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|Also Known As:||Freda Josephine Mcdonald||Died:||April 12, 1975|
|Born:||June 3, 1906||Cause of Death:||cerebral hemorrhage|
|Birth Place:||St Louis, Missouri, USA||Profession:||Music ... dancer actor singer entertainer maid|
Child performer of the Harlem stage who graduated to black Broadway and then conquered Europe with her effervescent--and mildly salacious--music hall act. At the peak of her success and popularity (she was for a time the highest-paid entertainer on the continent), the cooey-voiced, sometimes banana-clad Baker appeared in a series of films, including a silent short ("La Folie du jour" 1927, her debut), two silent features and several sound films. Of the latter the stand-outs are "Zouzou" (1934), in which she starred opposite Jean Gabin and which was superbly directed by Marc Allegret, and the equally delightful "Princess Tam Tam" (1935), which indirectly highlights the flamboyant construction of her stage image.
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