Niní Marshall

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Niní Marshall
Nini Marshall.jpg
Birth name Marina Esther Traveso
Born (1903-06-01)1 June 1903
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died 18 March 1996(1996-03-18) (aged 92)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Medium Film, music, theatre
Genres Character comedy
Spouse Felipe Edelmann (m. 1924)
Marcelo Salcedo (m. 1936)
Carmelo Santiago

Marina Esther Traveso (June 1, 1903 — March 18, 1996), kown by her stage name Niní Marshall, was an Argentine humorist, comic actress and screenwriter; nicknamed The Chaplin with a skirt and The Lady of Humour.[1][2]

Life and work[edit]

She was born in Buenos Aires to Pedro and María Ángela Traveso, a well-to-do family in Rosario, in 1903. Losing her father at two months of age, she was raised by her mother, who affectionately called her "Niní." They relocated to the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Caballito when Niní was in her teens, and she began a career in advertising. She met Felipe Edelman, an engineer, while in her senior year in secondary school, and they married in 1922, a few months after the birth of their only daughter, Ángeles. The happy occasion was followed by her mother's untimely death, however, a tragedy compounded by Felipe Edelman's decline into compulsive gambling. Facing economic ruin, the couple were separated shortly afterwards and she remarried.[3]

Traverso drew on her advertising experience and wit to secure work in La Novela Semanal, a well-known women's leisure magazine, in 1933. She also contributed to the radio variety show, Sintonía, as an entertainment critic and publicist until 1934 and appeared in numerous other radio programs. A multi-lingual and prolific writer, she began signing her varied articles as "Mitzi." Traveso debuted as a singer on Radio Municipal in 1936, and met her second husband, Marcelo Salcedo, at that time. She soon began appearing in Buenos Aires' vibrant theatre, where she developed two satirical characters, Cándida y Catita; by then, she had adopted another pseudonym: "Niní Marshall." [4]

Niní Marshall joins Silvia and Mirtha Legrand in Educating Niní (1940).

These roles led to a prestigious Sensación Radiofónica award in 1937 for her work in Sintonía and to a film deal with Enrique Susini's Lumiton Studios in 1938.[5] Portraying her character "Catita" (an Italian Argentine cook), opposite Mecha Ortiz and Tito Lusiardo (Catita's fastidious employers), in Mujeres que trabajan (Working Women), the comedy's success led to an offer the following year to portray Catita's par, Cándida (an antiquated Galician maid), for which she also wrote the screenplay.[6]

Her thickly-accented characters and use of ethnic humor were not without their detractors, however. The conservative government in power in Argentina at the time ordered her banned from the radio in 1940 and, in 1943, newly installed dictator Gen. Pedro Ramírez had her banned from the cinema, on the charge of "deforming the language," leading to her exile in Mexico.[7] A leading box office draw, she portrayed either Catita or Cándida in numerous more films, as well starring in other notable comedy roles such as Conrado Nalé Roxlo's adaptation of Victorien Sardou's Madame Sans Gêne, in 1945.[6]

Following President Juan Perón's 1955 overthrow, Marshall returned to Argentina and to her comedy stanby for her first post-exile role in Julio Saraceni's Catita es una dama (Catita is a Lady, 1956). Continuing to perform in the radio and theatre, she went on to create numerous other comedy characters, among them: Cosme, Doña Caterina, Doña Pola, Mingo, the aristocratic Mónica de Picos Pardo Unzué Crostón, Niña Jovita, Pedantina, Sabelotodo and Ursilina (all satires of stereotypically Argentine types, and some male).[3] Her work in the theatre helped make household names of young colleagues of hers such as Zully Moreno, Enrique Pinti, Antonio Gasalla and Juan Carlos Altavista, as well making successes of theatre pieces such as Coqueluche (with Thelma Biral) and a 1972 monologue, Y se nos fue redepente (Left Suddenly).[7]

Her last film role starred opposite veteran comic Luis Sandrini in ¡Qué linda es mi familia! (My Family's Beautiful!). The 1980 yarn on a quiet, elderly couple's brush with fame would be the ailing Sandrini's last, as well. She earned a Konex Award in 1981,[5] and retired from show business the following year. She penned her memoirs in 1985 and reemerged in the theatre briefly for a friend, dramatist Antonio Gasalla, in 1988. The acclaimed role earned her a recognition as an Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires in 1989. Given the award not by the mayor, but by newly elected President Carlos Menem, he apologized to her for the persecution she endured 40 years earlier. Argentine cinema standards Norma Aleandro and Alfredo Alcón presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992 and theatre revivals of her work were produced from 1992 to 1995 locally and in Paris, including two works written in her honor.[7]

The grande dame of Argentine humor to three generations, Niní Marshall died in Buenos Aires in 1996. She was 92.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1938 Mujeres que trabajan Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1939 Cándida Cándida
1939 Divorcio en Montevideo Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1940 Marriage in Buenos Aires
1940 Luna de miel en Río
1940 Hay que educar a Niní Herself
1940 Los celos de Cándida Cándida
1941 Yo quiero ser bataclana
1941 Cándida millonaria Cándida
1941 Orquesta de señoritas
1942 La mentirosa Niní Martínez
1943 Carmen
1943 Cándida, la mujer del año Cándida
1945 Madam Sans Gene
1945 Santa Cándida Cándida
1946 Mosquita muerta Dionisia de Flavigni
1947 Buenos Aires Sings
1947 The Headless Woman Niní
1947 Navidad de los pobres Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1948 Porteña de corazón Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1949 Mujeres que bailan Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1949 Una gallega en México Cándida Mexican film
1950 Una gallega baila bambo Cándida Mexican film
1950 La alegre casada Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo Mexican film
1951 Los enredos de una Gallega Cándida Mexican film
1952 Mi campeón Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo Mexican film
1953 Amor de locura Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo Mexican film
1953 Dios los cría Mexican film
1955 Una gallega en La Habana Cándida Mexican film
1956 Catita es una dama Catalina "Catita" Pizzafrola Langanuzzo
1964 Cleopatra era Cándida Cándida
1967 Ya tiene comisario el pueblo Doña Sofocación
1967 Escándalo en la familia Loli
1968 La novela de un joven pobre Carolina
1971 Vamos a soñar por el amor Carolina
1980 ¡Qué linda es mi familia!

References and external links[edit]

  1. ^ Werchowsky, Florencia (2008). "Fascículo Ídolos del Espectáculo Argentino: Niní". Clarín (Argentine newspaper) (in Spanish). 
  2. ^ Alejandra Zoppi (15 October 2010). "Niní Marshall: la Chaplín con pollera" (in Spanish). La Nación. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  3. ^ a b MediaLab Rosario: Niní Marshall (Spanish)
  4. ^ Marrazzi, Eduardo (Revista Flash, 1996). Se nos fue redepente.
  5. ^ a b Fundación Konex (Spanish)
  6. ^ a b Cine Nacional
  7. ^ a b c Clarín (Spanish)