Died in the early hours of this Friday (5), at the age of 84, the writer and comedian Jo Soares . He had been hospitalized at Hospital Sírio-Libanês since the end of last month, in Sao Paulo .
The departure of the presenter, nighttime companion of viewers for decades, caused commotion in the Brazilian population.
To celebrate the artist’s life, CNN separated 10 curiosities about Jô Soares.
1 – Death of the only child
Jô Soares had only one child, Rafael Soares, from his marriage to his first wife, actress Teresa Austregésilo. As a child, he was diagnosed with “Autism Spectrum Disorder” (TEA).
On October 31, 2014, “Rafinha”, as the writer affectionately called her, died, aged 50, from brain cancer. On November 2, the first “Programa do Jô” after Rafael’s death, Jô decided not only to continue with the presentation of the program, but also to pay tribute to his son.
“Our opening today will be a little different, because last Friday, the 31st, I suffered the nightmare of every parent, the reversal of the natural order of things, the loss of a child. My son Rafael was in the world for 50 years and he was a special child. As he was autistic, he remained a boy until the end,” the presenter began.
“He spent his entire life in the reality of the world itself. Adult body, child’s heart and soul. He played the piano, loved music, but his greatest love was radio. And this willingness to live with enthusiasm and even passion, this limited path that life has offered him, makes me very proud of my son”, said Jô.
2 – Residence in the Copacabana Palace Annex
During his childhood, Jô lived in the annex of the Copacabana Palace hotel. In his biography “O Livro de Jô”, the comedian explains that the building was designed to be permanently inhabited by families, a concept opposite to the temporary accommodation of the building next door.
Jô says that his father saw in the Annex the ideal house for his small family. “We were among the first to take up residence there. The concept of permanent housing that guided the construction of the new building did not work out very well, but my parents stayed there for about a decade”, Jô said in his autobiography.
“Right as a kid, I would go up to the top floor, come dangerously to the edge of the parapet and threaten to throw myself in the pool. The terrified tourists shouted: ‘No, please, no, you will never make it, you won’t make it’. I would reply: ‘According to requests, I’ll leave the dive for tomorrow”, he recalled, good-naturedly.
3 – Was a composer
Jô Soares was also a composer. According to Ecad, he left 10 original songs and 76 recordings registered in the database.
4 – Work in a travel agency
Also in his biography, the artist reveals an unusual job he had in his youth. “At eighteen, instead of going to college, as most middle-class boys were doing, I had to look for a job. The contract made by my father with Copacabana Palace allowed us to live in the Annex for a while longer, and for a period we were in this situation: hard pressed and living in the most luxurious hotel in Brazil”, summarized Jô.
Initially, he worked as an office boy in a coffee export office owned by José Mendes de Sousa. Then he took over as a ticket salesman. He stayed at the Castelo tourist agency for about a year. He only sold two train tickets to Belo Horizonte. “I was a failure as a tourist agent,” he confessed.
4 – He considered himself an anarchist
To “Roda Viva”, from TV Cultura, Jô Soares explained why he defines himself as an anarchist. “Anarchist, it is clear that in the ideological sense — I was not going to drop bombs in places —. I have never joined any political party. I think an artist can’t, shouldn’t do that. If not you’re held responsible for whatever shit any party does. I’m not in it,” he clarified.
5 – Dating with Claudia Raia
Jô Soares and actress Claudia Raia dated for about three years between 1984 and 1986. In an interview with the channel “Téte a Theo”, in February this year, the artist told how Jô saved her life.
“I’d been on his show for like four, five months, and he’s always been really nice to me and everything. Until one day he saw a mole on my leg – this story is absurd – and said: ‘What is this mole?’. I said: ‘It’s a mole, I love my mole and stuff’. He said: ‘It has to be removed’”, says Claudia. The mole in question was a cancerous melanoma.
“He saved me. From there, we created a relationship of friendship, I did not envision falling in love with him”, she recalls. According to the artist, it was the presenter who decided to break off the relationship. The couple were 30 years apart. “I was younger than his son,” adds Claudia, who was 17 at the time.
This Friday, upon receiving the news of the death, the actress said she was shocked. “You know those people that we think will always be here, that are eternal? Jo was one of those people for me. My father, my love, my friend, my adviser… He meant so much to me,” she stated.
“Meeting Jô was a watershed in my life: before him I was Maria Claudia Motta Raia; after him, I became Claudia Raia. Yes, he was the one who artistically baptized me, and that says it all. Today there would not be a Claudia Raia without Jô. Whether because he gave me the stage name, he gave me the first opportunity on TV and because he saved my life,” Claudia continued.
6 – Reunion with the taxi driver responsible for his mother’s hit-and-run
Jô Soares’ mother, Mercedes Pereira Leal, died at the age of 70, hit by a taxi. “The taxi driver was not at fault, so much so that he took her, helped her, took her to the hospital. He did everything right. But she had a skull base fracture,” Jô told journalist Marcelo Bonfá.
Ten years after the accident, Jô took a taxi. “When I got home, he said, ‘Look, I need to tell you something. I was the one who ran over your mother. Since that day, I have not been able to sleep, I will only be able to sleep the day I hear you say that you have forgiven me.’
And I said: ‘But, my son, you are forgiven since the day you took my mother, helped and sat next to my father. You weren’t to blame,’” the presenter reported about the conversation.
8 – Almost Was a Diplomat
Jô Soares, before pursuing his artistic career, studied to take the entrance exam at the Rio Branco Institute, he wanted to pursue a career as a diplomat at Itamaraty. In his biography, he resumes a conversation he had with actor Silveira Sampaio. ”
‘You can study whatever you want now, but what you’ll actually end up doing in life is working in the theater.’ Without either he or I knowing that sunny afternoon in Rio, that man would have a huge influence on my career”, wrote Jô.
9 – First drunk at 9 years old
In conversation with Fabio Porchat, Jô Soares stated that he got drunk for the first time when he was nine years old. “It was when I was nine years old. Next, my father was going to take me home, and then the school dropped me off at the headquarters of the Jockey Club, which was in the city, on Avenida Rio Branco. I went up, there was a bar, and I stayed there waiting for Dad. When Dad arrived, I said, ‘I wanted to try champagne!’ because someone at school had talked about champagne. Then Dad said, ‘Oh, yeah? So it’s’. And he gave me two glasses. I got drunk and threw up all night,” he said. “I think from then on I didn’t have any attraction to drink anymore. I drink a whiskey, a vodka, but really drunk, that was it”.
10 – Suffered from OCD
When interviewing Roberto Carlos, Jô Soares revealed, like the singer, that he also suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The musician told about the difficulty he had in getting in and out through different doors. “I didn’t know it was OCD, I still thought it was superstition,” said Roberto Carlos.
“The things you do because of OCD…you do it and that’s it,” commented Jô. “I’ve already improved a lot. Anyone who has OCD is a sufferer,” replied the singer. “I’ve also improved. I know… I already had words that I couldn’t say”, revealed the presenter.
Source: CNN Brasil