Mattos made her film debut in the 1939 Brazilian movie, Aves Sem Ninho, directed by Raul Roulien. She appeared in numerous films throughout the 1940s and 1950s, including Ruy Costa's Pega Ladrão in 1940; Moacyr Fenelon's Gente Honesta in 1944; Mãos Sangrentas, directed by Carlos Hugo Christensen in 1955; and Eurípedes Ramos' O Diamante in 1956. She continued to be cast in film roles during the 1970s and 1980s as well.
Lídia Mattos died on January 22, 2013, of pneumonia at the Espanhol Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, where she had been hospitalized since December 25, 2012, at the age of 88. She was buried in the São João Batista cemetery in Botafogo. Mattos was survived by her four children; seven grandchildren, including actress Vanessa Lóes, wife of actor Thiago Lacerda; and three great-grandchildren.
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