Goodbye Diego

This Owl, like many Peruvians, was dismayed by a piece of news that the morning news repeated over and over again: Diego Bertie died! The news became even more bloody, if not unbelievable: he fell from the fourteenth floor of his apartment in Miraflores! Bertie dead? If a few weeks ago he had returned in style to resume his singing career that, for many years, was overshadowed by his facet as an actor, where he reaped the greatest joys that at some point made him an international soap opera heartthrob.

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Diego was a complete artist. Between 1986 and 1988, at the height of rock in Spanish, he commanded the band Images, with his classmates from the Universidad del Pacífico, of which he was the composer and vocalist. For the anecdote, it must be said that he replaced the original vocalist, Gastón Acurio!, who left the group to go to study in Spain. But it was with Bertie’s charisma, lyrics and voice that the group reaped the greatest successes in the golden age of commercial national rock, along with Miki González, Río, Jas, Frágil and Dudó.

Images gave few concerts because they took music as a hobby, but in 1987 their single ‘Los buenos tiempo’ broke on the radio and earned them the opening act for none other than Los Hombres G, before fifteen thousand people, at the San Agustín. In 1988 they released their first and only LP, ‘Nuestra version’, where their composition ‘Caras Nuevas’ would clearly stand out, perhaps the group’s most emblematic song.

The single was premonitory because a television producer saw in the singer a new face to launch her to television stardom and he was summoned for the telenovela ‘Natacha’ (1990), embodying the endearing Pedro, the humble neighborhood boy who fights unevenly for the love of Natacha (beautiful Venezuelan Maricarmen Regueiro) with the ‘pituco’ Raúl Pereyra (Paul Martin). Restless, he changed course and made comedy with ‘Fandango’ (1992-93) and then returned to play the leading man in telenovelas like ‘Leonela’ (1997), partnering with the Mexican Mariana Levy. That same year he would release his first and only solo album, ‘Blue Fire’, from which he would extract one of his classic songs: ‘How difficult it is to love’.

The Owl on Diego Bertie: One of the most complete artists of recent times has left us

Three years later, he made his international debut as a leading man in the Venezuelan production ‘Lovers of a Full Moon’ (2000), having volcanic romantic scenes with former Miss Universe Rudy Rodríguez. Only a pothole would tarnish that wonderful decade for the actor. The writer Jaime Bayly in the first novel ‘Don’t tell anyone’ (1994) slipped that his ‘alter ego’ Joaquín Camino had a gay relationship with a singer-actor whom he met on the interview set of the.

The only singer-actor Bayly interviewed was Bertie. Only 28 years later, Diego acknowledged that what Bayly said was true, that they had a “fleeting romance” and that the relationship did not mean much to him. He was also passionate about theater and especially musicals, ever since, at the age of 15, his father took him to Broadway to see the play ‘Annie’. After that unforgettable trip to New York and Canada with his mother and father, his father would take her own life, a fact that marked him deeply. True to his love for theater and musicals, we saw him in ‘The Rebel Novice’ (2013), ‘Los Locos Addams, el musical’ (2013) and ‘¡Mama mia!’ (2017).

But he would enter all Peruvian homes and become a media figure embodying the vengeful Sergio Estrada, sworn enemy of the Maldini in ‘Al fondo hay lugar’ (2015-16), and then he would finally reap the popular recognition of millions of television viewers. all social strata by embodying the indescribable Luis Felipe Sandoval Martínez, the egocentric, ‘aristocrat’ and discriminator in ‘Back to the neighborhood’ (2017-2021). With nothing left to prove in the acting branch, Diego had a pending subject with music.

He had already recorded a new album and was once again giving live concerts at the Amadeus, with his old friends from Images. There he verified that the public had not forgotten him and that his old songs were like a good wine. But inexplicably he left us at the age of 54 and with a new album about to be born. One of the most complete artists of recent times left us: singer, composer, TV actor, theater, musicals, cinema (unforgettable as a cameraman in ‘Reportaje a la muerte’) and comedy in ‘Back to the neighborhood’. Rest in peace Diego. I turn off the television.

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