Worked With:

Emily Mortimer

Javier Bardem

Alan Arkin

Fernanda Montenegro Biography

Birth Name: Fernanda Montenegro
Born: 1929
Birth Place: Brazil

For much of the next decade, she concentrated on stage and TV roles appearing only in one film. "Everything's Fine/Tudo Bem" (1977) which earned her a Best Actress citation at the Taorima Film Festival. In the early 80s. after a turn in the comedy-drama "Eles nao Usam Black-Tie/They Don't Wear Black Tie" (1981), Montenegro had a stage triumph in the title role of "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" which ran for three years and earned her numerous accolades. A frequent presence on telenovelas, the actress continued to make infrequent film appearances, like portraying a fortune teller in "A Hora de Estrela/Hour of the Star" (1985) and acted with her husband Fernando Torres in "Veja Esta Cancao/Rio's Love Songs/See This Song" (1994). Bruno Barreto tapped her for a small role in his Oscar-nominated "Four Days in September/O que e Isso, Compaheiro" (1997), which prominently featured her actress daughter Fernanda Torres. In 1998, at an age when many actors would be considering retirement, Montenegro delivered one of her finest screen characterizations as the gruff former schoolteacher who embarks on a road trip to help a young boy find his father in "Central do Brasil/Central Station" (1998). Her Dora is a cynical, embittered woman, alone and lonely, who passes her time earning extra money writing letters for the illiterate at Rio de Janiero's train station. Playing God with people's lives (she and a neighbor read the letters and either tear them up or put them aside with the vague notion of posting them), Dora comes to feel more human through her interactions with the boy Josue. Montenegro's performance grows over the course of the film and she uses her wonderful, lived-in face and large eyes to convey various emotions. The accolades began accumulating early as she picked up the Best Actress trophy at the Berlin Film Festival; by year's end there was even speculation about an Oscar nomination which she justly received.