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Guillermo Rossini in an interview talks about his imitations, military censorship and his vulnerable health

Guillermo Rossini in an interview talks about his imitations, military censorship and his vulnerable health

Guillermo Rossini in an interview talks about his imitations, military censorship and his vulnerable health

Four years ago, during the pandemic, because of my age and being in the risk group, I was given a break from ‘Los Chistosos’, and I am still resting now (laughs). I would have liked to say goodbye, but I am very sentimental,” she confesses.

In 1959, while working as a medical representative, Rossini, encouraged by a friend, participated in an imitation contest organized by Augusto Ferrando. After winning among a hundred contestants, the iconic presenter of “Trampolín a la fama” took him to his club and to the radio, where the actor performed his first imitations of political figures, as well as horse racing commentators such as Juan Ramírez Lazo and Federico Roggero, and other prominent figures of the time.

I was the first to imitate politicians. My first imitation was Manuel Prado. The former president of Peru used to ride around Jirón de la Unión in a carriage, wearing a tuxedo. He went out without an escort because at that time there were no ‘pericotes’ (he laughs). Later I imitated Juan Velasco Alvarado and Francisco Morales, as well as the mayors Luis Bedoya Reyes and Alfonso Barrantes,” he says.

Barrantes and I became very good friends. When he was mayor, he would visit me at my house. He was the only honest politician I knew. He died poor.“, he says with nostalgia. Rossini also claims to have been responsible for the name of the social programme “Vaso de Leche”.

In ‘Risas y Salsa’ I invented the name. Barrantes never said he was going to give children a glass of milk, but rather ‘A million breakfasts’. But I emphasized (imitates Barrantes’ voice): ‘We are going to give a glass of milk to all citizens, we are going to bring 500 cows from Switzerland and every citizen will have the right to a little milk’ (laughs)”.

During the military government of Velasco Alvarado and then Morales Bermúdez (1968-1980), Rossini encountered a barrier that limited his creativity: Channel 7 did not allow him to do imitations of military leaders. However, on one occasion, the composer Augusto Polo Campos invited him to an anniversary of the escort barracks to perform a show. It was there that the artist, defying the restrictions, decided to imitate Morales Bermúdez, who was present.

When he imitated him, the soldiers watched him closely to see if he laughed, and when he did, they all followed suit. So I asked him why they wouldn’t let me imitate him on the radio. And he replied (imitates the soldier’s voice): ‘Are you that sycophantic? If you don’t offend me, there’s no problem, Rossini.’”, he points out. “There were no imitators of politicians. At that time there were no Alvarez or Benavides.“, Add.

The son of a Spanish mother, a Peruvian father and a Swiss grandfather, the comedian made his television debut on Channel 5 with the show “Telecataplún”, a comedy show with scripts by Sofocleto. He then moved on to “Estrafalario” on the state channel, achieving significant ratings.

Then we all went to Risas y Salsa with the Argentinean scriptwriter Aldo Vega. I was there for more than 15 years. Then, I went to ‘Risas de América’. We have toured all the channels.”, he comments.

Chola pioneer

Among his most memorable imitations of television personalities are Pablo de Madalengoitia, Leopoldo Fernández, Ingeborg Zwinkel (la Gringa Inga), Osvaldo Cattone, and sports journalists Óscar Artacho and Pocho Rospigliosi. He was also the creator of the endearing character of the chola Eduviges.

I was the first to create a chola on television. It was during the time of ‘Estrafalario’. His partner was Petipán. I did it with great height and respect. I dressed like cholas dress.“, he emphasizes proudly.

Guillermo Rossini remembering Chola Eduviges. In this photo we see her hugging Chola Chabuca. (Photo: Hugo Pérez)

It has its essence

Guillermo Rossini has not only left an indelible mark on television, but also on radio, a space in which he was present for more than six decades. His latest program, “Los Chistosos”, was his creation, he says.

I was alone on the radio, working with a female announcer and telling jokes. People sent me letters, and that’s how we made the National Joke Championship. There was a producer who asked me: ‘When are you going to bring a joker as a guest?’ I thought it was a derogatory word, but I brought Melcochita and Barraza anyway. She insisted that I continue bringing jokers. That’s where the name was born. I was the creator of ‘Los Chistosos’”, he highlights.

In the late 1980s, he briefly entered politics and in 1986 became a councillor for the Jesús María district for the Partido Popular Cristiano, a position to which he was re-elected in 1989. During his tenure, he assumed responsibility for the Entertainment Commission and the Library.

Find peace in rest

At 91 years old, Guillermo Rossini confesses that the health problems he faces have led him to value rest, tranquility and time at home with his wife, Eloísa Effio. He does not miss television or radio booths because despite his absence from the media for several years now, he continues to enjoy the affection and respect of the people.

I have a pacemaker, it was replaced a month ago. In the femoral artery I have a stent, three bypasses, and they detected an aneurysm in the abdominal aorta artery. Thanks to INCOR (National Cardiovascular Institute)I was lucky enough to have a German doctor, one of the greatest in the world, operate on me in Houston. The latest was a colon operation. I’m up to my colon (laughs)“, says Rossini with his characteristic sense of humor.

I don’t miss the stage because my memory is not the same anymore, I prefer to rest. After so many years of work and so many operations, I need peace and quiet. It’s time to take care of myself and enjoy the simple things in life.“, he concludes with a serene look.

Source: Elcomercio

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