|Born||Mayra Alejandra Rodríguez Lezama
(1958-05-07)May 7, 1958
|Died||April 17, 2014(2014-04-17) (aged 55)
|Employer||Radio Caracas Televisión
Born as Mayra Alejandra Rodríguez Lezama, she was raised in a home of artists and was for sure bound to have some of the same passions. Her father, Charles Barry (born Carlos Rodríguez), was a humourist and founding member of the long standing Radio Rochela comedy show, while her mother, Ligia Lezama, was a teleplay writer and although an able actress. Besides, Mayra’s family included her brother Juan Carlos Barry, a humourist like his father, and their uncle Miguel Ángel Barry, a lyric tenor.
For most of her career, a Mayra character coped with the unfortunate turn of events that were inevitable in TV melodramas and movies by conveying a tense or worried expression. Her fits of tears or temperament were short and sweet, and it underscored the projected inner strength of her characters that proved a pictorial sense of feminism. Her technique was spontaneous and effective, but her acting genius and rhetoric relied on her expressive eyes and the graceful stylings of her hands.
After attending high school, Mayra made her debut in the Radio Caracas Television telenovela Valentina (1975). Then, her first starring role was in Angélica (1976), where she played a character created especially designed for her by her mother Ligia Lezama. Later, the young actress excelled in La hija de Juana Crespo (1977), an effective drama from Salvador Garmendia and José Ignacio Cabrujas.
Mayra next appeared in another hit, Luisana Mia (1981), but she is best remembered for her strong performance in Leonela (1983), where she played the role of a rape victim falling in love with her rapist. She also appeared in sympathetic parts in Bienvenida Esperanza (1983), Marta y Javier (1983) and La Mujer Prohibida (1991).
Nevertheless, Mayra only needed two films to create a perennial image of femme fatale inside Venezuelan cinema.
Eight years later she repeated her success as a troubled woman, but perhaps more fragile, more lover and friendly that Carmen, while characterizing the seductive and promiscuous Manon Lescaut of Abbé Prévost. In Manón, a reasonably faithful adaptation made by Chalbaud, Mayra projected an unforced dignity that bolstered her image and established herself as a reliable actress.
In contrast to her controversial characters, Mayra lived a quiet life and was devoted to God and family values, but never thought of herself as a sex symbol.
In the 1990s, she took this time at the height of her popularity to go on sabbatical to take care of her child. Motherhood was part of her public image, and her own children frequently was featured in fan magazine articles and photographs.
Still beautiful at 45, Mayra went back to work in 2000, appearing as a guest star in the Venevisión telenovela Hechizo de Amor. In her later collaborations, she had become typed as a mother, usually playing the parent of grown-up children, appearing as characters that were older than herself, thus acquiring an older image that belied her actual age. Adapting to her new support role, she made significant appearances in Estrambótica Anastasia (2004) and Harina de otro costal (2010), a contemporary and correct version of Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.
During her career, Mayra starred alongside leading men as Miguelángel Landa, both in television and films, as well as with Carlos Olivier, José Luis Rodríguez and Jean Carlo Simancas. Twice married and divorced, she was the mother of Aaron Salvador Pineda, born from her relationship with Mexican actor Salvador Pineda.
In 2012, Mayra Alejandra announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer. She subsequently received chemotherapy treatment, being able to regain a level of normalcy in her life. She suffered a relapse in early 2014, and died in Caracas on April 17 at the age of 58.
- La Pinta de la Niña o la Santa María
- ¿Ardelle o la Margarita?
- Valentina (1975)
- Angélica (1976)
- Carolina (1976)
- La hija de Juana Crespo (1977)
- Tormento (1978)
- El ángel rebelde (1978)
- La piel de zapa (1978)
- Mariela, Mariela (1978)
- Residencia de señoritas (1978)
- Rosa Campos, provinciana (1980)
- Luisana mía (1981)
- El esposo de Anaís (1981)
- Jugando a vivir (1982)
- Bienvenida Esperanza (1983)
- Leonela (1983)
- Marta y Javier (1983)
- Miedo al amor (1984)
- Mujer comprada (1986)
- Valeria (1987)
- La mujer prohibida (1991)
- Amor de papel (1993)
- Hechizo de amor (2000)
- Estrambótica Anastasia (2004)
- Con toda el alma (2005)
- Camaleona (2007)
- Harina de otro costal (2010)
- Apartamento de 7 pisos
- Juegos Prohibidos