The moral of the story is . . .

. . . if you want to be rescued, don’t be an actor!

Brazilian soap opera star Domingos Montagner … drowned in a river where the crew had been recording scenes for the country’s most popular soap opera.

Montagner played the leading role in Velho Chico, a soap opera named after the Sao Francisco river where he died.

The 54-year-old had gone for a swim with an actress after a day of shooting in the north-eastern state of Sergipe.

She said he had been dragged away by the river’s strong currents.

The actress, Camila Pitanga, cried for help but local people failed to act initially as they believed the drowning was a scene in the soap opera.

Authorities said there was little that anyone could have done.

In the soap opera, Montagner played a farmer who often fought off local gunmen. In one of those clashes, he was shot multiple times and appeared to drown in the same Sao Francisco river, but reappeared weeks later.

“They thought they had chosen a safe spot to swim but that is one of the most dangerous areas in the town of Caninde and usually avoided by locals,” police chief Antonio Francisco Filho told O Globo.

There’s more at the link.

That’s tragic, but I suppose the reaction of the locals was understandable.  Still, it’s a hell of a way to die, calling for help, but seeing everyone simply looking at you as if your death was part of the entertainment . . .



  1. David Niven, in one of his wonderful books, describes an outing with Charlie Chaplin. Sailing in a small boat near France, Charlie was overcome by the effects of some questionable seafood. There being no head aboard, they pull in to the pier of a small fishing village. Mr Chaplin being well loved by the locals, and innocent of French, was quite misunderstood.

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