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Until the last moment of the cinematographic event La Piel del Cine, held during the bicentennial of Cienfuegos (2019), we were waiting for his presence; however, work emergencies in Spain stopped him from attending the event. Carlos Miguel Caballero (1968), who frequently visits his mother in his native Ciego Montero, then regretted not being able to fulfill the commitment set and socialize his practices alongside other histrions, such as Daisy Granados, Francisco García and Alexis Díaz de Villegas.
Although he has distanced himself somewhat from his acting performances in recent years, in pursuit of coordination and business responsibilities in the industry, the artist still figures as one of our theatrical, television and film honors.
From a very early age, Caballero showed an inclination for dance and stage acting. This acting vocation led him to study at the Instituto Superior de Arte, graduating in 1993. His theatrical promotion took place in the production of La Boda (Teatro de la Luna, 1994), by Raúl Martín, in which he played the role of Alberto. After staying for some years in the theater group La Ventana, directed by María Elena Ortega, he is recruited by El Público, a project of Carlos Díaz that places him in plays such as Calígula (1996) or El Rey Lear (1997).
Although he made his audiovisual debut in 1988, through the short film El Sueño,dorable by Orlando Domínguez, it was the late filmmaker Tomás Piard who gave him the most engrossing roles during the 1990s, especially Pablo in the series Adorable fantasma (1990), which discovered his first and tragic love, and involved him in the controversial Boceto (1991), a rarity produced by the Saiz Brothers Association and the ICAIC. "There we had to do everything. One day you were the protagonist and at the same time you ran with the continuity of the sequences. No one imagines that this practice has been very useful for my work in soap operas, although sometimes it becomes a disadvantage, because I get into areas of the production where I shouldn't," confesses the actor.
In 1995 he had a brief appearance in the Tv soap opera El año que viene, by Héctor Quintero, and in 1996 he temporarily settled in Rome, Italy. The following year he plays an Italianized Cuban tourist guide in the feature film Facciamo Festa. Later he moved to Spain and played Timoteo Lugones in La vuelta de El Coyote (1998), directed by Mario Camus. He then acted in the series Periodistas (Malas calles, 1998) and played Pablo in the film El mandado (1998). He was also hired in Miami by the famous company La Má Teodora and under the direction of Alberto Sarraín, he played Ricardo and Tito in the play Cuentas pendientes. He also works in some TV dramas produced by Latin channels and gets a co-starring role in the film Chambelona (United States, 2001), by Cuban actor and director Larry Villanueva. Just in 2001, he has a special role in the Cuban adventure series El elegido del tiempo, by Rafael Acosta and Miguel Sosa.
His performance as Chance Wayne in the play Dulce pájaro de juventud, by Tennessee Williams, directed by Eduardo Corbé, surprises the Brazilian producer Arnaldo Limanski, who gives him the character of Mario in the second version of Vale todo (2002). During these years he participated in numerous soap operas, where he often plays roles of strong personality: Prisionera (2004), in which he plays El Cobra, María de los Ángeles (Peru, 2005), his return to the leading role, now in the skin of a young provincial man who traces his career in the city, and Olvidarte jamás (2006). In the immediate future, he stars in The Circle of Time, an HBO romantic comedy directed by Puerto Rican Veronica Caicedo. This time he plays Joaquin, the Latino lawyer whose life is marked by cultural contrasts when he falls in love with a New York painter. This work is an achievement in his career, as he overcomes the obstacles of a production spoken in English. "The day I arrived at the casting I asked for a script in Spanish; to my surprise, they gave me one in English. So, I said: 'I'm sorry, I don't speak English'. The funny thing is that when they listened to me they commented that it didn't sound so bad. In the end, I learned the phonetics of the dialogues and they gave me the lead role," says Caballero.
In 2006 he filmed the soap opera Marina in Mexico City, where he plays the villain Julio. For this production, his diction teacher was Adriana Barraza, the actress nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Babel. That year he also participated in Acorralada (2007), playing the role of Macario, a young bachelor, alongside Cubans William Levy and Orlando Fundichelly, and received a New Time award for best actor.
Soon after he returned to the island with several theatrical projects, and in 2010 he recreated Carlos in Verde verde, by Enrique Pineda Barnet, the young gay man who has not come out of the closet and allows himself to be seduced by a merchant shipping paramedic. Pineda thought of Javier Bardem for the role of Carlos, but did not know how to reach him. Finally, he found Carlos Miguel in New York and with the recommendation of painter Rocío García, he decided to cast him. "We decided to try Carlos Miguel, who immediately came, went over all the hurdles. There was no particular benefit: he grabbed the character, he showed an amazing identity; there was nothing else to do but push him, because he brought out a lot of himself. I am very happy with Héctor and Carlos, I think they were both essential", Pineda Barnet told Cine Cubano in 2011. His last film performance was in Petra (2020), a short film by Randy Valdés in which he plays Frank, along with Alicia and Fernando Hechavarría.
Carlos Miguel with his colleague Héctor Noas. /Photo: Archive
At 53 years old, Carlos Miguel still bets on theater, and often visits his hometown, locks himself at home with his mother and walks barefoot through the place where he spent his childhood and adolescence. By all accounts, he has Ciego Montero in his veins.
English version Hector Hdez.
For the first time, the literary contest of the Reina del Mar Editores publishing house, scheduled in the cultural agenda of Cienfuegos for November, will award the National Children's Theater Prize to the best of the books submitted to the contest, written by young writers living in Cuba.
"The event is sponsored by the Saíz Brothers Association (AHS) and the Provincial Book and Literature Center, institutions to which our publisher belongs. Its call comprises writers under 36 years of age, who may participate with a theater text for children, made up of one or several plays with free themes," said Ian Rodriguez Perez, director of "Reina del Mar".
Rodriguez Perez assured that prestigious playwrights of the country will make up the jury and its decision will be unappealable. The results will be announced during the celebration of the Jornada Literaria Reina del Mar Editores, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of this local imprint.
"The winner will be awarded a diploma, copies of other volumes and 10,000 pesos. We will also include his book in our publication plan for the year 2022, with the respective payment for copyright".
The National Council for the Performing Arts informed through its page on the social network Facebook that renowned Cuban actor Manuel Porto passed away this day. "It is with deep sorrow that we bid farewell to Manuel Porto, one of the great acting talents in our country," reads the publication on the institution's social network.
Porto was celebrating his birthday on this very day. He will always be remembered and admired for the diversity of complex characters he has embodied, always in a different way, with deep personality, physical and psychological splitting, but always with the same mastery; Portos is a tremendous actor, but he is more than a tremendous actor.
Sometimes we admire foreign histrions and we name Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Densel Washington, Jeremy Irons, but Cuba has a roster of first-class actors of great respect, who fill the stage or the television screen with their acting: this is the case of Porto, whose real name is Heliodoro Manuel Porto and was born on September 28, 1945 in the Havana neighborhood of Pogolotti, in Marianao.
As he has repeated on several occasions, he did not come to acting by vocation but to have the right to more passes during his time in the compulsory Military Service, that is why he enrolled in the Movement of Amateur Artists of the Armed Forces.
In 1968, he was still part of that movement, and then the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television (ICRT) made a national call and selected six actors, among them Porto, and he began to play small roles, mostly as an extra in television programs, until he was discharged from the army the following year, with only 20 years old, he was hired and began to work in that institute.
There he met a generation of extraordinary actors, as well as other young actors, references and symbols of the high quality of acting that existed in Cuba at that time; among these masters were undoubtedly Enrique Santiesteban, Reynaldo Miravalles, Raquel and Vicente Revuelta, José Antonio Rodríguez, Miguel Navarro, Verónica Lynn, Gina Cabrera, and many others whose experience Porto nurtured for his work not only on the small screen, but also in the theater.
Because these actors and others like Angel Toraño and Pedro Alvarez, staged productions in the remembered Sala Tespis that existed at that time in the Habana Libre Hotel, and on several occasions Porto had the opportunity to share those stages with them.
From that decade on, what was not a dream of vocation became the career of Manuel Porto's life, in which the inventory of plays, performances for television, radio, and cinema become quite extensive.
On the other hand, Porto is one of those actors who validate the project in which they participate; that is to say, when his name is read in the credits, or his intervention is announced, one is almost certain that the proposal is artistically good.
Between 1976 and 2010, he has participated in nearly twenty films, among them Leyenda (1981), by Rogelio París; Se permuta, 1983, by Juan Carlos Tabío; Plácido (1986), by Sergio Giral; La vida en rosa (1989), by Rolando Díaz; Caravana (1990), by Rogelio París; Barrio Cuba (2005), by Humberto Solás; Omerta (2008), by Pavel Giroud, and José Martí: el ojo del canario (2010), by Fernando Pérez.
Likewise, his anthological works remain in the memory of Cubans: El tío Vania, El tesoro del Mallorquín, La hoguera, El vuelo del quetzal; the TV series La frontera del deber, Alguien me habló de los naufragios, Algo más que soñar, La semilla escondida, and the stellar production Cuando el agua regresa a la tierra.
Porto's magnificent performance in these and many other artistic pieces has guaranteed him the admiration of the public and specialized critics, and overall, an important group of awards that recognize the excellence of his interpretations.
Among the laurels and other recognitions that have been conferred to him are the orders Combatiente internacionalista 2do grado, Raúl Gómez García, and for Traditional Culture; Réplica del Machete Máximo Gómez. Council of State; National Community Culture Award, from the Ministry of Culture and Best Actor Award at the XX Trieste Film Festival, Italy, 2005.
Taken from CUBADEBATE.
English version Hector Hdez.