Thrillennium Presents MADE YOU LOOK


Carmen Miranda
Hollie Vest
as Carmen Miranda

Mae West
Hollie Vest
as Mae West


Peggy Lee
Hollie Vest
as Peggy Lee














Carmen Miranda (February 9, 1909 - August 5, 1955), born as Carmem Miranda de Cunha. She was born in Portugal and died in Hollywood.

Miranda reached her peak point of fame in the early 1940's. The expression the Brazilian Bombshell captured her true spirit and the heart of her Latin culture. Miranda's first Hollywood debut was Down Argentine Way where she had the chance to work with Betty Grable. Her last Hollywood movie was in 1953 in Scared Stiff with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.

Miranda was born in the small northern Portuguese town of Marco do Cananeses and went to school at the Covenant of Saint Teresinha. Her very Catholic parents did not approve of her dreams of pursuing show business, so she hid it from them best she could. In her spare time, she often sang at parties and festivals around the town where she was discovered and received the chance to perform on a local radio station. She was noted as a musical innovator in Brazil, one of the first samba superstars. However, her roles in US movies featured her as a stylized comic "South American" singer and she was often shown wearing towering headdresses made of fruit, becoming known as "the lady in the tutti-frutti hat". This image was much satirized and taken up as camp and is a popular turn for female impersonation and drag performance.

She was well aware of the tensions in her career. Her song "Bananas is my business" was based on a line in one her movies and directly addressed her image. A sour welcome back to Brazil in 1940 resulted in a response in Portuguese in a song called "Disseram que eu voltei americanizada", or "They say I've become Americanized". Helena Solberg made a documentary of her life, Carmen Miranda: Bananas is My Business (1996).

Ethel Merman | Mae West | Carman Miranda | Peggy Lee