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Antônio Augusto de Moraes Liberato (April 10, 1959 – November 20, 2019), better known as Gugu Liberato or simply Gugu, was a Brazilian television presenter, entrepreneur, actor and singer.[1]

Gugu Liberato
Vagner Santana & GUGU2 (cropped).jpg
Gugu in 2019
Antônio Augusto de Moraes Liberato

(1959-04-10)April 10, 1959
DiedNovember 20, 2019(2019-11-20) (aged 60)
  • Television presenter
  • businessman
  • singer
  • actor
  • producer
Rose Miriam di Matteo
(m. 2001; his death 2019)
  • João Augusto (b. 2001)
  • Marina (b. 2003)
  • Sofia (b. 2003)

Early lifeEdit

Liberato was born in São Paulo, Brazil, the son of Portuguese immigrants.[1] He used to write letters to Silvio Santos (who later hired him) suggesting ideas for programs. He started on television at age 14 as program production assistant on Domingo no Parque (Sunday at the Park), presented by Silvio Santos on SBT.[2] He is regarded as one of the most famous entertainers in the history of Brazilian television, standing next to names like Fausto Silva, Silvio Santos, Hebe Camargo and Xuxa Meneghel.[3]


Liberato began studying dentistry at University of Marilia (Unimar) in Marilia, São Paulo, but dropped out when called by Silvio Santos, who invited him to take up a post in front of the cameras.[3] One of his first programs in 1981 was the Sessão Premiada São Paulo – Rio's version was by Paul Barboza. In 1982, Santos asked Argentine director Nelly Raymond to create a program for Saturday night. Viva a Noite was created, which was initially divided into several parts, and also presented by Ademar Dutra, Mariette Detotto and Jair Ogun.[4] Following some format changes, Gugu remained alone in the program, then directed by Homer Salles. While anchoring Viva a Noite, Gugu also directed Domingo no Parque for sometime and acted as the editor for the President's Week (Semana do Presidente) newsletter, which was aired in the commercial breaks between the Program Silvio Santos show.[5][6]

After the success of the musical group Menudo, which was extensively promoted by Viva a Noite in 1984, Gugu launched Brazilian musical groups of the same style, such as Dominó and Polegar, becoming a successful businessman.[7][8][9]

In August 1987, at the height of the success of Viva a noite, Gugu signed a contract with TV station Rede Globo. But on Saturday Carnival 1988, Santos went to meet the owner of the Rede Globo Roberto Marinho personally, in order to release the presenter so he could stay on SBT. Santos was about to undergo a delicate surgery and made a millionaire proposal to Gugu, offering him much of the Sunday's programming schedule. As a comparison, Liberato's wages increased tenfold, besides earnings coming from advertising.[5][6]

Liberato debuted in SBT Sundays on April 17, 1988,[10] hosting alone programs like Passa ou Repassa and Cidade Contra Cidade. Gugu also co-hosted Roletrando with Santos.[6]

The TV station Rede Globo, however, had already created a program for Gugu, and the program was ready but without a host. Rede Globo hired hastily Fausto Silva, who ran the Saturday late night show Perdidos na Noite (Lost in the Night) at TV Bandeirantes. So the show Domingão do Faustão started, by chance, on Sunday afternoons at Rede Globo, filling a schedule previously occupied by American TV series.[11]

Even though Gugu was responsible for part of the Sunday programming, he remained anchoring shows on Saturday night, especially musical programs like Sabadão Sertanejo. The greatest success, however, came with the show Domingo Legal, which competed with Domingão do Faustão, ironically a program created to be his. The competition in the late 1990s was for a long period favorable to Gugu, which ended the decade with peaks above 40 rating points.[11][12]

Personal life and deathEdit

Liberato was married to physician Rose Miriam di Matteo, with whom he had three children: João Augusto, and the twins Marina and Sofia.[13]

On November 21, 2019, Liberato suffered an accident at his home in Orlando, Florida, when he fell from the roof of his home and hit his head. He was admitted to Orlando Health and it was reported that his condition was critical.[14][15] Rumors of his death were initially denied,[16] but the next day, on November 22, it was confirmed that Liberato had died.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Gugu: biografia, fotos, vídeos, notícias – iG".
  2. ^ "Vida e carreira do apresentador Gugu Liberato". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Gugu Liberato, um dos maiores nomes da TV brasileira, morre aos 60 anos". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  4. ^ Manso, Marcos. "Gugu Liberato".
  5. ^ a b "História de Gugu Liberato se confunde com a da TV brasileira". Correio do Povo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Martins Ribeiro, Raquel. "De office boy a ícone da TV: relembre a carreira de Gugu Liberato". Metrópoles (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Inspirado em Menudo, Gugu Liberato produziu Dominó e Polegar e lançou Marcelo Augusto". Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Da criação do Dominó a polêmicas; relembre fatos marcantes de Gugu Liberato na TV". Cidade Verde (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Gugu Liberato revelou Menudo e criou os grupos Dominó e Polegar". Jornal Extra (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Jornal do Brasil - Pesquisa de arquivos de notícias Google".
  11. ^ a b "Em 1988, Silvio Santos barrou Gugu na Globo com proposta milionária". UOL (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Domingão era dele: A trajetória de sucesso de Gugu Liberato no Ibope". UOL (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  13. ^ Barranco, Luciana. "Filhos de Gugu Liberato estavam em casa na hora do acidente e João chamou ambulância". Revista Quem (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Gugu Liberato sofre acidente em casa nos Estados Unidos e está internado" (in Portuguese). O Globo. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Presidente da Record TV solta comunicado em que desmente boatos sobre Gugu Liberato" (in Portuguese). Contigo!. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  17. ^ "Morre Gugu Liberato, aos 60 anos". Veja (in Portuguese). November 22, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.

External linksEdit