The great theatrical actress Berta Riaza, national theater award winner in 1992, died this Sunday in Madrid at the age of 94. In her 60-year career, Riaza has performed all the Spanish and international classics and contemporaries of the stage, Aesquilo, Chejov, Shakespeare, Federico García Lorca or Fernando Fernán Gómez, in a brilliant career. At the age of 14, she entered the Superior School of Dramatic Art and in 1947 she made her debut with a company directed by Pepe Franco and called New Artists. That year she starred in the play ‘X = 2’, but her first great success came in 1957, when she gave life to ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, premiered at the Spanish Theater.
From there, she became one of the most requested actresses on the national scene. In these years, among her works stand out ‘La Orestiada’ (1959); ‘Numancia’ (1961); ‘The glass menagerie’ (1961); ‘They were all my children’ (1963); ‘Mother Courage’ (1966) or ‘The Three Sisters’ (1973). She also participated in countless of the first spaces of the newly opened Spanish Television, at a time when theater had a place on the small screen. Ibsen’s ‘Dollhouse’ was one of her interpretations. Already in 1980, she participated in the series ‘Fortunata y Jacinta’, Mario Camus’s adaptation of the novel by Benito Pérez Galdós.
In the 1970s, her career was especially linked to the prestigious theater director Miguel Narros, with whom she made ‘King Lear’, ‘Portrait of a Lady with a Dog’ and ‘MacBeth’, but later she approached two authors of the Method, William Layton (Uncle Vania) and José Carlos Plaza, with whom she staged ‘Bicycles are for summer’ (1982); ‘The house of Bernarda Alba’ (1984) and ‘Comedy barbarians’ (1991). Less was lavished in the cinema, where ‘Entre tinieblas’ (1983), by Pedro Almodóvar, or ‘Luces de Bohemia’, by Miguel Ángel Díez, with Paco Rabal stand out.
In addition to the National Theater Award, she was awarded the Union of Actors Award for Best Secondary Theater Performance (1995), the Union of Actors Award for a Whole Life (1997) and the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts. Arts (2007).