Maria Della Costa

Gentile Maria Marchioro Della Costa (born January 1, 1926) is a noted Brazilian theater, movie and TV actress and producer.

She was born in Flores da Cunha, a small town of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, into a family of Italian immigrants from the region of Veneto. A beautiful woman, she was immortalized in paintings by Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Flavio de Carvalho, Guanabarino and Djanira, and in a statue by Victor Brecheret. She started her career at 14 years of age, as a fashion model (she is considered the first professional model in Brazil).

She was one of the pioneers in bringing to the theatre texts from Bertolt Brecht, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Anouilh, Maxim Gorki, Daphne du Maurier, Federico García Lorca, Georges Feydeau, Carlo Goldoni, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill, Émile Zola, Arthur Miller, Eugène Ionesco, Plínio Marcos, Marcos Reys, Helena Silveira, Jorge Andrade, Antônio Bivar, Gianfrancesco Guarnieri, Nelson Rodrigues, among others. She was directed by Ruggero Jacobbi, Itália Fausta, Bibi Ferreira, Fauze Arap, Antunes Filho, Flamínio Bellini Berri, Flávio Rangel, Gianni Ratto and others.

She was married to Sandro Polloni, a theater producer, also of Italian origin. Together they built what is until today one of the best theater houses in São Paulo, the Teatro Maria Della Costa.

Presently retired from the show business, she is the owner and manager of a small hotel (Coxixo Hotel) in the historical and tourist town of Paraty, Rio de Janeiro.

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