Sylvia Bandeira

by Sherif Awad

Sylvia Bandeira

She was born Sylvia de Sousa-Bandeira  in Geneva, Switzerland. The daughter of diplomat Octávio de Souza Bandeira and Talitha de Souza Bandeira. Her grandfather, Gustavo de Souza Bandeira, was a writer and diplomat, and her great-grandfather was a jurist, writer, professor and member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters João Carneiro de Souza Bandeira (1865–1917). He  was married to Luzia Gomes de Mattos. Her grandmother Sylvia, who was married to Gustavo de Souza Bandeira, was also the daughter of Lafayette Rodrigues Pereira, a jurist, Senator of the Empire, author of classic books on Law and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

“My father was a diplomat and so for the first eighteen years of my life, I led a  nomad life with my parents and brother,'' she told www.MeetingVenus.com. “I was born in Geneva and spent most of my childhood and adolescence travelling  from one city to another. Lived in Baltimore, Paris, Sydney , Santiago , Guatemala...I am therefore fluent in four languages  French, English, Spanish and naturally Portuguese.  From a very young age, I was fascinated by the art of acting! First, I wanted to be a ballerina then a film star. I even considered becoming a singer! My very first role model was my father who interpreted many different characters in the books he read us.

As a child I loved Rita Hayworth. Later as a teenager, I was fascinated by Vanessa Redgrave, Natalie Wood, Robert Redford and so many more. I once read an article in which Kathleen Turner said that having been brought up by a diplomat father made it natural for her to choose her profession. I believe that all the different cultures I had to adapt to during such a long period of my life made me feel comfortable when I started play acting in movies , plays and films.

At the age of nineteen, Sylvia moved to Rio de Janeiro where she has lived ever since. She was married to businessman Robert (Bobby) Falkenburg II (son of Bob Falkenburg ) with whom she had two children, Talitha and Robert. In 1980, Sylvia married TV presenter J Soares until 1982. The following year, she was married to civil engineer Carlos Eduardo de Souza Dantas Ferreira, with whom she has a daughter,Melina de Souza Bandeira Ferreira, an advertising executive.

Sylvia Bandeira

She completed forty years of profession in 2018, having acted in twenty plays, eighteen novels, four miniseries, four feature films and two musicals. In addition to the acting courses at PUC-RJ (1978) and Tablado (1979), she had as tutors some of the best and most prestigious directors, actors and actresses on the national scene.

She started her career with the film República dos Assassinos (1978), directed by Miguel Faria Jr. and for BAR ESPERANÇA (1983) by Hugo Carvana,where she received the Kikito award as Best Supporting Actress. She participated in soap operas and miniseries, starring as the protagonist of the soap opera UM SONHO A MAIS (1985), on TV Globo. Her most recent work on tv was in SOL NASCENTE by Walter Negrão (2017). At Record TV, she acted in the new version of ESCRAVA ISAURA (2004) and in VIDAS OPOSTAS (2006), among others.

In the performing arts, she acted between drama and comedy. One of hier most outstanding works in the theatre was her interpretation of Marlene Dietrich - As Pernas do Século - which earned her the Heloneida Studart Culture Award , in addition to a nomination for the Shell Award for Best Theater Actress (2011). She produced and staged eight shows, such as the VITA & VIRGINIA directed by Ítalo Rossi, that received four Molière Awards.Among her main performances as protagonist is the musical RÁDIO NACIONAL by Fátima Valença, O DOENTE IMAGINÁRIO by Molière and DIVINAS PALAVRAS by Ramón del Valle Inclán. She  was directed by Jô Soares, Moacyr Góes, Jacqueline Laurence and three times by Bibi Ferreira in addition to having worked with other renowned directors and actors. As a writer, she released her first book MAMÃE COSTURA E ESTA NOITE VOU TE VER (2013) by Editora Apicuri.

 “I think that as an actress I have had my share of success in my own country.'' she adds. “At one time I thought of trying my luck in North America, France or Spain. But maybe I was to busy building a family as well as a career!”.

There are major concerns not only in Brazil about quality of roles offered to men and women. “Most women complain that there is a difference in male roles and that men have higher salaries and blah blah blah”, adds Sylvia who quotes her father’s words: “When will you women realize that this is a world ruled by men ?” Things are definitely changing and I think I have always acted as a “ Man” in the sense that I never accepted this gender role!...The current situation of the arts in my country Brazil are appalling at the present moment, but I am an optimist and believe that you have to really work at what you desire to make it happen.... I recently starred in a musical comedy about Marlene Dietrich’s life in which I sang in four languages including German. I changed costumes twelve times during that performance . The play starred in 2009 and every chance I have I make a come back  .

And now I am starting to rehearse a tribute to Charles Aznavour who recently left us. My partner is Mauricio Baduh who is fluent in french and sings beautifully.


Sylvia Bandeira