The real name of this iconic character was Miguel Ángel Álvarez. He was born in Tancacha, a Cordovan town located in the center of the province, belonging to the Tercero Arriba department. It was an April 21, 1937 that came to this world “Javier Portales”, as everyone would know him in show business . He was an Argentine actor and comedian of vast career, who flooded the media with his particular charisma.
Start of a legend
At the age of 17, he marched for Rosario in search of new opportunities. After having performed in several independent theater groups, he felt that Rosario was a boy and decided to try his luck in Buenos Aires. That would be the beginning of a rich and successful career.
Javier Portales started working as a young man in the theater, forming and generating unbreakable bonds. His talent was unmissable, and the world soon wanted to know him. He entered television, where he starred in a play that deals with the misadventures of a group of young people at school time. The work was called the Fifth National Year and was directed by Abel Santa Cruz . This first adventure that would drive his career was carried out with Santiago Gómez Cou and Julio de Grazia.
On the crest of the wave
Already by 1964 his career took an important and unexpected turn. He was not yet a highly known character, but this fact would mark a hinged moment in his life. He entered the Operación Ja-Já program where he joined the table of famous celebrities, artists and comedians. Among them were n Fidel Pintos, Juan Carlos Altavista (Minguito), Adolfo García Grau and Jorge Porcel.
They were iconic figures that made up the local scene, and they were responsible for flooding with laughter every Argentine home, from TV. In that same program he met who would be his beloved companion on television: Alberto Olmedo. With this iconic figure of humor, he would make the remembered sketch Borges and Álvarez in the program No toca botón, in the mid '80s.
The humor triangle
Portales was the third and only Cordovan member of a trio that would be unforgettable. Along with Olmedo and Jorge Porcel, they starred in a series of hits in both film and TV. Together they performed humorous musical shows on television during the 1970s and '80s. They were an Argentine boom and were the best-known and beloved celebrities of the moment. Even, to this day, they are seen as an icon of the history of shows in Argentina.
On the big screen
During the 1970s, Javier Portales came to the big screen and made several films alongside the musical group Los Parchis. Portales was definitively consecrated during the 1990s in familiar telecomedies such as Son de Diez or Un hermano is a brother, along with Guillermo Francella.
In 1999 he received the Podestá Prize awarded for his several decades affiliation with the Argentine Association of Actors. In total, he made more than 100 films , played classics in theatre and entered the heart of every Argentine. In addition, he was the author of La skillet por el mango , a remarkable work that was declared mandatory reading at the Conservatory of Dramatic Art.
Javier knew how to conquer immortality thanks to his work in show business , dedicating his whole life to making millions of Argentines laugh. However, his end, far from being comic, was tragic.
He died at age 66, alone, prostrate in a wheelchair and with serious economic problems. It was the product of diabetic decompensation in a bed at Ramos Mejia Hospital. But general malaise, economic instability and health ailments had long been taking over his life and taking his charism.
Javier Portales died in 2003, leaving an entire country of mourning. From Ser Argentino we decided to remember him with a smile, and to give his health so much humor and joy transmitted.
Argentina, nacida en Córdoba. Investigadora en el área de lingüística. En formación constante sobre las Letras y sobre la vida, gracias a la Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Mis experiencias en viajes me llevaron a aprender cada vez más idiomas y querer conocer diversas culturas desde adentro. Pienso en la escritura como una herramienta para transformar el mundo y volverlo un espacio justo y equilibrado.