Hollywood Stars who lived or visited Goias, Brazil
top left – bottom right:
Janet Gaynor – Mary Martin – Robert Cummings – Robert Mitchum
I would presume that most readers will not recognize these ‘stars’. However, during their time, they were all very famous – household names. The importance of the posting is that they came to Brazil at a time when Brazil was much less developed. The differences between Brazil and the developed countries was substantial.
Back in the 60s, Brazil was a sort of ‘in place’ for the Hollywood types as well as the average guy wanting to get away from it all by “going down to Brazil”. And from the interest in things “Brazilian” today, I would guess it again is attracting ‘gringos’.
Somehow several well-known Hollywood stars for that period ended up in the city of Anápolis, which is 130 km / 82 miles southwest of Brasília on the Brasilia to Goiania highway. The going joke at the time was it was an Arab city surrounded by Americans. The city had a high percentage of Arab immigrants (Lebanese and some Syrians) while some of the farms and ranches in the surrounding area were owned by Americans.
I have never been able to find out why Anápolis attracted this small group of Hollywood biggies. I am assuming that the opening up of the hinterland of Brazil to build the new and futuristic capital Brasilia somehow caught their romantic dreams of living in South America.
To get to their farms and ranches the Americans would usually fly into Goiania, which is 50 km / 30 miles from Anápolis. A few of the old timers here remember seeing the ‘Stars’ at the what was then a small airport. Today the highway between Goiania and Brasilia is four-lane and only lacks about 40 km to be four-lane to Sao Paulo, a distance of 1,000 km / 600 miles. Big change from the 60s.