Ángela Meyer (born August 2, 1947) is a Puerto Rican actress, comedian and producer of television and theatrical works. Meyer is the founder and/or co-founder of various entertainment production companies. Among the production companies which have been associated with Meyer are Meca Productions which produced theater and television productions and Meyer de Jesus Productions which produced soap operas.
Meyer was born as Ángela del Carmen Maurano Debén[note 1] in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her mother, Margot Debén, was a Puerto Rican actress and comedian, and her father Mario Maurano, was a musician and native of Argentina. Meyer was 18 months old when her parents divorced and with her mother went to Colombia to live with her mother's brother Luis Ricardo Debén, a magician known as "Richardini". She was raised by her uncle and considered him her father. She made her debut on the stage before she was two years old in one of her uncle's presentations. Her mother remarried and returned to Puerto Rico leaving her daughter behind in her uncle's care. She continued to perform with her uncle in South America until 1968 when she returned to the island to live with her mother and stepfather. In Puerto Rico, she received her secondary education.
In 1973, Meyer traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East performing with her uncle. In 1968 she returned to the island, where her comic talent was recognized by Puerto Rican comedian José Miguel Agrelot. He invited her to participate in his show Ja, ja, ji, ji, jo, jo con Agrelot and when Tommy Muniz started his production of 'telenovelas' she became one of its young leading ladies. She adopted her first husband's surname, "Mayer", and changed to "Meyer" (he died in an airplane crash) which she was to use as her stagename. She also auditioned and was cast in minor roles in the soap operas Marcelo y Marcelino and Mujeres sin hombre (Women without men). Meyer's talent as an actress was soon recognized and she was cast in the lead roles of Tomiko, El Ultimo Adios (The Last Good-bye), Rebelde (Rebel) and Un Amante al rojo vivo (A red-hot lover).
In the soap opera El hijo de Angela Maria (The son of Angela Maria), Meyer was cast (in blackface) in the role of "Chianita", a poor black country girl who, despite the fact that she never attended school, was a very wise person with a sense of humor. The character of Chianita was to change the life of Meyer forever. The character was so loved by the Puerto Rican public that Meyer continued to make public presentations in various television shows such as Luis Vigoreaux's El Show del Mediodia. As Chianita, Meyer recorded three albums, including "Chianita Gobernadora" in 1973, which sold over 100,000 copies. Some people even wanted Chianita to run for governor, becoming a part of Puerto Rican folklore. However, the black makeup she used provoked an allergy on Meyer's face and in 1984 Chianita made her last public appearance.
Meyer participated as actress and assistant producer in the soap operas Primera Fila (First Row) and El Regreso (The Return). Puerto Rican artists were beginning to face the dilemma of local television stations importing soap operas from Mexico and Venezuela which were more cost efficient. Meyer and her friend and fellow actress, Camille Carrión, founded Meca Productions with the idea of producing theater and television productions. Their first theater production was Casa de Mujeres (House of Women), which went on for 105 presentations. They also produced for Tele-Once the show Ellas al Mediodia and the soap operas La Isla (The Island), Ave de paso and Yara Prohibida.
Meyer de Jesus ProductionsEdit
In 1988, Meyer founded "Meyer de Jesus Productions" (Jesus is her second husband's surname), after Meca Productions was dissolved. She joined Telemundo and produced three series based on historical events: Mission Cumplida (Mission Accomplished) based on the events which took place at the Cerro Maravilla, Gaviota de Esperanza based on the life of Sandra Zaiter and Hasta el fondo del dolor based on the life of Sylvia Rexach, portrayed by Sylvia's own daughter, Puerto Rican actress & singer, Sharon Riley and Adamari López, as Sharon. During this decade she became very active in theatrical presentations. One of her most acclaimed works was the monologue: Tengamos Sexo en Paz (Let's make love in peace). She served in the Department of Puerto Rican Culture for the city of San Juan (1995–96) and as advisor for cultural and educational events in 2000, for the city of Bayamón.
In 2004, Meyer produced Tres Noches tropicales y una vida de infierno (Three tropical nights and a life in hell), which was presented in Puerto Rico, Orlando, Florida and Washington, D.C. On November 2005, Meyer participated with Johnatan Dwayne in Calderón de la Barca's La dama duende, presented at the Warehouse Theater in Washington, D.C.