Portugal - All About Actors  

Carmen Dolores
Carmen Dolores Cohen Sarmento was born in Lisbon in 1924. In her twenties she had already appeared in films and made herself a name in stage productions. In 1959 she gained an award for her outstanding performance in the play "Seis Personagens à procura de um Autor". The range of her artistic ability has taken her into classical plays by Dostoievski, Steinbeck, Shakespeare, Strindberg, and others. In 1969 she appeared with the Casa da Comédia in Strindberg's "Dança da Morte". This took her to Paris where she lived until 1983. Now living back in Portugal she continues to be actively involved in theatre, TV and radio.

João Villaret
João Henrique Pereira Villaret was born in 1913 in Lisbon and died in 1961. His family had a long association with the stage and his brother became a Director. He is reputed to have become the most famous Portuguese actor of the 20th Century. His range of acting spread from high drama to light comedy, all of which he handled with great skill. He also appeared in many Portuguese film productions. His readings of poetry and prose were recorded on disc and to this day they are regularly played on the radio.

Manoel de Oliveira
Born in Lisbon in 1908 . Brought up in a religious family background the talented director of films is a household name in the world of cinema. His beginnings were slightly different in that his career was initiated as an actor but his fascination for the screen and film production quickly took his interest. In the 1920s he furthered his experience with experimental short films and in 1931 he produced his first full-length feature, "Douro, Faina Fluvial". This film was well received and opened the door to a long career in the industry and many more successful films. His fame extended beyond the borders of Portugal and he became a recurring name in the Film Festival in Cannes.

Maria de Medeiros
Maria de Medeiros Esteves Victorino de Almeida was born in Lisbon in 1965, the daughter of a well known music composer. Her acting career started in France at the same time she was studying philosophy at the University of Sorbonne. Her first film in which she appeared in a major role was "Silvestre" in 1981. Her part in the film "Henry and June" in 1989 won her first international acclaim. In 1993 she won the "Gold Lion" award in the Venice Film Festival for her performance in the film "Três Irmãos".

Vasco Santana
Vasco António Rodrigues Santana was born in 1898 in Lisbon and died in 1956. His family was from a stage background so he had no difficulty in taking to the boards. His natural charm and sympathetic character that passed across the lights into the audience made him famous to all Lisbon theatre goers. With the advent of talking pictures he made several comedy films that extended his fame into Portugal as a whole. Although these films were made in the 1930s they are still often shown today on Portuguese TV. His portly frame and his special voice still projects the sympathy of his character as emphasized in "A Canção de Lisboa". Comparisons are odious but Vasco Santana is to the Portuguese what the famous Charlie Chaplin is to the world.

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