Jo Soares dies in Sao Paulo aged 84

Jô Soares dies in São Paulo, aged 84

Actor, writer and director Jô Soares died in the early hours of this Friday (5) at the age of 84. The host of “Programa do Jô,” shown by TV Globo and considered one of Brazil’s greatest comedians, had been hospitalized at SírioLibanês Hospital in central São Paulo since July 25 for pneumonia.

The cause of death has not yet been released. Jô’s funeral and wake will be reserved for family and friends, at a date and location not yet announced.

  • Share on WhatsApp
  • Share on Telegram

“Long live you, my Bitiko, acorn, offal, pet, dung, fat. You are proud of everyone who has shared life with you in some way. I thank the lords of time and space for giving me the good fortune to let our lives intersect. Thanks for the asthmatriggering laughs, for our home my way, for the trips to the fanciest and meanest places, for the slew of movies you thought I was lucky I didn’t remember, yet once to see and ice cream for the indecent amount of movies we’ve watched,” wrote the woman, Flaviain the social networks.

1 of 2 Jô Soares gets emotional as he says goodbye to “Programa do Jô” — Photo: Carol Caminha / Gshow

Jô Soares gets emotional at farewell to ‘Programa do Jô’ — Photo: Carol Caminha / Gshow

Humor as a trademark

In all his numerous artistic activities interviewer, actor, writer, playwright, director, screenwriter, painter… Jô Soares had humor as his trademark. It was his starting point and his signature in theatre, television, cinema, visual arts and literature. He gladly admitted it himself.

“Everything I’ve done, everything I do, is always based on humor. Ever since I was born, ever since,” he said in a statement to website Memória Globo.

Over the past 25 years, Jô has become known as the country’s most famous talk show host. On TV Globo he acted in “Programa do Jô”, which has been shown since 2000. He was also notable for being one of the most important comedians in the history of Brazil, participating in attractions that made history on television. Among them, “A Família Trapo” (1966), “Planeta dos Homens” (1977) and “Viva o Gordo” (1981) stood out. He has also written five books, acted in 22 films and is considered a pioneer of standup.

José Eugênio Soares was born on January 16, 1938 in Rio. He was the only child of businessman Orlando Heitor Soares and Mercedes Leal Soares. In an interview with Fantástico in 2012, Jô said, “Because I’ve always been fat, I’d rather be known for the spirit than the physical”.

“So I was very, very pretentious,” he surmised. “I’m very vain, I’ve never hidden it. Which artist is not vain? All. It is a showcase profession for exhibitors. You were born wanting to seduce the world.”

As a child, Jô attended a boarding school. “I cried a lot. It was an exaggerated thing, an almost gay sensitivity thing,” he said to Fantástico. The reason was the fear of getting a bad grade and not being allowed to go home at the weekend. At school his nickname was poet “Being fat and having a poet’s nickname I think that was already a victory.”

At the age of 12 he went to study in Switzerland, where he stayed until he was 17 years old. It was there that he became interested in theater and shows. But the original plan wasn’t to pursue a stage career. “I thought I would pursue a diplomatic career,” he told Memória Globo. “But I always went to the theatre, I always went to shows, I went backstage to see what it was like. And he was already inventing satirical American cinema numbers; danced with the shoes I wore on my fingers.”

Premiere and ‘The Rag Family’

When Orlando’s business failed, the family returned to Rio. Now Job was ready to face his newfound calling. “I immediately went to the theater group, showed my numbers, and it almost started by itself,” he recalls.

The IMDb portal also lists that during this period he took part in the musical films “Rei do moviment” (1954), “De perna pro ar” (1956) and “Pé na planta” (1957). Early in his film career, his work in the Carlos manga chanchada O homem do Sputnik (1959) stood out. Always as an actor.

His debut on television took place in 1958. That year he took part in the program “Noite de Gala” and began writing for “TV Mistério”, for which Tônia Carreiro and Paulo Autran were in the cast. They were shown on TV Rio. At the station, Jô was also on “Noites cariocas”. He then went on to write and act in TV Continental comedies.

At TV Tupi, he took part in the “Grande Teatro Tupi” in which names such as Fernanda Montenegro, Ítalo Rossi, Sérgio Brito and Aldo de Maia took part. “I managed to work simultaneously on the three channels that were in Rio,” he told Memória Globo.

In 1960, Jô moved to São Paulo to work at TV Record. “I came to discover São Paulo, I was married to Teresa, I was 22 years old. I came for 12 days and stayed 12 years,” he recalled of Fantástico. From there he acted and wrote for several attractions including La reuve chic, Jô show, Praça da Joy, Quadra de Azes, Show do dia 7 and Você é o Detective.

The big highlight of the time was “A Família Rapo”, which was shown every Sunday between 1967 and 1971. In the beginning, Jô only wrote the screenplay his partner was Carlos Alberto Nóbrega. Then he got a role: the butler Gordon. The cast was outstanding, it had Otelo Zeloni, Renata Fronzi, Ricardo Corte Real, Cidinha Campos and Ronald Golias.

Jô used to celebrate the pioneering spirit of attraction. “I think it was the first sitcom that was ever made,” he told Memória Globo. He told Fantástico: “It was the first major national success on television. “I left a year ago [do fim do programa]in 1970. I signed a contract with Globo, where Boni, who already knew me and was friends, and Walter Clark were.”

For the next 17 years, starting in 1970, Jô Soares stayed with TV Globo. The premiere took place in the program “Make humor, don’t make war” alongside Renato Corte Real (both were screenwriters and protagonists). The lyrics were also signed by Max Nunes, Geraldo Alves, Hugo Bidet and Haroldo Barbosa. “We made about 20 characters a year on average. When the last program ended, more than 260 characters were created,” Jô told Memória Globo.

In 1973, a new humor appeared, “Satiricom”. “It was a Casseta & Planeta style show, from satire to communication. We played with soap operas, with the news. So there were no fixed frameworks,” he compared.

In 1977 it was the turn of “O planeta dos Homens”, in which he again split between the roles of actor and author, in collaboration with two of his usual partners: Max Nunes and Haroldo Barbosa. The cast once again drew attention: Agildo Ribeiro, Paulo Silvino, Luís Delfino, Sonia Mamede, Berta Loran, Costinha, Eliezer Motta and Carlos Leite.

Although “O Planeta dos Homens” aired until 1982, Jô left a year early to pursue his next project: “Viva o gordo”. “My humor always has a political background, it always has an observation of everyday life in Brazil,” he said of the proposal for the new attraction. “My characters are much more psychologically and socially anchored than pure caricatures. I’ve never played an absolutely fat character. You’re fat because I’m fat.” The highlights of this figurine gallery were Reizinho (monarch of a kingdom that mocked Brazil at the time), Captain Gay (a homosexual superhero) and Zé da Galera (from the slogan “Bota Ponta, Telê!”) .

When his contract with Globo expired in 1987, Jô Soares moved to SBT. He attributed the change to the opportunity to host a talk show on the new network.

“At the end of the contract, I spoke to Boni, my friend… At that time, of course, there was hatred. Why did I say ‘no’ [à proposta de renovação com a TV Globo]’ Jô admitted to Fantástico in 2012. During the 11year broadcast of the talk show “Jô Soares eleven and a half” more than 6,000 interviews were conducted. “And during the impeachment trial of President Fernando Collor, ‘Jô Soares Onze e Meia’ acted as a kind of popular platform where the moderator interviewed some of the main actors and witnesses of the case,” Memória Globo points out.

“I think I’ve discovered, also by accident, the great vocation of my life, what gives me the most joy, to do the greatest joy. I feel very alive there. The greatest attraction in the world is the chat, the conversation,” said Jô himself.

He returned to Globo in 2000 when “Programa do Jô” premiered. “It wasn’t a question of salary, because the SBT’s counterproposal was very high. I came back for the opportunity to do more international interviews, for the recording opportunities, for the journalism support.”

Jô Soares worked prominently in the press and was a bestselling author. In the 1980s he wrote regularly for the newspapers “O Globo” and “Folha de S.Paulo” as well as for the magazine “Manchete”. Between 1989 and 1996 he wrote a column in Veja.

He also wrote five books, four of which were novels. It premiered “O astronauta sem regime” (1983), a collection of chronicles originally published in “O Globo”. The novel “O Xangô de Baker Street” (1995) topped the bestseller lists and was made into a film in 2001. Subsequent works were The Man Who Killed Getúlio Vargas (1998), Assassinatos na Academia Brasileira de Letras (2005) and As esganadas (2011). They have sold very well.

In the theater, Jô became famous for his monologues, all with a comic and critical tone, with satires on everyday and political life in Brazil. The best known were “Love a fat man before it’s over” (1976), “Long live the fat man and down with the regime!” (1978), Um gordoidão no país da inflation (1983), O gordo ao vivo (1988), Um gordo em concerto (1994) which ran for two years and Na mira do gordo (2007 ).

Shows in which he appeared on stage as an actor also include a production of Auto da compadecida and Oscar (1961), starring Cacilda Becker and Walmor Chagas. As a director he was responsible for “Soraia, Posto 2” (1960), “The Seven Kittens” (1961), “Romeo and Juliet” (1969), “Frankenstein” (2002), “Ricardo III” (2006). ).

Of his more than 20 cinematic works, Jô appeared in some classics of national cinema, such as “Hitler IIIº Mundo” (1968) by José Agripino de Paula” and “A mulher de todos” (1969) by Rogério Sganzerla. He also directed the film O pai do povo (1976).

In this interview with Fantástico in 2012, he commented on his “illness rage” and fear of death. Allways in a good mood. “I’m a hypochondriac of exotic diseases. Beriberi I don’t even know what it is but I’m scared of catching it,” he joked. “The fear of death is a useless feeling: you are really going to die, there is no use in being afraid. I’m afraid of not being productive. I quote my friend Chico Anysio: [uma vez] they asked him: ‘Are you afraid of dying?’ He said no. I have pity’. Perfect.”

2 of 2 Jô Soares at JG, 1984 — Photo: Reproduction

Jô Soares at JG, 1984 — Photo: Reproduction