Clair, Janete (1925–1983)

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Clair, Janete (1925–1983)

Janete Clair (b. 1925; d. 1983), Brazilian telenovela author, was born in Minas Gerais. She was the most prominent scriptwriter of telenovelas (prime-time serial dramas) for TV Globo from the late 1960s to 1983. She started as a radio actress in 1943 for Rádio Tupi in São Paulo, and turned to writing after she married playwright Dias Gomes, who also became a prominent scriptwriter for TV Globo. Clair's first major success came in 1956 with the radionovela Perdão, meu filho for Radio Nacional. She wrote a few telenovelas, such as Paixão proibida(Prohibited Passion), for TV Tupi in the mid-1960s, then moved to TV Globo in 1967, at the time it began to invest heavily in telenovela production, including hiring all the best talent available. After 1968, TV Globo began to dominate the market for telenovelas, in part due to Clair's writing. She was the most popular author for the most watched telenovela time slot, 8 p.m. Her personal popularity contributed to an unusual phenomenon in popular television: some of the major scriptwriters for Brazilian telenovelas became major public figures, as popular and well known as the most prominent actors and actresses. Clair wrote nineteen telenovelas for TV Globo from 1967 to 1983. Her first was Anastácia, a mulher sem destino (Anastasia, the Woman Without a Destiny, 1967). Two of her more popular telenovelas were for Selva de pedra (Jungle of Stone, 1972) and Pecado capital (Mortal Sin, 1975–1976). After her death in 1983, her writing style and popular touch remained standards by which telenovelas were judged by critics and public. The TV Globo Center for Production (Casa da Criação) was named for her.

See alsoRadio and Television; Telenovelas.


Joseph Straubhaar, "The Rise of the Telenovela as the Preeminent Form of Popular Culture in Brazil," in Studies in Latin American Popular Culture 1 (1982): 138-150.

Niko Vink, The Telenovela and Emancipation (1990).

Additional Bibliography

Ferreira, Mauro, and Cleodon Coelho. Nossa Senhora das Oito: Janete Clair e a evolução da telenovela no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: MAUAD Editora, 2003.

Xexéo, Artur. Janete Clair: A usineira de sonhos. Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 1996.

                                      Joseph Straubhaar