- Name: Josephine Baker
- Age at Death: 68 years old
- Height: 5ft 7in (171 cm)
- Occupation: Singer/Dancer
- Net Worth: Pending
- Status: Deceased
Josephine Baker was an American-born French singer, dancer and civil rights activist. She rose to prominence in France during the 1920s. Her film credits include Zouzou (1934) and Princesse Tam-Tam (1935). She contributed to the French Resistance during World War II. Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Carrie McDonald, was a laundress, and her father, Eddie Carson, a musician. She grew up in poverty with no father figure around. Baker dropped out of school in order to help support her family. She did various jobs including house cleaning, babysitting and waitressing.
Baker became a dancer during her early teens. She began touring at age 16 with acts like the Jones Family Band and later with the Dixie Steppers. Baker performed in the chorus for the musical comedy “Shuffle Along” in 1923. She then moved to New York City where she performed in the show “Chocolate Dandies” on Broadway. She also made a name for herself performing at the Plantation Club.
Baker relocated to Paris, France in 1925. That year she performed in La Revue Negre at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees. She introduced her “danse sauvage” alongside dance partner Joe Alex. In 1926 Baker performed the “La Folie du Jour” at the Folies Bergere music hall. She quickly became one of the most popular and highest paid performer Europe. Baker made her professional singing debut in 1930. Her big screen debut came four years later in the French film, Zouzou (1934). She held the title role as “Zouzou” opposite Jean Gabin. The film was directed by Marc Allegret. Her film credits also include Princesse Tam-Tam (1935), Siren of the Tropics (1927) and Moulin Rouge (1941). She was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame in 1976.
Baker became a naturalized citizen of France in 1937. She served as a spy for the French Resistance during World War II. She also worked with the Red Cross and as a member of the Free French forces. She was honored with the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honour for her contribution. Post war, Baker focused her energy on developing her estate, Les Milandes. She retired in 1956 but returned three years later due to financial reasons. Her estate was ultimately sold in 1968 in order to cover outstanding debt. Baker traveled many times to the United States to support different civil rights causes. She marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1963 March on Washington.
Josephine Baker died on April 12, 1975 at the age of 68. Her reported cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage. She died in her sleep at a hospital in Paris, France. Baker was 5ft 7in tall and she was of African descent. She was bisexual and had a total of four marriages. Her husbands were William Wells (1919-20), William Baker (1921-25), Jean Lion (1937-28) and Jo Bouillon (1947-61). She was in a relationship with artist ‘Robert Brady’ from 1973 until her death in 1975. Baker had 12 adopted children including restaurateur Jean-Claude Baker. They were dubbed the “Rainbow Children” due to the fact that they were from different races.
Josephine Baker Age, Birthday, Wiki
- Birth Name: Freda Josephine McDonald
- Birthday: June 3, 1906
- Place of Birth: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
- Zodiac Sign: Gemini
- How Tall : Height: 5ft 7in (171 cm)
- Occupation: Singer, Dancer, Actress, Activist
- Years Active: 1921-1975
- Net Worth 2017:
- Marriage(s): William Wells, William Baker, Jean Lion, Jo Bouillon
- Death-O-Meter: Dead
- Died: April 12, 1975
- Cause of Death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
- Place of Death: Paris, France