Josephine Baker sashayed onto a Paris stage during the 1920s with a comic, yet sensual appeal that took Europe by storm. Famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines, her exotic beauty generated nicknames Black Venus,Black Pearl and Creole Goddess. Admirers bestowed a plethora of gifts, including diamonds and cars, and she received approximately 1,500 marriage proposals. She maintained energetic performances and a celebrity status for 50 years until her death in 1975. Unfortunately, racism prevented her talents from being wholly accepted in the United States until 1973.
Quite impressive, that Josephine Baker appeared at the age of sixtyeight(!) at the Club Bobino in Paris celebrating her fifty years on stage. Less than a week later the godess Josephine Baker died, she was found lying peacefully in her bed surrounded by newspapers with glowing reviews of her performance.
She was the most successful American entertainer working in France–whereas in the U.S., she would have suffered from the racial prejudices common to the era. Ernest Hemingway called her “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.” In addition to being a musical star, Baker also starred in several successful films, among them Zouzou (1934) and Princesse Tamtam (1935).
At this time she also scored her greatest song hit “J’ai deux amours” (1931) and became a muse for contemporary authors, painters, and sculptors including Langston Hughes, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pablo Picasso.