Awilda Carbia

Awilda Carbia

Actress and comedian, also known as the “Lady of Comedy.” She was known for the numerous characters she portrayed in the theater and on television.

She was born in San Juan on January 30, 1938, the daughter of José Carbia Miranda and Gloria Benítez and sister of the acclaimed actress and announcer Vilma Carbia. Her first experience in the world of theater occurred when she was just seven years old, acting in radio shows on station WKAQ. During the 1950s, she worked as a journalist, but when television arrived on the island she decided to enter this new medium.

In the 1960s, she began to perform as a comedian on variety programs such as Rambler Rendezvous, created and hosted by her sister, Vilma, and her first husband, Tony Chiroldes. She was part of the talent group of Tommy Muñiz Productions – owned by the late actor, director, producer and comedian – in programs such as El show del Mediodía, La criada malcriada, Esto no tiene nombre and ‘Já, já, jí, jí, jó, jó’. 

In the 1970s, she left the Tommy Muñiz group and formed Astra Productions along with Norma Candal, Otilio Warrington and Jacobo Morales. The group created Ahí va eso, a program of dark comedy with a script by Jacobo Morales that was broadcast by WLUZ TV, Channel 7. The group later produced the program Sin ton ni son for Channel 11.

Awilda Carbia also presented a series of theatrical shows, Desconciertos, in which she demonstrated her creativity by imitating and parodying artistic and political figures on the island. These shows were presented in various venues such as the Luis A. Ferré Fine Arts Center, the Caribe Hilton Hotel and the Tapia Theater, where she performed 105 times over the years.

In the early 1980s, she joined Paquito Cordero Productions on Telemundo, Channel 2. She was part of the cast of several variety programs, including El show de las 12, El show de Chucho, Estudio alegre and Musicomedia. Along with Juan Manuel Lebrón, Rosita Velázquez and Benito Mateo, she was a performer in the popular Sunday comedy En casa de Juanma y Wiwi. At the end of the decade, she signed an exclusive contract with Teleonce, where she produced the weekly program Soy Awilda.

She also acted in theatrical comedies such as 40 kilates, Al derecho y al revés, Salvemos los delfines, Cosas de papi y mami, Teatruras de gala and Nacionalmente correcta and has participated in operettas. Along with her sister, Myraida Chavez, she created a series of productions around the island called Dos mujeres de mi tierra in which she honored the poet Julia de Burgos and the singer Sylvia Rexach.

In 1998, she performed three distinct roles in the work Lo mejor está por venir, along with Braulio Castillo, Jr., and Andy Montañez. Along with Juan Manuel Lebrón, she was part of the cast of the program Los Seijo Díaz, which was aired on Telemundo’s Channel 2 from 1999 to 2003.

Carbia played a dramatic role in the movie El sueño del regreso, produced and directed by Puerto Rican director Luis Molina Casanova and she also performed in the theatrical drama El milagro de Helen Keller. She was also part of the theatrical review Fuego a la lata in 2007. The same year, she debuted as host of the radio program Sabor alegre, which was broadcast on WIPR 940 AM.

In October 2008, she was honored during the reopening of the Tapia Theater in Old San Juan. Her last presentation was Las divas de Awilda, a show presented in late 2008 in the Mozart restaurant in Guaynabo, in which she represented 16 characters.

The lady of comedy died on March 22, 2009 in San Juan.

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 12, 2014.

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