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Cecilia Bolocco – Miss Chile & Miss Universe

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Chile -more than twice the size of Arizona- is the home of beautiful girls : Daniela Benavente, Marianne Muller, Margot Montt, Lucia Santa Cruz, Kenita Larrain, Jenny Purtho Arap, Daniela Campos and Cecilia Bolocco. Already a folk hero in Chile, Cecilia Bolocco

became a legend when she won the Miss Universe pageant in 1987.Since 1990, Cecilia has been called “the most famous Miss Universe in the world”. She has won the hearts of pageant fans from Mexico to Santiago. Who is she really?

Along with the writer Gabriela Mistral (Nobel Prize for Literature 1945), she’s one of the most admired women in Chile. The second of four children in a working-class family of European descent, Cecilia Carolina Bolocco Fonck was born on May 19, 1965 to Enzo and Rose Marie Fonck de Bolocco. She studied civil engineering at the University of Santiago and then studied costume design at INCA-CEA Institute.

Renowned for her diplomatic skills and culture, Cecilia developed a passion for dance at very early age and became a professional dancer, winning many titles. She never lost her love for dancing. Her colleagues found her to be energetic and cooperative.

In the mid-1980s, she also worked as a professional model for magazines. Cecilia was one of Chile’s most popular fashion models. She was approached by a Chilean journalist, who advised her to take up modelling. During this period of time, she suffered a tragedy when her brother Rodrigo died suddenly. This was a terrible experience for her, which marked she for ever.

On April 20, 1987 Cecilia was elected Miss Chile Universe in Santiago, succeeding Mariana Villasante, one of the most beautiful girls from South America. Like Barbara Palacios Teyde (Miss Venezuela and Miss South America-Universe), Christy Fichtner (Miss USA and Miss Texas) and Susanna Huckstep (Miss Italy and Miss Photogenic), Mariana was one of the favourites to win the Miss Universe title in Panama City.

Unlike Claudia van Sint Jan (Miss Chile 1985) and Mariana, Miss Chile 1987 competed at the Miss South America. Many of the delegates in each contest went on to their year’s Miss Universe pageant. Before winning the Miss Universe pageant, Barbara Palacios, Miss Venezuela, won the Miss South America title in 1986. Unfortunately, Cecilia did not qualify for the semi-finals at the 1987 Miss South America in Cartagena, Colombia.Curiously, she also did not win any award. Patricia Arce Rocabado (Miss Bolivia) was Miss Photogenic and Maria Victoria Zangaro (Miss Uruguay) was Miss Congeniality.Then, she immediately travelled to Singapore City to take part in Miss Universe pageant.

On May 26, 1987 Cecilia was crowned Miss Universe in Singapore City. There were celebrations for Chile -from Arica to Chiloe-,after Cecilia Bolocco won the title. The 35th Miss Universe began with a spectacular opening ceremony at World Trade Center in front of thousands of spectators from Asia and other countries.Singapore is the smallest country ever to hold the Miss Universe pageant, with a size of 270 sq mi and a population of 4.5 million people. Egypt made its first appearance as a participating country at the Miss Universe. Miss Honduras, Francia Tatiana Reyes, had taken the award of Miss Amity and Miss Brazil, Jacqueline Ribeiro Meirelles, won the Best National Costume title.

For many reasons, Miss Colombia, Maria Patricia Lopez Ruiz, was considered to have a good chance to win the title.Patricia had won two international awards: Miss South America and Miss Photogenic.

There were 12 judges: Deborah Carthy-Deu (former Miss Puerto Rico and Miss Universe), Neil Hickey (American journalist), Jose Greco (Spanish dancer), David Niven Jr (American actor), Charlotte Rae Lubotsky (American actress and singer), Chu San Goh (choreographer from Asia), Peter Graves (American film and television actor), Paul-Louis Orrier (French fashion designer), Arnold Kopelson (American film producer), Nancy Dussault (American singer and actress), Yue-Sai Kan (Chinese-American entrepreneur), Isabel Sanford (American actress).

Unlike other Miss Universes from Latin America -Norma Beatriz Nolan, Barbara Palacios, Dayanara Torres, Amelia Vega-, Miss Chile 1987 did not have the support of judges from Latin America. Deborah Carthy-Deu had given her support to Laurie Tamara Simpson Rivera (Miss Puerto Rico 1987). Some countries have been benefited by having many judges. In the past century; Venezuela has had many judges in Miss Universe: Carolina Herrera (fashion designer/ 1984 & 1997), Irene Saez Conde (Miss Universe/ 1983 & 1995), Maria Conchita Alonso Bustillo (singer & actress/ 1993 & 1998), Lupita Ferrer (actress/1986), Jose Luis Rodriguez (singer/ 1991) and Barbara Palacios (Miss Universe/ 1988).

Certainly, Cecilia had won the title and the special admiration of the Asian public. The audience had all eyes on Chilean Cecilia. It was the first appearance for Chile in the finals. She wore a spectacular white gown designed by Ruben Campos.

From 1990 to 2005, she was an internationally famous Latin American entertainer. Cecilia is a two-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer.In 1993, Cecilia Bolocco was one of the hots at the Miss Universe in Mexico City. She said: “Really gives me great pride to be here…” Three years later, she was one of the members of the panel of judges of Miss Universe in Las Vegas, USA.

Until their separation in April 2007, Bolocco lived with her husband, Carlos Menem -ex president of Argentina-, whom she married in 2001,and their son, Maximo Saul Menem Bolocco, who was born in 2003, in Santiago (Chile). She met Menem in 1999 when she was a successful journalist After the marriage broke up, Cecilia became a fashion designer.

Cecilia Bolocco has emerged as a popular youth icon and, the Chile’s sweetheart, with her every move followed by millions across Chile. She currently resides in Santiago.

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