Carmen de Mairena
Carmen de Mairena in 2012
Miguel Brau Gou
15 March 1933
|Died||22 March 2020 (aged 87)|
|Occupation||Cuplé singer, transformist actress, sex worker, television personality, politician|
|Political party||Coordinadora Reusenca Independent|
Miguel Brau i Gou, better known as Carmen de Mairena (15 March 1933 – 22 March 2020) was a Spanish cuplé singer and popular transformist television personality.
From the mid-1950's until the transition to democracy (at which time she personally identified as a woman), she was known as Miguel de Mairena, a renowned cuplet singer in the leading show halls from Barcelona. Beginning in the 1990's, she gained national popularity for her comedic television appearances alongside presenter Javier Cárdenas, who have linked her to the self-described geek world. Also she made occasional incursions in the world of the cinema, even the pornographic one.
She was born with the name Miguel Brau Gou in 1933.In 1959 she debuted as a variety artist in various venues in Barcelona allowing her to gain some fame as a cuplé singer. She had a sentimental relationship with singer Pedrito Rico which made the Francoist regime detain them many times. In the 1960s, due to the mistreatment suffered in prison, she suffered from an illness that prevents him from working in show business for a year. During this period he works as a pawn with his father in Gavà. After recovering she acts together with other cupletistas of the time such as Antonio Amaya, Miguel de los Reyes, Pedrito Rico and Tomás de Antequera.
During the 1970s she starts to appear as a woman and receives liquid silicone injections (done clandestinely) in her face, chest and hips and she appears in cross-dressing shows with the name of Carmen de Mairena) in which she impersonates Sara Montiel and Marujita Díaz.
In November 2006 and October 2008, she was detained in two macro-operations in El Raval against proxenete networks that forced Romanian women to practice prostitution. Carmen de Mairena was the only one of those arrested who was released, on both occasions, since there was no risk of escape. She was accused of favoring prostitution for renting rooms in her house for prostitutes to work there, earning cash for each service.
After that, she appeared sporadically on television, for example in 2009 in the comedy program El intermedio where she played a bizarre impersonation of Francisco Franco. She also made a breif incursion in politics in 2010 as a candidate for the Parliament of Catalonia for the joke political party Coordinadora Reusenca Independent (CORI) wich did not obtain any seats.
After 2016, she could only move in a wheelchair. She died on March 22, 2020 of natural causes.
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