Peruvian actor and singer Diego Bertie dies, the artist who transited between Shakespeare, cinema and pop | International
Peruvian actor and musician Diego Bertie Brignardello, born in Lima in November 1967, died early Friday morning after falling from a city building. Months ago he had reappeared on the public scene with concerts and the announcement of a new album, recovering the path that he left parked at the end of the eighties, when he opted for acting on television, cinema and theater. The artist was a reference in popular culture for more than three decades, when he became famous as a singer in a pop music band.
Bertie lived on the 14th floor of an apartment building on the boardwalk in the Miraflores district, in a well-off area of Lima, and was found with multiple fractures in the property’s parking lot. His manager, Carlos Sánchez, told the press that his representative was going through a moment of great vitality because he had recently resumed his musical career. They had talked by phone on Thursday morning and, due to mild covid symptoms, they suspended some activities.
The emergency hospital where the firefighters transferred the artist reported that the actor “was treated immediately by health professionals confirming his death.” A few hours after the confirmation of his death, the Ministries of Culture and Health issued condolences, as did dozens of institutions with which he worked or collaborated; in addition to his former colleagues from theater, television and music. In September 2020, he was one of the personalities who recorded a video to educate on the use of the mask in the first wave of the covid-19 pandemic. “The Ministry of Health regrets the death of the national artist Diego Bertie, whose social commitment made him a strategic ally of public health campaigns,” the entity said.
Bertie was the star figure of the main telenovelas in Peru in the 1990s, an important time for this television genre in the midst of a strong economic crisis and an authoritarian regime in the Andean country. In parallel, she participated in classical theater productions with the most prestigious performing arts directors, such as Alberto Isola and Edgar Saba: one of the most outstanding stagings of those years in which she participated was The Lear King, staged in 1999 on the rubble of the Municipal Theater of Lima, which had burned down the previous year.
In the following decade he began his international career: first with Venevisión, in 2000, when he recorded the telenovela full moon lovers, with the Venezuelan Ruddy Rodríguez. In 2002, with the Mexican Itati Cantoral, they starred in a super production -shot in Rio- by the Brazilian Globo and Telemundo, the remake of a very successful Brazilian telenovela in Peru from the beginning of the previous decade, called Anything goes. In the casting there were Mexican, Peruvian, Brazilian, Colombian and Argentinean and Cuban actors.
Then he was reunited with the Venezuelan Rodríguez in 2006 and 2007, in the main roles of The ex, a Colombian production of Caracol. “You are and will be the best co-worker an actress can have in her career, a great professional. Friend, we are left with the desire to continue talking and sharing your passage through this life. Fly high that today the sky is dressed in art with your presence, ”said the Venezuelan actress on her Instagram wall this Friday.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
“With Diego Bertie, the dream of a generation is gone, the one from the 1980s who wanted to express themselves and live despite the harsh conditions in Peru at that time,” commented Peruvian writer Grecia Cáceres, when asked about Bertie’s weight in Peruvian culture. The poet is director of the Latin American department at the International School of Culture and Art Market Affairs (IESA), based in Paris.
”He formed a band that marked an era in the beginning of rock in Spanish and then turned to acting. His acting work was very eclectic. Thanks to his physical beauty, he was able to play soap opera hero roles, but also theater and cinema with the best directors. [Francisco Lombardi o Augusto Tamayo] and in works from the classical repertoire such as King Oedipus either The life is dream”, Cáceres highlights. “Like many fetish actors, he embodied freedom and beauty, he lent himself to all forms and fascinated us. His death is like the curtain falling on the dreams of a suffering but also ultra-creative and inspiring generation. She leaves us as our youth left us, and we will mourn him, ”says the writer.
Cáceres also highlighted Bertie’s precocity and his multifaceted character, since being a minor he acted in musicals -commercial theater- and his start as front-man of the pop-rock band Images occurred at the age of 19. In the mid-nineties he continued to record pop as a soloist, with his band, which is part of the Peruvian musical legacy of that time.
“It lit up the set”
An actor and director of television series who belongs to the same generation as Bertie highlighted the exceptional quality of his colleague. “We have worked together in cinema, in theater, on television; I have directed him in a lot of telenovelas, in series. He always lit up the set, the stage. He was immeasurably talented, he was one of those actors who radiated amazing charisma, and he was very professional: he always had his words down, he was always on time, there was never a complaint about him, he was a joy to work with. And he was a great human being, ”says Toño Vega by phone from Lima.
”I am left with the memory of having found an exceptional human being at work. We called him Dieguito because he was lovable, kind, ”adds Vega. Bertie was always secretive about his personal life, he did not seek to appear on the entertainment programs or gossip. After years without appearing in the news, in May, in an interview on the main Peruvian show business television program, Magaly Tevesaid that no one had to force him to come out of the closet and that he had a 22-year-old daughter.
”My daughter has known that I am gay since she was six years old. She could have avoided telling him but I’ve never had a roll [un problema]Nobody can tell me to ‘come out of the closet’: I come out of the closet when I need to. I have never needed to talk about my privacy because I value that. My girlfriend from when I was 17 years old is my best friend, we are like brothers. For me, when they are love relationships, they transcend time, ”she said.
Follow all the international information in Facebook Y Twitteror in our weekly newsletter.