At the time, bossa nova wasn't exactly unknown in the U.S., as shown by the Grammy-winning success of "Desafinado" from the 1962 album "Jazz Samba" by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd. But "The Girl From Ipanema" ("Garota de Ipanema" in the original Portuguese) was something else altogether. Not only was it one of the last great gasps of pre-Beatles easy listening, it was an entire culture in miniature.
The woman, Helo Pinheiro, is now 67 and still very attractive. (Her name has some weird Portuguese accent that Wikipedia [or my browser] chokes on. You can get to her entry by searching for her anglicized name from the main page, though.)