Actress, who was in the cast of Globo’s greatest hits, was fighting lung cancer
The actress Ilka Soares died this Saturday, 18, at age 89, in Rio de Janeiro. She suffered with lung cancer and had been hospitalized for about 10 days. Born in Rio on June 21, 1932, she would be 90 years old in three days. The artist was the daughter of a pharmacist and a housewife of German origin. The first step in the artistic world was in 1947, when still a teenager, she participated in a Miss contest promoted by the newspaper The globe, representing the Federal District (when the capital of Brazil was Rio itself). At the time, she couldn’t even participate because she was underage and, later, the actress herself revealed that she was “given” a few more years so she could run. It was during this contest that she met director Vitório Cardinalli. He invited her to audition for the role of Iracema in the film that would be shot in 1948 and released the following year.
At the age of 16, she played opposite Mario Brasini (1921-1997) and, according to her, starred in the first nude in Brazilian cinema, with make-up to darken her skin and wearing a wig with bangs and dark hair. In the sequence, she would still make films such as “Katucha” (1950), “Modelo 19” (1950), “Illusion Corner” (1953) and “Carnival on Mars” (1955). At the beginning of the 1950s, she participated in productions on Record and Tupi broadcasters. By 1965, she was married to Walter Clarkcalled by Roberto Marinho to an important position in the TV Globo, which was still starting. At the time, Ilka, who was pregnant and had three months behind on her salary at TV Rio, decided to go with her husband to the new station. In addition to Clark, with whom she had a daughter, she was also married to Anselmo Duartewith whom he had two children, and Nelson Fiúza Filho.
A remarkable episode in the life of Ilka Soares took place in 1958, when the American Rock Hudson (1925-1985) came to Brazil. The actress received a proposal from an executive from the producer of the heartthrob to accompany him during the carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There were rumors at the time about Hudson’s sexuality and the possibility that his marriage to Phyllis Gates was just a front. Later, Ilka reported that she did not distrust the actor, “because he was absolutely restrained”. About the numerous photos published in the press at the time – the duo even appeared on the cover of the magazine Headline – did not see it with a bad eye: “This story interested me, as he was at the height of his fame, he was a seductive man, he was a gentleman and very friendly when we were in public.”
At Globo, he started in 1966, replacing Norma Bengell in the presentation of “Noite de Gala”. In addition to entertainment programs, she was also ahead of some journalistic ones, such as “Jornal de Verdade” (1966-1969). Invited by Alberto Dines, she even signed the women’s page of “Diário da Noite”, but she had the help of Clarice Lispector as a ghost-writer. About the time of the military dictatorship (1964-1985), which coincided with the height of his career, he recalled, in a statement to the book “Ilka Soares: A Bela da Tela”, by Wagner de Assis, part of the Aplauso collection: “My relationship with the military government went without problems. […] It didn’t affect anything for me. I knew about people imprisoned and tortured. But the information was always partial, nothing was published. I knew the difficulties that all the most engaged artists were going through. But there wasn’t much to do.”
He also gained prominence in soap operas in the 1970s and 1980s, such as “Bandeira 2” (1971), “O Cafona” (1971), “O Bofe” (1972), “Anjo Mau” (1976), “Locomotivas” (1977). ), “Did I tell you?” (1978) and “Champagne” (1983). He also worked at SBT, where he made “Jogo do Amor” (1985), and at Manchete, acting in “Novo Amor” (1986). He then returned to Globo and participated in the cast of several well-known productions, such as “Mandala” (1987), “Que Rei Sou Eu?” (1989), “Queen of Scrap” (1990) and “Barriga de Aluguel” (1990). Still in the 1990s, he was in the remake of “Pecado Capital” (1998). Already at age 70, his roles were dwindling. In cinema, he also participated in productions such as “Copacabana” (2001), “Gatão de Meia Idade” (2006) and “Vendo ou Alugo” (2013).
*With information from Estadão Conteúdo.