Entertainment

TV writer Delia Fiallo dubbed ‘Mother of the Latin American soap opera’ dies aged 96


BREAKING NEWS: TV writer Delia Fiallo who was dubbed ‘Mother of the Latin American soap opera’ dies aged 96

  • Fiallo died on Tuesday surrounded by loved ones, her daughter said
  • Glittering career saw her dubbed ‘mother of the Latin American soap opera’
  • Cuban-born Fiallo wrote more than 40 notable works 
  • Fiallo fled Havana for Florida in 1966, and based herself in Coral Gables
  • She wrote up to 35 pages of scripts a day in the early years of her career
  • Fiallo blasted modern telenovelas, claiming they were too violent
  • She said viewers preferred to watch shows that emphasized ‘feelings’ 

A veteran TV writer whose glittering career saw her dubbed ‘the mother of the Latin American soap opera’ has died at the age of 96.

Delia Fiallo passed away at her home in Coral Gables, Florida, on Tuesday, her daughter said. She is said to have died peacefully and surrounded by her loved ones, although further information on Fiallo’s cause of death has not been shared.

Paying tribute to Fialla, Venezuelan TV network Venevision tweeted: ‘(A) great writer who says goodbye to us after 96 years of life shaping great unforgettable stories.’

The veteran writer’s most famous scripts include soap operas Esmeralda and El Privilego de Amar. 

Fiallo learned her trade while writing for shows in Cuba and Venezuela, and told of having to write 35 pages of scripts every day to keep TV company bosses happy. 

Recalling those early years of her career, Fiallo said: ‘Many years were devoted to that task, writing a daily chapter by myself, with the soap opera on the air. I couldn’t get sick, I couldn’t rest; sometimes I would finish a novel today and start another one the next day.’

Fiallo’s stories were adapted into Telenovelas – Latin American soap operas – in Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Spain and the US. 

Her career was at its peak during the 1970s and 1980s, with her prolific and popular output leading to Fiallo being affectionately dubbed ‘the mother of the Latin American soap opera.’  

Famed Latin American soap opera writer Delia Fiallo has died aged 96 

Fiallo wrote more than 40 notable soap operas and radio dramas, which were adapted around the world

Fiallo wrote more than 40 notable soap operas and radio dramas, which were adapted around the world 

But she decried how the genre had changed during a 2018 interview. Fiallo blasted writers who had followed in her footsteps for ‘destroying’ soap operas by focusing on action, violence and drug trafficking, and ‘forgetting about feelings,’ according to Televisa

She said producers ‘do not realize or do not want to see that they are producing for a minority that likes violence, morbidity.’

One of Fiallo’s most recent projects, which she began in 2018, saw her transform the scripts of her shows into novels. 

Fiallo studied philosopy and letters in Havana, then began writing radio soap operas in Havana in 1949.

She fled Cuba for Miami with her family in 1966, and based herself there while writing soaps for Mexican and Venezuelan television networks. 

 Developing story, check back for updates 

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