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Brazilian Profile: Dercy Gonçalves, in memoriam Posted by on Jul 20, 2008 in Brazilian Profile

Dercy Gonçalves was born in 1907 in Santa Maria Madalena, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. She began working very young, especially after her mother left her family. Dercy ran away from home when she was 17 and joined a theater company. She began performing on stage, and later began to specialize in comedy and improv.

Starting in the sixties, she broke into TV and had her own show until the military dictatorship began censoring the media. Later, she went on to perform in soap operas and with comedians like Silvio Santos. She was also an infamous performer in Rio samba schools.

A controversial figure, Dercy was best known for her irreverent style, due to her habit of cursing and talking about inappropriate topics. She had more than ten plastic surgeries, especially on her face. She was also a professed atheist who had no interest in having children.

In an interview last year, she said: “O ontem acabou. Não tenho mágoa de nada e nem saudade de nada. Vivo o hoje. Tenho alegria de viver, adoro a vida”. [Yesterday is over. I’m not hurt by anything and I don’t miss anything. I live for today. I’m happy to be alive–I love life.]  “Conheço mais da metade do mundo. Não tem país de mais calma e dignidade que o Brasil. Isso aqui é lindo”. [I’ve seen more than half of the world. There’s no country that is calmer or more dignified than Brazil. Here it truly is beautiful.]

On Saturday, the infamous Dercy passed away at the age of 101, in Rio de Janeiro, of pneumonia.

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