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FERNANDA MONTENEGRO

October 16, 1929 – Arlette Pinheiro Esteves da Silva — Fernanda Montenegro — is born in Campinho, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, daughter to Victorino Pinheiro Esteves da Silva and Carmem Pinheiro da Silva.

Attends grammar school at Colégio Nilo Peçanha, in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of São Cristóvão.

At the age of eight, she performs in the play Os dois sargentos, staged at a church (Paróquia de São Sebastião) in the outlying district of Jacarepaguá.

1946 – Makes her debut as an announcer on the federally sponsored Rádio MEC, where she remains for ten years. It is then that she adopts the pseudonym Fernanda Montenegro. At the same time, she attends evening high-school classes at Colégio Santa Cecília, in São Cristóvão.

1948 – She first meets actor Fernando Torres at Rádio MEC.

1950 – Makes her debut in professional theater with the play Alegres canções nas montanhas, presented at Teatro Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro.

1951 – Makes her soap opera debut on TV Tupi’s A Candidata.

1952 – Together with Fernando Torres, she creates the program Falando de Cinema (Speaking of cinema), on Rádio MEC. She stars in the hit play Loucuras do imperador. She receives the Most Promising Actress award from the Brazilian Association of Theater Critics. She works three years at Rádio Guanabara.

1953 – Marries Fernando Torres. She performs in Mulheres feias at Teatro Copacabana, joining Henriette Morineau’s company and moves to São Paulo, where she lives for five years. For one year she works at Maria Della Costa’s and Sandro Polônio’s Teatro Popular de Arte. She joins the Teatro Brasileiro de Comédia, in São Paulo. During this same period, she works for TV Tupi’s program Grande Teatro Tupi, dividing her time between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

1955 through 1959 – Receives the Best Actress award from the Association of Theater Critics. The State of São Paulo bestows her with a Governor’s Trophy.

1959 – In a joint effort with Fernando Torres, Ítalo Rossi, Sérgio Britto and Gianni Ratto, she founds the Teatro dos Sete. She appears in this group’s performance of O mambembe, by Arthur Azevedo.

1962 – Receives the Best Actress award from Rio de Janeiro’s Association of Theater Critics.

1963 – Cláudio Torres is born to her and Fernando Torres. She receives an award from the Brazilian Association of Theater Critics.

1964 – Rreceives prizes at the 1st Brasília Festival and at the 1st International Film Festival, in the state of Rio. She is also awarded a Governor’s Trophy from the State of São Paulo.

1965 – Fernanda Torres is born to her and Fernando Torres.

1967 – Rehearses Harold Pinter’s A volta ao lar (The Homecoming), but it is never performed because the military government censors it. She receives a Molière and a Roquette Pinto Trophy.

1969 – Acts in the re-presentation of Henri Becque’s A mulher de todos nós (La Parisienne). Around this same time, Fernando Torres begins a partnership with Maurício Segall at Rio de Janeiro’s Teatro São Pedro, inaugurated with the play Marta Saré, in which Fernanda appears. This same year, she is hired by TV Excelsior. She also acts in Plaza suíte, at the Teatro Copacabana.

1970s – Together with Fernando Torres, she produces the plays Computa, computador, computa, by Millôr Fernandes; Oh, que belos dias (Happy Days), by Beckett; O interrogatório (The Investigation), by Peter Weiss, O amante de madame Vidal, by Verneuil; and Calabar, by Rui Guerra and Chico Buarque, the last of which was banned by the military government. Together with Fernando Torres, she stages Millôr Fernandes Um elefante no caos, likewise censured.

1970 – Receives a Golfinho de Ouro for her work in theater.

1971 – The Brazilian Government bestows her with the Ordem do Cruzeiro do Sul (Order of the Southern Cross).

1976 – Aawarded prizes by the São Paulo Association of Theater Critics and the São Paulo State Government. She also wins her second Molière.

1977 – Named Best Actress at the Taormina Festival in Italy. She earns another Molière.

1979 – She is the victim of a political attack in São Paulo, where she is acting in É, by Millôr Fernandes, at the Teatro Maria Della Costa.

1980 – Receives a prize from the Rio de Janeiro Association of Theater Producers.

1982 – The French Government awards her the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. This same year, she receives a Molière and a Mambembe.

1983 – Receives a Molière for Best Actress.

1985 – Turns down President José Sarney’s invitation to serve as Minister of Culture. She receives the Ordem do Rio Branco (Order of Rio Branco).

1987 – Receives a Molière for Best Actress.

1994 – Performs Dona Doida, in Fortaleza, Ceará.

1997 – Wins a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her performance in Central do Brasil (Central Station).