Sarita Reyes: Goodbye to One of the Smiles on Cuban Television

Sarita Reyes died this Wednesday at the age of 84 in Havana.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Marcelo Hernández, Havana, 7 May 2020 —  When I was a child one of the smiles that populated my childhood was that of Sarita Reyes, one of the most popular Cuban actresses of the last century. Versatile, witty and with a touch of authority, her presentations on the program Behind the Facade were the first that came to mind when I learned this Wednesday that the presenter had died at the age of 84 in Havana.

Reyes was a part of a time of great actors and in which millions of eyes rested simultaneously on television screens throughout this Island. It was a few decades when the country was marching to the tune of what was said in the national media, was watching the news, and repeating the dialogs from Cuban soap operas in the streets.

An era was past and swept away, somehow, by the arrival of new technologies and the eruption of the ’Weekly Packet’, in which Sarita reigned doing honor to her surname, with her excellent diction and charisma. Thus, she captivated us in her appearances on the program San Nicolás del Peladero, kept us in suspense when she read some news in her profession of announcer, and we saw her shine on the big screen in fiction feature films such as De cierta manera (1973), by Sara Gomez.

However, for years her name has hardly been heard. The necessary official tributes were lacking for her long career, and new generations of Cubans have barely been able to watch those moments that she left us.

With Sarita Reyes’ death on May 6, not only does a life of creativity and dedication to acting end, but so does a chapter of great names that, for decades, gave birth to legendary characters, made us laugh with their wisecracks, and also generated criticism or applause. For once, hearing her name has not made us smile but has left us silent.


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