Long time actress Neuza Borges suffers a stroke in Rio de Janeiro
Yesterday morning, long time actress NeuzaBorges, 70, was taken to Barra D’Or Hospital, on the west side of Rio deJaneiro where he is hospitalized after having suffered a stroke. The actress issaid to be in stable condition, lucid and doing well. Borges currently playsthe role of Maria in the Globo TVNetwork soap opera A vida da gente(Our Lives).
Borges is one of the great black icons ofBrazilian drama. Before becoming an actress, she was also a nightclub singer in São Paulo. She starred in a number of soap operas over the course of a 57 yearcareer, including roles on top Brazilian television networks including TV Record and the defunct TV Tupi and Globo. Since 1972, Borges has appeared in 30 soap operas and isremembered for roles in such soap operas as EscravaIsaura (1975), Dancin’ Days(1978), A Indomada (1997) and O Clone (2001). She has also won anumber of awards in film festivals over the years including Best SupportingActress awards in 1992, 1997 and 2005. Borges has also appeared in a number ofBrazilian films including A Carne(1975), A Deusa Negra (1978), Uma Vida em Segredo (2001) and 2006’s Polaróides Urbanas.
In July of 2011, Borgesreceived the Troféu Pérolas Negras Benedita da Silva (Benedita da Silva BlackPearls Award) in the city of Camaçari, Bahia. The award, named after thefamous politician, was given in honor of black women that have fought in the trenchesagainst racial prejudice is their select fields. In an interview conceded byBorges in August of 2011, she spoke on the topic of prejudice in Brazil:
“Unfortunately, blacks suffer alot of prejudice in Brazil. We are always in second place. I think that blacksshould fight to get more space. Blacks are not valued. Just to have an idea, of80 actors that are selected to work in a soap opera, only one is black, andmost of the time, the role destined to this actor doesn’t have major emphasis.This also happens in fashion, that it, for each ten models walking the catwalk,only one is black.”*
Borges (right) with Bira Corôa
In November of 2011, during Brazil’s annualMonth of Black Consciousness, she was honored at the Legislative Assembly ofthe northeastern state of Bahia in a ceremony attended by various activists,friends and entertainers. In homage to the long-time actress, politician BiraCorôa presented Borges with an award of Bahian citizenship. Although Borges was born in the southern city of Florianópolis and grew up in São Paulo, she would eventually move to the northeastern state of Bahia. Handing the award to Borgess, Corôa said the following:
“November 20th and the struggle of the blackBahian has gained more force honoring an actress that shines as a militant forracial equality in Brazil, denouncing the discrimination suffered by black actresseson Brazilian television….She fights for the rights of our race. And in thismoment that we celebrate the International Year of the African Descendant it ismore than deserved this honor to this woman that represents a generation ofthose that fought each day for a place in society.”
Accepting the award, Borges said:
“All these years in Bahia fighting for thepeople of my race, taking the name of Bahia to other states…It’s been more than30 years living in this land that I love and it is only now that I receive thishonor after years of suffering but everything has its due time.”