SAO PAULO — Whether or not Pele scored nearly 1,300 goals in his professional football career, all biographers agree that the three-time World Cup champion Pele wrote more than 100 songs and one of his albums has sold over 100,000 copies.
He also starred in films, notably the WWII movie “Victory,” and was one of the stars of a Brazilian comedy that brought more than 3.6 million people to theaters in the South American country.
Pelé, whose full name is Edson Arantes do Nascimento, died of cancer at a hospital in Sao Paulo on Thursday. He was 82 years old.
Pelé’s success on the football field made him a sports icon, but added to that many performances as an actor and singer.
“King Pele” (O Rei Pelé, 1962)
Pelé’s first big-screen moment came in a movie directed by Carlos Hugo Christensen the same year he won his second World Cup title. The narrative begins in Pelé’s hometown of Tres Coracoes, talking about his move to Bauru in rural Sao Paulo and then to Santos, where he will become a world star.
The movie directed by John Huston was the one that Pelé said he had the most fun making. Cpl played. Luis Fernandes is a soldier from Trinidad.
The plot features POWs preparing to confront a German team in Nazi-occupied Paris during their attempt to escape. At the time in the New York Cosmos, Pelé had the chance to play with players Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine, who were very different teammates.
“If I had to give myself a grade as an actor, it would be 10,” Pelé jokingly said in several interviews after “Victory”.
He also told his friends that in the original script, Stallone was in a position to score the winning goal with a bicycle kick, but the American actor didn’t have the skills to do so, so he was placed as a goalkeeper. Former England captain Bobby Moore is also featured in the film, along with many other professional footballers.
“Victory,” known in many places as “Escape from Victory,” earned nearly $28 million at the box office.
“Clums and the King of Football” (Os Trapalhões eo Rei do Futebol, 1986)
It was a relationship between two of Brazil’s most popular brands at the time – the recently retired Pelé and the TV show Os Trapalhões (The Clumsies) and a widely popular Three Stooges-like comedian group. The opening of the movie was three days before the 1986 World Cup final, in which Argentina led by Diego Maradona beat Germany 3-2. He took millions to the movies in Brazil that year.
Pelé played the role of a sports reporter named Nascimento, who replaced the injured goalkeeper of a team called Independência Futebol Clube, who scored the winning goal of a match with a goal kick.
Pelé has also appeared in documentaries such as “This is Pelé” (1974), “Pelé Eterno” (2004) and “Cine Pelé” (2011).
Brazilians are almost as obsessed with soap operas as football, and Pelé had many cameos. Most of her appearances were in TV Globo soap operas, which were often exported to the rest of the world.
Writer Ivani Ribeiro was the first to bring it to television series. He starred in a show called “Os Estranhos” (Aliens), in which he played Pelé as a famous writer who lives on an island and has extraterrestrial friends.
Pelé’s last celebrity appearance in a soap opera came in 2002 with “O Clone”, which was popular in dozens of other countries. He played it to himself and sang “Em Busca do Penta” (Searching for the Fifth). The lyrics were about Brazil winning the World Cup again. Three months later, Brazil won the World Cup for the fifth time.
“Peléginga” was his biggest hit. The samba album, which includes 12 songs written by Pelé and recorded with choir and orchestra, was released in 2006.
Three years later, the Brazilian star wanted to record another album for international audiences and invited U2 singer Bono to share the vocals on one of the tracks. The Irishman toured with his band and the project was abandoned.
Pelé also recorded a record with Brazilian diva Elis Regina and released an album produced by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sergio Mendes.
Pelé has also been a character in comics that are hugely popular in Brazil. Cartoonists Mauricio de Sousa, who was playing for the New York Cosmos at the time, and Pelé reached an agreement in 1976 to publish children’s stories in comic book format.
Pelé didn’t like Pelezinho’s boyish qualities at first. Sousa said in several interviews that the actor wanted to be portrayed as a strong child athlete. The cartoonist then suggested that he ask his children what they think. Both kids loved it.
Sousa used several stories from Pelé’s childhood in his Pelezinho plans. Comics were published regularly between 1977-86 and on special occasions thereafter. Most recently, in 2013, Brazil hosted the Confederations Cup, a warm-up tournament for the World Cup to be held in the country the following year.
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