Norma Bengell

Norma Aparecida Almeida Pinto Guimarães D'Áurea Bengell (21 February 1935 – 9 October 2013),[1] was a Brazilian film and television actress, singer, screenwriter and director.

Norma Bengell
Norma Aparecida Almeida Pinto Guimarães d'Áurea Bengell

(1935-02-21)21 February 1935
Died9 October 2013(2013-10-09) (aged 78)
OccupationActress, film director, screenwriter
Years active1959–2013


Norma was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was the daughter of a German piano tuner and a rich Brazilian young woman from the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Her mother was disinherited by her father, since her parents did not approve of living with a man without being married, and Norma lived in humble conditions in Copacabana. At the age of 10, her parents separated, and because her mother could not support her financially Norma went to live with her father and paternal grandparents in Germany. Being a very rebellious young woman she was interned in a college of nuns, and then expelled and abandoned her studies, returning to live in Brazil with her mother. After a difficult time, she began working in the early 1950s, first as a model and then as the star of the magazine theater, where she also developed her singing career.


The Rio de Janeiro-born Bengell was active in the film industry from 1959. She appeared in numerous international productions, including an extended period during the mid-1960s co-starring in Italian productions, in which she was usually cast as the protagonist's romantic interest. She is possibly best known for starring with Alberto Sordi in Alberto Lattuada's Mafioso (1962) and in Sergio Corbucci's spaghetti western The Hellbenders (1967). She had a major role as a prostitute in Anselmo Duarte's Keeper of Promises (1962), a Brazilian drama that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1963 and won the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival in 1962. Earlier that same year, she caused major controversy after appearing nude in a scene of the Ruy Guerra film Os Cafajestes.[2]

In 1987, she directed her first film, Eternamente Pagu, a biography of Patrícia Galvão. In 1996, she directed an adaptation of José de Alencar's novel The Guarani called also The Guarani.


She died from lung cancer aged 78 in Rio de Janeiro on 9 October 2013.


  1. "Morre atriz e diretora Norma Bengell aos 78". Universo Online. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  2. Britto, Rafaella. "Norma Bengell: the transgressive muse of Brazilian cinema". Retrieved 19 June 2018.

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