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Carmen Miranda
Carmen Miranda
The first Brazilian performer to attain international stardom, singer and actress Carmen Miranda was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha on February 9, 1909 in Marco de Canavezes, Portugal, but she was raised in Rio de Janeiro from infancy onward. After quitting school, she began working at an area shop, where her habit of singing on the job brought her to the attention of a local radio station. Seemingly overnight, Miranda emerged as one of the top attractions on the Rio club circuit, and upon signing to RCA in 1928, she became a massive star throughout Brazil. She made her film debut in 1933's A Voz do Carnaval, solidifying her fame two years later with Estudantes. While performing at Rio's Casino da Urca in 1939, Miranda was spotted by Broadway impresario Lee Shubert, who immediately arranged to bring her to America; she soon made her New York debut in his show The Streets of Paris before settling in Hollywood the following year.
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