25 September 2022

Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy (1925-1971) was the most decorated US soldier of World War II. Subsequently, he was a film actor and songwriter. In the 1950s and 1960s, he enjoyed success as a performer in Westerns and adventure films. Murphy received every military award his country had to offer, some of them more than once - a total of 33 awards and medals; among others, he was a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He received five of his decorations from France and one from Belgium. During his three years of service, he served in the 3rd US Infantry Division, where he rose from Private to First Lieutenant. 

Audie Murphy
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/17.

Audie Murphy
American postcard by Universal-International Studios, Universal City, Calif. Photo: Universal. Sent by mail in 1960.

Audie Murphy
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/18.

The most decorated American soldier of World War II


Audie Leon Murphy was born in Kingston, Texas in 1925. His parents were Josie Bell (Killian) and Emmett Berry Murphy, poor sharecroppers of Irish descent. There was great poverty in his family which counted eleven children, two of whom died. As soon as these children were old enough, they were employed to help earn a living.

His father disappeared one day and was never heard from again. Over the years, the mother became increasingly weak and died when Murphy was 16 years old. The three youngest children were sent to an orphanage and Murphy went to work, first at a petrol pump and then at a radio repair shop. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he decided to enlist in the army.

On his seventeenth birthday, he applied to a Marine recruiting station but was rejected because he was not of sufficient weight. Finally, after another unsuccessful application to the paratroopers, he was accepted into the infantry. With the help of his sister, he had used a forged birth certificate, with 1924 as his date of birth, to make himself look old enough.

At Fort Meade, where his training was to be completed, he kept insisting on being sent overseas and in early 1943 Murphy landed with the rest of the troops in North Africa. He would become the most decorated American soldier of World War II and participated in combat operations for 27 months. Early in June 1945, a month after the German capitulation, Murphy returned to the United States, where he received a hero's welcome in his native Texas. He was honourably discharged from the army with the rank of a first lieutenant on 21 September 1945. Murphy became world famous when he appeared on the cover of Life (16 July 1945) as the "most decorated soldier".

After the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, he reenlisted in the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas National Guard. However, this division did not participate in combat. When Murphy left the Guard in 1966 it was with the rank of major. After Murphy returned from Europe, he bought a house in Farmersville for his eldest sister Corrine, her husband Poland Burns and their three children. His intention was that his youngest sister and two brothers, Nadine, Billie and Joe, who had been in an orphanage since their mother's death, would also move in with them but six children under one roof proved a bit much so Murphy took them in.

Audie Murphy
British postcard in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. W 818. Photo: Universal International.

Audie Murphy
Photo: Universal International. Caption: Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier of the Second World War, stars in To Hell and Back.

Audie Murphy
British postcard, in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 398. Photo: Universal International.

Audie Murphy in The Red Badge of Courage (1951)
British postcard, in the Picturegoer Series, London, no. D 115. Photo: Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Audie Murphy in The Red Badge of Courage (John Huston, 1951).

To hell and back

After actor James Cagney had seen Audie Murphy's picture on the cover of Life magazine, he invited him to Hollywood in September 1945. The first years there were difficult for Murphy. Cagney Productions paid for acting and dancing lessons but was reluctantly forced to admit that Murphy - at least at that point in his career - didn't have what it took to become a movie star.

For the next several years he struggled to make it as an actor. Due to a lack of work, he became disillusioned, often ran out of money and slept on the floor of an old gym 'Terry Hunt's Athletic Club', owned by his friend Terry Hunt. He eventually got bit roles in the films Beyond Glory (John Farrow, 1948) starring Alan Ladd, and in Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (William Castle, 1948) with Guy Madison and Diana Lynn.

In this third film, Bad Boy (Kurt Neumann, 1949), Murphy got a leading role. Murphy also appeared in the film adaptation of Stephen Crane's book The Red Badge of Courage (John Huston, 1951), for which he received rave reviews. Murphy wrote his autobiography 'To hell and back' in 1949 and it became a national bestseller. The book was written by his friend David "Spec" McClure, a professional writer.

He had great difficulty playing himself in the film version, To Hell and Back (Jesse Hibbs, 1955). He initially saw it as a kind of sell-out of his actions during the war and thought Tony Curtis should be given the lead role in the film. In the film, the reality was followed and Murphy's comrades died just as was mentioned in the book. At the end of the film, Murphy was the only member of his original regiment left.

During the ceremony in which Murphy was awarded the Medal of Honor, his friends were represented as ghosts. This was Murphy's idea to honour his friends. The film was a huge hit and brought in almost 10 million US dollars during its first years, setting a box-office record for Universal that wasn't broken for 20 years until it was finally surpassed by Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975).

One of his better pictures was Night Passage (James Neilson, 1957), a Western in which he played the kid brother of James Stewart. In 1959 he starred in the Western No Name on the Bullet (Jack Arnold, 1959), which was well received, despite Murphy playing a professional killer. He worked for Huston again on The Unforgiven (John Huston, 1960) opposite Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn.

Audie Murphy
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. 590.

Audie Murphy
West-German postcard by Filmbilder-Vertrieb Ernst Freihoff, Essen, no. 284. Photo: Columbia Film.

Audie Murphy
West-German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin, no. A 1311. Photo: Universal.

Audie Murphy
West-German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 2487 Photo: Columbia. Publicity still for The Guns of Fort Petticoat (George Marshall, 1957).

Bouts of depression and nightmares


Audie Murphy was plagued by insomnia, bouts of depression and nightmares, probably a result of the many battles he had to fight during his life. His first wife, Wanda Hendrix, often spoke of Murphy's struggles. During the 1960s Murphy was addicted to the sleeping pill Placidyl for a time. When he realised he had become addicted he locked himself in a hotel room and taught himself not to use it.

He also broke the taboo of talking about war-related mental conditions. To draw attention to the problems of returning veterans from Korea and Vietnam, he spoke candidly about his own. He called on the US government to pay more attention to this issue and to study more closely the impact of war on mental health.

Meanwhile, the studio system that Murphy grew into as an actor crumbled. Universal's new owners, MCA, dumped its "International" tag in 1962 and turned the studio's focus toward the more lucrative television industry. For theatrical productions, it dropped its roster of contract players and hired actors on a per-picture basis only. That cheap Westerns on the big screen were becoming a thing of the past bode no good for Murphy, either.

The Texican (Lesley Selander, 1966) with Broderick Crawford, his lone attempt at a new, European form of inexpensive horse opera, to become known as "the Spaghetti Western", was unsuccessful. His star was falling fast. He made a total of 44 films, but Murphy was also a rancher and businessman. He bred and raised thoroughbred horses and owned several ranches in Texas, Arizona and California.

Murphy was also successful as a country singer and composer. He worked with Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler and Ray and Terri Eddlemon, among others. Murphy's songs were recorded and sung by Dean Martin, Porter Waggoner, and Harry Nilsson, among others. His two biggest hits were 'Shutters and Boards' and 'When the Wind Blows in Chicago'.

In 1949, Murphy married film actress Wanda Hendrix and divorced her in 1952. He then married flight attendant Pamela Archer, with whom he had 2 children, Terrance Michael and James Shannon - named after two of his closest friends. Audie Murphy died in 1971 in a plane crash in the mountains of Virginia. Murphy was buried with military honours in Arlington National Cemetery. The official government representative was the decorated World War II veteran and future President G.H.W. Bush.

Audie Murphy
Italian postcard by Rotalphoto, Milano, no. 109.

Audie Murphy
West-German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3386. Photo: Universal Film, Inc.

Audie Murphy in Walk the Proud Land (1956)
West-German postcard by Ufa/Film-Foto, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 3387. Photo: Universal Film, Inc. Audie Murphy in Walk the Proud Land (Jesse Hibbs, 1956).

Audie Murphy
Yugoslavian postcard by Sedma Sila. Photo: Morava Film, Beograd (Belgrade).

Audie Murphy
Yugoslavian postcard by Sedma Sila. Photo: Morava Film, Beograd (Belgrade).

Sources: Wikipedia (Dutch) and IMDb.

24 September 2022

It's a gift

We found many of the cards on this blog on fairs, small shops and flea markets, or in webshops like Delcampe, eBay or the Dutch equivalent, Marktplaats. Regularly, we also receive postcards from friendly people. Sometimes it's a gift from a friend, neighbour or colleague and other times people who know us from Flickr or EFSP sent us cards from a relative who passed away or their own cards cause they know we are happy with them. Recently, my old friend Willem gave me this amazing album with more than 1000 vintage collector cards. This post is a salute to all these people. Thank you, dear friends!

Gérard Philipe and Micheline Presle in Le Diable au corps (1947)
French postcard by Editions La Malibran, Paris, no. CF 23, 1990. Gérard Philipe and Micheline Presle in Le Diable au corps/Devil in the Flesh (Claude Autant-Lara, 1947). This postcard was sent years ago to me by my partner at EFSP and in life, Ivo Blom.

Paul Newman
Spanish postcard by Productos Compactos, S.A., no. B-3768, 1991. Paul Newman. This card was a gift to me by my other EFSP pal, Marlene Pilaete. She gave it to me when we met for drinks at the VerzamelaarsJaarbeurs 2022 in Utrecht.

Mireille Mathieu
Dutch postcard by N.V. Grammofoonplatenmaatschappij CNR, Leiden. Photo: Barclay / Ariola. This postcard of Mireille Mathieu was donated to us by the Conradi family. My colleague Susanne Conradi told me that her mother used to be a big fan of Mireille.

Gerda Maurus
German postcard by Das Programm von Heute für Film und Theater / Ross Verlag, Berlin. Photo: Böhm-Willott, Berlin. Gerda Maurus. A collection of old German postcards was given to us by our Flickr connection Miss Mertens.

Claude Jade in Domicile conjugal (1970)
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 174/71, 1971. Photo: Linke. Claude Jade in Domicile conjugal/Bed & Board (François Truffaut, 1970). For years, Didier Hanson supplied us with many scans of his impressive collection of film star postcards. When he decided to focus on the silent era and especially on Russian cinema and theatre, he sent us his more modern cards. It was a great gift.

Xenia Desni and Livio Pavanelli in Küssen ist keine Sünd'
Austrian photo by Willinger, Wien. Xenia Desni and Livio Pavanelli in the German silent film Die letzte Einquartierung aka Küssen ist keine Sünd'/Kissing is no sin (Rudolf Walther-Fein, Rudolf Dworsky, 1926). When we returned from our holidays in Italy in 2014, there was this little parcel from East Hartford, USA, waiting for us at our neighbour's house. It contained rare postcards, photos and a clipping on the Ukrainian-born silent film star Xenia Desni and her daughter Tamara Desni, who had an impressive film and stage career herself in Great Britain. The postcards were sent to us by a relative of the Desni's, their niece Tatiana. In the past, Tatiana had already sent us some scans of the postcards of Tamara Desni and now she gave us the 39 Ross Verlag postcards, which she had collected as a little girl.

Bambi etalage
Dutch photo. Dutch publicity for Bambi (David Hand, 1942). The film was shown in Amsterdam in 1948 in three cinemas, Rialto, Nöggerath and Cineac Damrak. A gift by Roloff de Jeu.

A Stranger in My Arms
Italian pin-up postcard by Bromostampa, Milano. Sent by mail in 1978 to the late entertainer Klaas ten Holt. It was given to us from his estate by his and our friend Mariët Sieffers.

Olivia de Havilland
Vintage collectors card. Photo: Paramount. Olivia de Havilland. This card is a gift from my colleague Loek Coenraad from his mother's legacy. 

Vivien Leigh
Belgian postcard by Les Editions d'Art L.A.B., Bruxelles (Brussels), no. 1040. Photo: MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind (1939). This postcard was given to us by Gill4kleuren.

Roger Moore as Ivanhoe
Belgian postcard by S. Best (SB), Antwerpen. Photo: Roger Moore in Ivanhoe. This postcard is a gift from Mary of the A plethora of Postcards blog.

Romy Schneider
Dutch postcard by Uitg. Takken, Utrecht, no. 3125. Photo: Romy Schneider in Sissi - Die junge Kaiserin/Sissi: The Young Empress (Ernst Marischka, 1956). A gift from our neighbour Cina Roubos, who collected Schneider postcards when she was a young girl and gave her collection to us.

Back to Akkrum

 
Below are vintage postcards that my Granddad, Hendrik Yntema, once gave me. As a boy, he lived in Akkrum. Akkrum is a village in the province of Frisia in the Netherlands. Hendrik left Akkrum with his family when he was still a young man. They started a new life in Den Haag (The Hague) and he would never return to Akkrum.

All he had of the village were his memories and these postcards. My granddad is dead for many years now and I've always kept his postcards in my collection. In fact, his cards started my collection. In 2010, I visited Akkrum for the first time and compared the postcards with the situation then.

Akkrum, De Driehoek
Dutch postcard of De Driehoek (The Triangle), Akkrum, The Netherlands, ca. 1910.

Akkrum, De Driehoek
De Driehoek, Akkrum, The Netherlands, 2010. At the left is the Kanadeeske Sjtritte (the Canadian Street) and at the right is the Kleef. The curious building in-between was already there 100 years ago. It's a shop that was for sale. The owner saw us taking this picture and thought we were interested.

Akkrum, Hoogend
Dutch postcard of Hoogend (now: Heechein), Akkrum, The Netherlands. Hoogend was the High Street of Akkrum. Just outside of the view were the two churches (right the Mennonist Church; left the Dutch Protestant Church). We see shops and trees, and a small building with a cupola at the end of the street.

Akkrum, Heechein
Streetview Heechein, Akkrum, The Netherlands. The shop buildings on the right are still there. We were in Akkrum on a hot Sunday. That's probably why the High Street was so quiet.

Akkrum, Welgelegen
Vintage postcard of Welgelegen, Hoogend, Akkrum, The Netherlands. On the far right, you can see the cupola building at the Hoogend. It was an 18th Century teahouse, part of a private garden called Welgelegen (well located). In 1924 the owner, ms. Suster van der Vegt left all her riches to the foundation Welgelegen. The foundation modernized the garden and build this beautiful house for single ladies from the Frisian bourgeoisie. The house opened in 1929 and this postcard dates probably from that year.

Akkrum, Welgelegen
Stichting Welgelegen, Adam Hurdriderstrjitte 13, 8491 DR Akkrum, The Netherlands. We were fascinated by the green, automatic lawnmowers. A futuristic detail in this historical village.

Akkrum, Coopersburg
Vintage postcard of Coopersburg, Hoogend, Akkrum, The Netherlands. Coopersburg contained 22 small houses for married couples of at least 60 years old. They had their own living quarters and also a small kitchen to prepare their meals. The residents even received a weekly sum of money, unheard of in those days. Coopersburg has a beautiful garden with a pool with carp and a sundial, a mausoleum for Kuypers and his wife, and a governor's room.

Akkrum, Coopersburg
Coopersburg, Ljouwerterdyk, Akkrum, The Netherlands. In 1980 Coopersburg was no longer suitable as an old people's home. Today Coopersburg houses young and old, singles and small households.

You can see more postcards and pictures in my Back to Akkrum album at Flickr.

23 September 2022

Carmen Miranda

Flamboyant Brazilian dancer, singer and actress Carmen Miranda (1909-1955) taught the world how to samba dance. Popular from the 1930s to the 1950s in Brazil and Hollywood, Miranda's most famous songs include 'Tico Tico', 'South American Way', 'Chica Chica Boom Chic', 'Rebola a Bola' and 'I Yi Yi Yi Yi'. She was famous for her exotic outfits featuring a hat decorated with fruit and her tall platform sandals. The peak of her career was during the war years when she starred in eight of her fourteen films. As Miranda became famous around the world her trademark fruit basket went with her, morphing into a range of exuberant and colourful headdresses.

Carmen Miranda in Copacabana (1947)
Canadian postcard by the American Postcard Co., no. 1123. Photo: The Gerald Mastroli Collection. Carmen Miranda in Copacabana (Alfred E. Green, 1947).

Carmen Miranda in Down Argentine Way (1940)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano / Ediz. Garami, no. 129. Photo: Bruno of Hollywood. Carmen Miranda in Down Argentine Way (Irving Cummings, 1940).

Carmen Miranda and Bando da Lua in Doll Face (1945)
Dutch card. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Carmen Miranda and Bando da Lua in Doll Face (Lewis Seiler, 1945).

A fruit-filled turban


Carmen Miranda was born Maria do Carmo Miranda da Cunha in Várzea da Ovelha e Aliviada, a village in the northern Portuguese municipality of Marco de Canaveses in 1909. One of six children, Miranda was named after Georges Bizet's opera 'Carmen', reflecting her father's love of the art.

She moved to Brazil when she was less than two years old to join her father who had set up a barber's shop. Her early artistic roots set her on a path to being a world-renowned musician and dancer. She began performing at an early age and at 20 years old she released her first album.

Miranda's early work was inspired by 'baianas', the Afro-Brazilian fruit vendors she regularly saw during her childhood in Rio de Janeiro. It was working at a hat store that she first discovered her musical talent, which was strongly influenced by the samba music that played throughout the city's favelas. Channelling these influences, Miranda one day decided to don a headdress in the form of a fruit-filled turban inspired by the traditional headdress seen on black women fruit sellers.

Miranda’s big break happened following her performance at the National Institute of Music. She landed an audition at a recording studio where she was immediately signed to put out a single. Miranda’s first album was released in 1929 and was immensely popular among Brazilians. Her performing style helped samba gain respect and a place in the Brazilian (and later, the world) spotlight.

Carmen Miranda made her film debut in the Brazilian documentary A Voz do Carnaval/The Voice of Carnival (Adhemar Gonzaga, Humberto Mauro, 1933). The film includes comic sketches and musical numbers with some of the most popular Brazilian stars and Carmen sang 'Good-bye' and 'Moleque Indigesto' at the studio of Rádio Mayrink Veiga. Two years later she appeared in her first feature film, Alô, Alô, Brasil/Hello, Hello Brazil (João de Barro, Wallace Downey, Alberto Ribeiro, 1935).

However, it was Estudantes/Students (Wallace Downey, 1935) that seemed to solidify Carmen in the minds of the Brazilian film audiences. Now they realised she could act as well as sing. Although there were three years between Alô Alô Carnaval (Adhemar Gonzaga, 1936) and Banana-da-Terra/Banana (Ruy Costa, 1939), Carmen continued to churn out musical hits in Brazil. The latter film would be the last in her home country.

By the time Carmen Miranda moved to the United States in 1939, she was a national star in Brazil. American producer Lee Shubert saw her act in Brazil and offered her a spot on his new Broadway revue 'The Streets of Paris' (1939). Knowing the need for a real Brazilian band to keep the appropriate music true, she insisted that her backup band be included in the deal. With the help of the Brazilian government which saw a good national image opportunity in Carmen, her demand was met.

Carmen Miranda in The Gang's All Here (1943)
American postcard by Classico, San Francisco, no. 136-109. Photo: 20th Century Fox / The Ludlow Collection. Carmen Miranda in The Gang's All Here (Busby Berkeley, 1943).

Carmen Miranda in If I'm Lucky (1946)
Dutch card by Takken 't Sticht, no. 3534. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Sent by mail in 1950. Carmen Miranda in If I'm Lucky (Lewis Seiler, 1946).

Carmen Miranda in Copacabana (1947)
British postcard in 'The People' series by Show Parade Picture Service, London, no. P. 1051. Photo: Virgil Apger / United Artists. Carmen Miranda in Copacabana (Alfred E. Green, 1947).

A visual candy box of Technicolor treats


In late 1939 Carmen Miranda arrived, with much fanfare in the press, in New York City. She was now ready to capture Americans' hearts with her talent. She appeared in some musical revues on Broadway and, just as everyone thought, was a huge hit.

In 1940 Carmen was signed to appear in the Twentieth Century-Fox production Down Argentine Way (Irving Cummings, 1940), with Betty Grable and Don Ameche. The only complaint that critics had was the fact that Carmen was not on the screen enough. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "She was signed to a long-term 20th Century-Fox contract in 1940, which proved a wise move when World War II dried up the European movie market, leaving South America as practically the only foreign outlet for Hollywood films."

In 1941 she was, again, teamed with Ameche in addition to Alice Faye in A Night in Rio (Irving Cummings, 1941). The film was extremely popular with the theatre patrons. Her unique songs went a long way in making her popular. Hollywood's famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre invited her to leave her hand prints in the cement in 1941, the first Latin American to do so. It was after Week-End in Havana (Walter Lang, 1941) that American cartoon artists began to cash in on Carmen's ever-growing popularity.

In the 1930s and 1940s cartoons were sometimes shown as a prelude to whatever feature film was showing. Sure enough, the cartoon version of Carmen came wriggling across the screen, complete with her trademark fruit hat and wide, toothy grin. In 1942 Carmen starred in Springtime in the Rockies (Irving Cummings, 1942) with Betty Grable and Cesar Romero, both of whom she had worked with before.

It was shortly after this that America began adopting her style of dress as the latest fad. The most outrageous of her musicals was The Gang's All Here (Busby Berkeley, 1943), which Catherine A. Surowiec in the catalogue of Il Cinema Ritrovato 2006 describes as "a visual candy box of Technicolor treats": "Camera-boom-riding choreographic genius Busby Berkeley was given full rein to weave his magic in full 3-strip technicolor for the first time and he pulled out all the stops. The film contains two of his most spectacular, surreal production numbers: the fabulous camp-classic 'The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat' (Carmen Miranda and chorus girls literally go bananas!) which for obvious reasons set censors in a spin, and the film's epic kaleidoscopic finale, a triumph of special photographic effects".

Bruce Eder adds at All Movie: "the film keeps us moving, laughing, and humming, and also tapping our feet to the beat of Benny Goodman's orchestra. Berkeley's use of special effects in the service of dance is extraordinary -- gravity seems to disappear at various points, strange, unearthly rings surround performers in mid-air, and nightclubs interiors suddenly lose their walls and ceilings and even their stages, which suddenly become bigger than any building that they could seemingly ever contain them."

Carmen Miranda in Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
Dutch postcard by Van Leer's Fotodrukindustrie N.V., Amsterdam, no. 1250. Photo: R.K.O.. Carmen Miranda in Springtime in the Rockies (Irving Cummings, 1942).

Carmen Miranda in Doll Face (1945)
Vintage card. Carmen Miranda in Doll Face (Lewis Seiler, 1945).

Carmen Miranda in A Date with Judy (1948)
Dutch postcard. Photo: 20th Century Fox. Carmen Miranda in A Date with Judy (Richard Thorpe, 1948).

An abusive and opportunistic brute who made Carmen's life hell


1944 saw Carmen Miranda in three films: Something for the Boys (Lewis Seiler, 1944), Four Jills in a Jeep (William A. Seiter, 1944) and Greenwich Village (Walter Lang, 1944). Denny Jackson at IMDb: "The first two did well at the box office, but the last one left a lot to be desired. It was her last busy year in film.

Carmen made one film each in 1945, '46, '47 and '48. After that, she didn't make a film for two years, until Nancy Goes to Rio (Robert Z. Leonard, 1950), a production for MGM. Once again she didn't make a film for several years, returning with Scared Stiff (George Marshall, 1953)." The studios labelled her the "Brazilian Bombshell", but the films tended to blur her Brazilian identity in favour of a generalised Latin American image.

She did stay busy, singing on the nightclub circuit and appearing on the relatively new medium of television. In 1947, Carmen married film producer David Sebastian. Kenneth Chisholm at IMDb: "He proved to be an abusive and opportunistic brute who made Carmen's life hell. Yet Carmen was a good Catholic and never considered divorce. Instead, she kept up a gruelling schedule of shows, taking uppers and downers to remain functional, even when they began to damage her health. Eventually, she collapsed and her doctor ordered her to go back to Brazil. She recovered and returned to America to resume the grind."

Off-screen, Miranda was a talented sketch artist and costume designer; she was also very active in charitable work, seeing to it that a generous percentage of her earnings were sent to the destitute in South America.

On 4 August 1955, Carmen Miranda suffered a heart attack, although she didn't realize it at the time, during an episode of The Jimmy Durante Show (1954-1956). She went home after attending a party. Early the next morning, on 5 August 1955, Carmen suffered a fatal heart attack. She was just 46 years old. Her body was flown to her adopted country of Brazil, where her death was declared a period of national mourning. The actress' memory is kept alive by the Carmen Miranda Museum in Rio De Janeiro.

Carmen Miranda and Tom Breneman
American postcard. Carmen Miranda at the morning radio show 'Breakfast in Hollywood' (1945), created and hosted by Tom Breneman.

Carmen Miranda in Doll Face (1945)
Dutch postcard. Carmen Miranda in Doll Face (Lewis Seiler, 1945).

Carmen Miranda
Dutch postcard by MPEA. Photo: 20th Century Fox.

Sources: Denny Jackson (IMDb), Catherine A. Surowiec (Cinema Ritrovato 2006), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Bruce Eder (AllMovie), Kenneth Chisholm (IMDb), Telegraph, Wikipedia (Dutch) and IMDb.