Isabel Sarli

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Isabel Sarli
IsabelSarliMasa.jpg
Isabel Sarli in the late 1960s
Born Hilda Isabel Gorrindo Sarli
(1935-07-09) 9 July 1935 (age 81)
Concordia, Entre Ríos, Argentina
Occupation Actress, glamour model
Years active

1954—1980

1996—2009
Partner(s) Armando Bó (1956-1981)
Children
  • Isabelita Sarli
  • Martín

Hilda Isabel Gorrindo Sarli (Spanish pronunciation: [isaˈβel ˈsarli]; born 9 July 1935), nicknamed Coca, is a retired Argentine actress and glamour model, known for her campy[1] sexploitation films. Sarli was the only Argentinian actress known to have made any worldwide impact, and although she received offers to work with high-profile directors, she declined these. She is considered a cultural icon and the quintessential sex symbol in her home country.

Early years[edit]

Hilda Isabel Sarli Gorrindo Tito was born in Concordia, Entre Ríos Province, into a very poor family, as one of the daughters of Don Antonio Gorrindo by Doña María Elena Sarli. Her father, Don Gorrindo, left the family when she was 3 years old. Those he had left behind, including Doña Sarli and Isabel, then moved to Buenos Aires. Her youngest sibling, and only brother, died at the age of five. Although, years later, her father tried to contact her, angrily she refused.

Sarli trained to become a secretary and, upon completing this training, started working for a publicity agency to support her mother. Then she was offered to work as a model, at which she proved to be so successful that she ended up resigning from her secretarial work. She won an award as the "most photographed model".

Contrary to what is known, she was nicknamed "Coca" by her mother.

Career[edit]

In 1955 she was elected Miss Argentina and met the then Argentine President, Juan Domingo Peron.
In June of 1956, she met Armando Bó on a TV show, who later offered her the opportunity to star in El Trueno entre las hojas (Thunder In The Leaves). Bó convinced Sarli to be naked in a scene in which she bathed in a lake, though she had previously been told she would wear a flesh-colored body stocking. Also, though Bó likewise told Sarli they would shoot from afar, the camera had magnification. The film became the first to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema. She went on to become an international Latin American star and made international headlines for the nude scene. She appeared in Time, Life, and Playboy Magazines, the first Argentinian actress to accomplish that feat. Bó and Sarli became lovers and she became the primary star of his films till his death in 1981. During this time, Sarli refused many offers to work with another director, with the exception of Leopoldo Torre Nilsson on The Female: Seventy Times Seven and Dirk DeVilliers on The Virgin Goddess, her only english film.

The films were controversial at the time and most of them were banned, but this ban led them to be even more successful. Films like Fuego (1969) and Fiebre (1970) reached the American and European markets.

Promotional photo

She received offers to work in the United States with Robert Aldrich,[2] along with other offers extended to her from both Mexico and England, but she declined them all. She was also offered a role in the movie The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll and The Guns of Navarone.

After Bó's death in 1981, Sarli retired from the cinema industry altogether but came back in the mid-90s for Jorge Polaco's picaresque film, La Dama Regresa (1996). The film was inspired largely by her life and her public image, serving as an homage of sorts. In 2009 she teamed once more with Polaco in Arroz con leche for a bit part.

In 2011 she starred in the movie Mis días con Gloria, where she acted out a character based on herself. The film was her first major role since La Dama Regresa in 1996. In a radio interview, Sarli said the film had not gone well because of the poor promotion it had received.

Personal life[edit]

Before meet Bó, Sarli was married to Ralph Heinlein and later divorced. Bó and Sarli never married, contrary to the popular belief. Isabel has two adopted children: Martin and Isabelita, who was her goddaughter. As of June of 2016, she and her daughter Isabelita were living in Martinez, Buenos Aires.

Recognition[edit]

On 12 October 2012, it was reported that the Argentine President, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, had named Sarli as Argentine Ambassador of Popular Culture.[3] The Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina (es), under Decree 1876/2012, stated:

[...] Isabel Sarli is considered a true representative of the national culture, as much for her acting skills in films as for being considered a popular icon of her day and an emblematic figure of Argentine cinema.[4]

In 2010, the movie Fuego premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York, where it was shown with English subtitles.[5] It was about this premiere that Time Magazine's critic, Richard Corliss, wrote the review described above.

Film director John Waters has said that Isabel Sarli's movies had inspired some of his own films.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Role
El Trueno entre las hojas 1958 Flavia Forkel
Sabaleros 1959 Angela
India 1960 Ansisé
... Y el demonio creó a los hombres 1960
Favela 1961
La Burrerita de Ypacaraí 1962
The Female: Seventy Times Seven 1962 Cora / Laura
La leona 1964
La Diosa impura 1964 Laura
Lujuria tropical 1964
La mujer del zapatero 1965
La tentación desnuda 1966 Sandra Quesada
Los Días calientes 1966
La señora del intendente 1967 Flor Tetis
Fuego 1968 Laura
Carne 1968 Delicia
La mujer de mi padre 1968 Eva
Éxtasis tropical 1969
Desnuda en la arena 1969 Alicia
Embrujada 1969
Fiebre 1972
Furia infernal 1973 Barbara
Intimidades de una cualquiera 1974 María
El sexo y el amor 1974
Una Mariposa en la noche 1977 Yvonne
El último amor en Tierra del Fuego 1979
Insaciable 1979
Una Viuda descocada 1980 Flor Tetis Soutién de Gambetta
La dama regresa 1996
Carne sobre carne 2007 Herself (archive material)
Arroz con leche 2009 Cameo
Parapolicial negro, apuntes para una prehistoria de la AAA 2010 Herself (interviewed)
Mis días con Gloria 2010 Gloria Saten

References[edit]

  1. ^ Trerotola, Diego (20 April 2012). "Coca Camp". Página/12 (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Isabel Sarli: Intimidades de una leyenda
  3. ^ "Cristina nombró a Isabel Sarli Embajadora de la Cultura Popular". La Nación. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Decreto 1876/2012". Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Argentinian Sex Symbol Isabel ‘Coca’ Sarli Comes to Lincoln Center — On the Big Screen". Boletín Oficial de la República Argentina. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2010. 
  6. ^ JOHN WATERS CALLS ‘FUEGO’ ‘A HETERO FILM FOR GAY PEOPLE TO MARVEL AT

External links[edit]