundreds of dazzling accessories. There is even a museum in possession of over 3,000 costume pieces.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Her dazzling and chunky jewelry are part of her image
- Glamorous Wartime Singer: As part of the Good Neighbor Policy, both in real life and in film.
- Meaningful Name: Her father christened her Carmen because of his love of the opera Carmen.
- Motor Mouth: When her characters get excited. See Bilingual Bonus above.
- Music of the 1940s: Helped popularize samba in the United States.
- Nice Hat: She is the original Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat, after all.
- Nice Shoes: At only just over 5 tall, big shoes were a priority.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Many of her costumes.
- Show Some Leg: She's Got Legs, leading to the majority of her costumes showing them off.
- Spicy Latina: As a "Brazilian Bombshell", she was one of the breakthrough Latina stars of her era.
- Stock Shout-Outs: As the original or at least definitive wearer of the fruit hat. Generations of audiences who've never seen any of her films instantly think of her name when they see someone dancing to samba (or other Latin or tropical genres) with a bowl of fruit on their heads.
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Like many musical extravaganzas of The '40s, Carmen Miranda's films are no exception (special mention goes to The Gang's All Here).