Doris Wells (Doris Marina Buonafina)
Doris Wells, whose birth name is Doris Buonafina, was born in Caripito, a little oil town of Monagas State, Venezuela on October 28th, 1941, being the youngest of six children. At 15 years old, and coinciding with the migration of her family to Caracas, Doris became a student of the Juana Sujo's School of Theater, created by this famous Venezuelan (born Argentinean) actress. Doris became one of her best pupils not only for her beauty but also her unquestionable talent. Read more... like José Bardina, José Luis Silva and Ivonne Attas (later Mrs. Attas made a successful career as politician). As an anecdotal note, this was the last class that Juana Sujo was the teacher because she died of cancer in 1961. The debut of Doris Wells in television was in the polemic Venezuelan TV series "Se necesita una amiga" released in 1961 (where the plots were based in true stories), but her first great role was the merciless and vile Reina Montero in the successful Telenovela (soap opera) "Historia de tres hermanas" (1964) where she messed to her sisters (Eva Blanco and Eva Moreno) for blame of one of the gallants of the story (Raúl Amundaray). This soap opera, by the way, was the first in these country whose episodes were 60 minutes in duration, and not 30 minutes as were they made until this time. Doris always played the role of the villain, not only as the evil of the story, but also the feared and respected woman until 1972, when she starred in the soap opera Sacrificio de mujer (with Edmundo Arias) in the role of the patient Regina Carbonell. Another soap opera that would confirm this new role of heroine was Raquel (1973-74) with Raúl Amundaray, which was one of the first Venezuelan soap operas known outside of its frontiers. Soon after, Doris announced that she wouldn't film soap operas again (due, among other things, to the fact that she didn't like the weak plots and characters of these productions) to be devoted to historical series and theaters. However, this retirement would not last long, because the polemic and successful Venezuelan playwright José Ignacio Cabrujas (who was a close friend of Doris Wells) wrote for her the main character of La señora de Cárdenas (1977). This soap opera (starring also with Miguelángel Landa) tells the story about a married woman of middle class with a daughter that discovers that her husband deceives her and at last she decides to divorce him. La señora de Cárdenas was a big hit because, for the first time in a Venezuelan soap opera, the plot is not the typical romantic soap operas (a young couple, singles, from different social classes and always with a happy end) and it inaugurated in Venezuela a new well-known style of dramatic production with the name of "Telenovela cultural" (cultural soap opera) that would be in vogue at the end of 70's and it was supported by other writers like Fausto Verdial and Julio César Mármol, among many other people. This new phase of the career of Doris Wells had her definitive consecration in the soap opera La fiera (released in 1978), which was a free adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazow", in which Doris played the role of Isabel Blanco a.k.a. "la catirrusia" (the ruddy) who becomes the apple of the discord among the main characters (José Bardina and Carlos Márquez who is, by the way, Juana Sujo's widower) and it obtained an immense success. As a curious note, this soap opera was rerun in Venezuela in 1987 and it obtained much more rating respect than its debut (and in fact, the Isabel Blanco's character was considered the best role of Doris Wells' career). After La fiera, Doris Wells announced her definitive retirement from soap operas and she debuted as writer and producer with the TV movie Porcelana (1981),in which she played a successful and single manager that has to confront the "Crisis of the 40's" and Derrota final (1982) where she was a guerilla fighter. It is also in this time that Doris starred in the Venezuelan movies Ana, pasión de dos mundos (1982), La casa de agua (1983), and Oriana (1985), which would consecrate it worldwide. She also had to face in the real life a situation worthy of some of her soap operas: her only husband's sudden death (at the time that they had filed for divorce), the wealthy Venezuelan lawyer William Risquez Iribarren, with whom she had three children (Marielba, Xavier and Verónica), after which Doris would return (shortly) to television in 1986 as a TV Host of one Contest Show. Soon after, Doris Wells began to suffer a strange illness called Foil's Syndrome (a strange illness that attacks to the liver and the lungs by a virus, whose origin is unknown and before her ten cases were known in the world) and finally, Mrs. Wells died at September 20th, 1988 almost one month before she turned 47 years old. So, Venezuela lost one of its most gracious, talented, beautiful and admired actresses who always knew to live a quite exemplary life, without scandals or gossip. Without a doubt, she should be seen as a good example of professionalism for the new generations of actors, not only Venezuelans but of any other country.