Photo Coverage: Josephine Baker's 100th Birthday Party

To mark the celebrated chanteuse Josephine Baker's 100th birthday, her adopted son Jean-Claude Baker threw a party at his Theatre Row bistro, Chez Josephine, on Thursday June 1, 2006. Baker, who has been the owner and reigning personality behind this celebrated Broadway haunt since 1986, invited senior citizens from The Lillian Booth Actors' Home of The Actors' Fund of America in Englewood, New Jersey, to a luncheon birthday celebration.

Jean-Claude Baker co-hosted the lunch with Alan Cumming, Jim Dale, Marian Seldes, Jane Powell, Dick Moore and Joyce Randolph.

After appearing as a chorus girl on the St. Louis and New York stage, Baker moved to Paris and quickly found the sensational success that had eluded her in America. Dancing at the Folies Bergere with her famous banana dance, making films such as Princess Tam-Tam and flouting her scandalous love life, she stepped over both racial and sexual barriers to become an icon. Baker became a French citizen in 1937 and was not welcomed back in her own country during the McCarthy Era. Although financial difficulties caused her stop performing in the '60s, she performed in New York for a week in An Evening with Josephine Baker in 1974. She had just begun a Paris revue celebrating her half-century on the stage, when on April 10 she was stricken and went into a coma. Her funeral was held in Paris, and she was buried in Monaco.

Please visit The Actors' Fund website at www.actorsfund.org.

Photo Coverage: Josephine Baker's 100th Birthday Party
Joyce Randolph, Jane Powell, and Fran Gaar

Aideen O'Kelly and Joan Kan

Jarry Baker, Nat Jones, and Perry Hamilton

Aoula Arkontaky, Manijeh Ghazi, and Florence Kearney

Joan Kan, Adiela Fernandez, John Callaghan, Dianne Wright, and Austin Roe


Party guests


Party guests

Photo Coverage: Josephine Baker's 100th Birthday Party
Jane Powell, Joyce Randolph, and Fran Gaar


Party guests

Jarry and Jean-Claude Baker

Jim Dale and Jean-Claude Baker

Back: Alan Hidalgo (Hot Feet), Cherry Jones, Jane Powell, Howard Kissel, Marge Champion, Jim Dale, Joyce Randolph, Andre De Shields, Jarry Baker; Front: Jean-Claude Baker and Marian Seldes

Jarry Baker, Obba Babatunde (Chicago), Jean-Claude Baker

Jarry Baker, Destan Owens (RENT), Jean-Claude Baker, and Luther Creek (RENT)

Jarry Baker, Chris Curtis, and Jean-Claude Baker

Jean-Claude Baker

Jarry Baker

Chez Josephine


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Ben Strothmann Ben Strothmann has been a portrait and theatrical photographer since 1995. Since building his first darkroom in his hometown of Milwaukee WI, his portrait studio now looks out over Manhattan where he shoots headshots and production photos. Born to a famous cheesecake lady (Suzy Strothmann of Suzy's Cream Cheesecakes), Ben is also an actor and pianist. Currently he lives in Astoria and studies guitar and Icelandic. Ben is also a volunteer for The Heart Gallery (heartgallerynyc.org) and helps NYC foster children find permanent, loving families. Ben is proud to be a part of the world famous singing waitstaff at Ellen's Stardust Diner. See www.benstrothmann.com for more info.