Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Once a Diva Always
Marpessa Dawn's death on August 3, 2008 followed that of Breno Mello by forty-four days. Together they cost-starred in the 1959 Brazilian film Black Orpheus, which won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival the same year. The following year the film won both the Golden Globe and the Academy Award for best foreign film. Based on the Greek classics Orpheus and Eurydice, Ms. Dawn's portrayal of the doomed heroine won her international acclaim that never translated into lasting stardom.
Christened Gipsy Marpessa Dawn Menor in Pittsburg on Jan 3, 1934, she moved to England as a teenager, where she got small parts in television. She later moved to France where she continued to work in television and her movie career began.
She was 74 when she died in Paris. Her spirit was only matched by her beauty.