Sônia Braga

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Campos and the second or paternal family name is Braga.
Sônia Braga
Sônia Braga no Cine Ceará 2010 cropped.jpg
Sônia Braga in 2010.
Born Sônia Maria Campos Braga
(1950-06-08) 8 June 1950 (age 65)
Maringá, Paraná, Brazil
Citizenship Brazilian - American
Occupation Actress
Years active 1967–present
Relatives Alice Braga (niece)

Sônia Maria Campos Braga (born 8 June 1950) is a Brazilian actress. Nominated for three Golden Globes and an Emmy Award, Braga is best known in the English-speaking world for her performances in Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Moon Over Parador. Her television credits include Sex and the City, Alias, American Family and The Cosby Show.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sonia Braga was born on June 8, 1950, daughter of Hélio Fernando Ferraz Braga and Maria Braga Jaci Campos, costume designer of Maringá, is sister of Ana Júlia and Hélio, and aunt of Alice Braga, also an actress. Parents and their six children moved to Curitiba and then to Campinas. Braga was 8 years old when her father died, and she moved to a convent school in São Paulo. In her teens, she took a job in the traditional Buffet Torres as a receptionist.[2]


(1965-1968): Early career[edit]

At 14, Sonia Braga was invited by director Vicente Sesso to appearing in "teleteatros" at the Jardim Encantado program. After that, she joined a theater group in presentations in the ABC Paulista region.[3] At 17, she debuted in the play George Dandin in Santo André. In 1968, when Sonia was 18-year-old, she attended the Brazilian assembly Hair, and caused a scandal by appearing naked on stage.[4] Braga was also an actress in children's theater, in 1979 she participated of the play No País dos Prequetés.[3]

(1968-1974): In the movies and on TV[edit]

In 1968, Braga participated in the cast of the film O Bandido da Luz Vermelha, and early '70s, appeared in supporting roles in the films A Moreninha and Cléo e Daniel, and telenovela's Irmãos Coragem.[4]

In the following years Sonia Braga consolidated her career in Brazilian television in remarkable roles in the telenovelas Selva de Pedra as Flavia, and Fogo sobre Terra (1974) as Brisa.[3] She also participated in the Brazilian version of Sesame Street, Vila Sésamo in the early 1970s.[5]

(1975-1981): National recognition, Sex symbol[edit]

Braga's career went in a new direction in 1975 when she starred in the telenovela Gabriela. In the title role, Braga "took Brazil in the early 70s, becoming a household name," as noted Sue Branford and David Treece for the British newspaper The Guardian. The telenovela was based on the work of one of the most well-known Brazilian writers, Jorge Amado, and hit one of the largest audiences in his time, averaging 25 million viewers daily. The character soon led Braga to star in another story Amado's, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, film directed by Bruno Barreto.[6] The success of the comedy helped launch the name of Braga at international level and also drew favorable attention to Brazilian cinema in general.

Her characters in Tieta do Agreste, Saramandaia and Dancin' Days helped her to maintain her status as a sex symbol.

In 1981 with Eu Te Amo, film directed by Arnaldo Jabor, Braga won the best actress award at the Gramado Film Festival. At this point in her career, Braga was heralded as the next big sexy star of international cinema, in Sophia Loren's steps. Supposed romances with her co-stars or directors only increased the fascination about her; such rumors surrounded the production of a remake of Gabriela, for the cinema in 1983 she starred alongside Marcello Mastroianni.[7]

(1986-2005): International career[edit]

Sonia Braga, has achieved international recognition with Kiss of the Spider Woman, movie based on a novel by Manuel Puig, which became one of the most acclaimed releases of the year, the actress co-starred alongside William Hurt, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the feature film. The film described as "tense, charged with intellectual energy and witty with the dark humor of despair" as well as "mesmerizing" by critic of People magazine, Ralph Novak.

Braga admitted that the success of Kiss of the Spider Woman surprised even herself. She was uncomfortable with her first speaking role in English, "When I made 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' I still couldn't speak it well," she said to journalist of the Los Angeles Times, Roderick Mann. "Sometimes I would say a line and wonder, 'What does it mean?' Now I feel much more secure."[8] Sonia Braga was the first Brazilian in a category at the Oscars, at age 36 in 1987, she was announced by Goldie Hawn as one of the most glamorous actresses in the world, before going on stage alongside star Michael Douglas, who announced the result of the best short film.[9]

She took supporting characters in The Rookie alongside Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen, and in numerous television movies and miniseries. However, even in supporting roles Braga was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and Emmy Award for The Burning Season, produced by HBO in 1994. The film talks about the life of Brazilian activist Chico Mendes.[10]

She was also nominated for an ALMA Award from the National Council of La Raza in 1995 for her role in the miniseries Streets of Laredo produced by CBS. That same year, the renowned director Nicolas Roeg invited her for the lead role in the film Two Deaths alongside Patrick Malahide.

In 2001, Braga participated in the cast of Angel Eyes in the role of Josephine Pogue, Sharon Pogue's mother played by Jennifer Lopez. In 2002 she was invited to star in American Family, a PBS series created by Gregory Nava that follows the lives of a Latino family in Los Angeles.[11]

She has guest starred in television series such as Alias, The Cosby Show, George Lopez, CSI: Miami, Sex and the City, Ghost Whisperer, and Brothers & Sisters.


In 2006 she accepted a part on a Brazilian prime time soap opera, Páginas da Vida, and then in the Portuguese language version of the American TV series Desperate Housewives. After that she moved back to Roosevelt Island in New York City to relaunch her career in the United States.

Then she starred in the episode A Adultera da Urca, in series As Cariocas in 2010, and participated in the Tapas & Beijos series in 2011.[12]

Braga has been cast in a recurring role as Lorraine Correia in the six season in the series of comedy drama Royal Pains. Braga’s scenes were filmed on location in Mexico and her episodes were aired in August 2014.[13]

Personal life[edit]

During the 1980s, Braga had relationships with Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth,[14] with actor Robert Redford[15] and later, with director Clint Eastwood.[16] She has no children.

Her niece, Alice Braga, has starred in several films such as City of God and I Am Legend with Will Smith and Blindness with Julianne Moore.


Year Film Role Notes
1968 The Red Light Bandit Victim
1970 Cleo e Daniel Sandra
1970 A Moreninha Carolina
1971 O Capitão Bandeira Contra o Dr. Moura Brasil Boy
1973 Mestiça, a Escrava Indomável Mestiça
1975 O Casal Maria Lúcia
1976 Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Dona Flor (Florípides) Guimarães
1978 Lady on the Bus aka A Dama do Lotação Solange
1981 I Love You Maria
1983 Gabriela, Cravo e Canela Gabriela
1985 Kiss of the Spider Woman Leni Lamaison / Marta / Spider Woman
1988 The Milagro Beanfield War Ruby Archuleta
1988 Moon over Parador Madonna Mendez
1990 The Rookie Liesl
1993 Roosters Juana Morales
1994 The Burning Season Regina de Carvalho
1995 Two Deaths Ana Puscasu
1996 Tieta do Agreste Tieta
1999 From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman's Daughter Quixtla
2001 Perfume Irene Mancini
2001 Memórias Póstumas Marcela
2001 Angel Eyes Josephine Pogue
2002 Empire Iris
2003 Testosterone Pablo's Mother
2004 Amália Traïda Amália Rodrigues Short
2004 Scene Stealers Celia Crouch
2005 Che Guevara Celia
2005 Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School Tina
2006 Sea of Dreams Nurka
2006 Bordertown Teresa Casillas
2006 The Hottest State Mrs. Garcia
2010 An Invisible Sign Mom
2010 Lope Paquita
2012 The Wine of Summer Eliza


Year Title Role Notes
1969 A Menina do Veleiro Azul Brazilian TV series
1970 Irmãos Coragem Lídia Siqueira Brazilian TV series
1972 Vila Sésamo Ana Maria Brazilian TV series
1972 Selva de Pedra Flávia Brazilian TV soap opera
1972 Somos Todos do Jardim de Infância TV movie
1974 Fogo Sobre Terra Brisa Brazilian TV series
1975 Gabriela Gabriela Brazilian TV series
1976 Saramandaia Marcina Brazilian TV series
1977 Espelho Mágico Camila/Cinthia Levy Brazilian TV series
1978 Dancin' Days Júlia de Souza Matos Brazilian TV series
1980 Chega Mais Gelly Brazilian TV series
1986 The Cosby Show Anna Maria Westlake 2 episodes
1987 The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains Emily Del Pino Pacheco TV movie
1991 The Last Prostitute Loah TV movie
1992 Tales from the Crypt Sophie Wagner 1 episode: ("This'll Kill Ya")
1994 The Burning Season Regina de Carvalho TV movie
1995 Streets of Laredo Maria Garza Miniseries
1995 Moses Sephora TV movie
1997 Money Play$ Irene TV movie
1998 Four Corners Carlota Alvarez
1998 A Will of their Own Jessie Lopez De La Cruz Miniseries
1999 Força de um Desejo Baronesa Helena Menezes de Albuquerque Silveira Sobral Brazilian TV series
2000 Family Law Beatrice Valdez 1 episode: ("Echoes")
2001 The Judge Lily Acosta TV movie
2001 Sex and the City Maria Diega Reyes 3 episodes
2002 American Family Berta Gonzalez 11 episodes
2002 George Lopez Emilina Palmero 1 episode: ("Meet the Cuban Parents")
2003 Law & Order Helen 1 episode: ("Genius")
2005 CSI: Miami Dona Marta Cruz 1 episode: ("Identity")
2005 Alias Elena Derevko / Sophia Vargas 5 episodes
2005 Ghost Whisperer Estella de la Costa 1 episode: ("Shadow Boxer")
2006 Páginas da Vida Tônia (Antônia Werneck) Brazilian TV series
2007 Donas de Casa Desesperadas Alice Monteiro Brazilian TV series
2010 As Cariocas Julia 1 episode: ("A Adúltera da Urca")
2010 Brothers and Sisters Gabriela 2 episodes
2011 Tapas & Beijos Helô Siqueira Episode: ("A Bolsa do Camelô")
2014 Royal Pains Lorena Correia Season 6[17]
Warehouse 13 Alicia Season 5, Episode 4 ("Savage Seduction")[18]
2016 Luke Cage Soledad Temple Netflix series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Prizes Category Work Result
1981 BAFTA Most Outstanding Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Nominated
1981 Festival de Gramado Best Actress Eu Te Amo Won
1986 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Kiss of the Spider Woman Nominated
1989 Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Moon over Parador Nominated
1995 Emmy Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special The Burning Season Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV The Burning Season Nominated
1996 Lone Star Film & Television Awards Best TV Supporting Actress Streets of Laredo Won
Bravo Award Outstanding Individual Performance in Made for Television Movie or Mini-Series Streets of Laredo Nominated
2001 Festival de Gramado Best Supporting Actress Posthumous Memories Won
2004 Imagen Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama American Family Nominated
2013 Gen Art Film Festival Cast Collaboration Award Emoticon Won
2013 Imagen Awards Best Actress/Television Meddling Mom Nominated
2014 Premios Platino[19] Honorary recognition Won


  1. ^ "Sonia Braga to Guest Star on USA's ‘Royal Pains’ (Exclusive)". Jethro Nededog. August 4, 2014. p. TheWrap - Covering Hollywood. 
  2. ^ Eliane Trinidade (July 11, 2010). "Sônia se despe do glamour de Hollywood". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved May 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sônia Braga". Memoria Globo. 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b João Rocha. "Sônia Braga". Sônia Braga Online. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Rose Saconi (October 11, 2012). "Vila Sésamo marcou uma geração de brasileiros". O Estado de S. Paulo. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ James Monaco. "The Encyclopedia of Film". 
  7. ^ Marcelo Miranda (June 25, 2012). "A Gabriela de Sônia Braga volta às locadoras e lojas de DVD". Pipoca Moderna. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ Roderick Mann (August 18, 1985). "Sonia Braga: Bouquets For A Brazilian Bombshell". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 26, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://redeglobo.globo.com/filmes/oscar/noticia/2013/02/sonia-braga-foi-primeira-brasileira-apresentar-uma-categoria-no-oscar.html
  10. ^ Primetime Emmy® Award Database | Emmys.com. Cdn.emmys.tv. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  11. ^ Teté Ribeiro (May 6, 2002). "Falta de imaginação domina cinema atual, diz Sonia Braga". BBC Brasil. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Sônia Braga faz aparição em 'Tapas & Beijos' em papel de celebridade". O Estado de S. Paulo. May 15, 2011. Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  13. ^ Jethro Nededog (August 4, 2014). "Sonia Braga to Guest Star on USA’s ‘Royal Pains’ (Exclusive)". thewrap.com/. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Sonia Braga and mac miller Biography – Yahoo! Movies. Movies.yahoo.com (8 June 1950). Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  16. ^ Diсrio OnLine :: Cadernos :: Viver Melhor. Diarioon.com.br. Retrieved on 2011-03-20.
  17. ^ "Sonia Braga participará da série Royal Pains". Pipoca Moderna. August 5, 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-09-24. 
  18. ^ "Sonia Braga: dia de vernissage em NY". Caras magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  19. ^ La actriz brasileña Sonia Braga recibe el honorífico de los Premios Platino

External links[edit]