Actress Beatriz Segall, Known For Villain Odete Roitman, Dies At 92

Segall was being treated for respiratory complications in a São Paulo hospital

Gustavo Fioratti
São Paulo

Actress Beatriz Segall died in São Paulo on Wednesday (5th), at age 92. She was under medical care at Hospital Albert Einstein, but at her family's request, the cause of death has not been disclosed.

Few actresses left their mark in a country's collective imagination as Segall did with her Odete Roitman, the main villain in 1980s telenovela "Vale Tudo" (in English, "Everything Goes"). Segall's performance as a snobby middle-aged socialite from Rio de Janeiro created the standard on how late century Brazilian TV dramas would portray the country's elite.

The episode where her character is murdered gave Rede Globo, the largest TV network in the country, one of the highest audience ratings in Brazilian history.

Beatriz Segall in her most notable role: snobby socialite Odete Roitman in telenovela Vale Tudo
Beatriz Segall in her most notable role: snobby socialite Odete Roitman in telenovela Vale Tudo - Foto: Reprodução

The question "Who killed Odete Roitman?”, printed over and over in magazine covers and newspapers front pages, became a catchphrase used to this day. 

Odete Roitman was undoubtedly the pinnacle of Segall's career, but it also typecasted the performer. Afterward, she often played haughty upper-class women on both on stage and TV, which suited her slightly nasal voice and blue-green eyes; roles that she performed with grace and ease.

Born on 1926 in Rio de Janeiro to teachers who owned a renowned private school, Segall had contact with intellectuals since an early age, and her social circles included painters and artists from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Famous for her sharp soundbites, Segall described in several interviews how, in order to pursue her acting career, she had to go against her father's wishes. According to the actress, he saw drama as a minor art, and her family raised her to get married, have children and be a homemaker.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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