||Original Josephine Baker linen backer poster. The stunning Josephine in all her scantily clad glory. She was alluring even in her sixties! This was her last show before her death.
American-born Josephine Baker was originally limited in the level of success she could achieve in her own country by the color of her skin. But Europe embraced her openly as one of their greatest stars, particularly her adoptive country of France. She lived and performed overseas for more than 50 years, returning to the stage for her last show in 1975 (simply entitled Josephine). The show, a retrospective revue of Baker's lengthy career, opened on April 8th of that year to an audience of international celebrities that included Princess Grace of Monaco and her husband Prince Rainier (both of whom were backers of the show), Mick Jagger, Sophia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minelli, Diana Ross, and many others. The show brought the Jazz Age Queen some of the best reviews of her life, but she died just four days after her brilliant opening performance, following three days in a coma. She was 69-years-old, and she became the first American woman to be buried in France with full military honors, thanks to her espionage work on behalf of the Allies during World War II.