For those who watched the documentary “Divine Divas” (2016), directed by Leandra Leal, certainly met Eloína dos Leopardos. Along with longtime friends and stage veterans such as Jane di Castro, Rogéria, Camille K and other big names, the film addresses the first generation of transvestites in Brazil.
Long before becoming the muse of the leopards, Eloína was the first drum queen of the Rio carnival in 1976, when she samba through the Hummingbird from Nilópolis. With that, she made a new carnival mode and her artistic side started to walk “side by side” with the entrepreneurial vein in front of a trendy beauty salon in Rio de Janeiro.
Born on January 13, 1937, Eloína was raised in the neighborhood of Catumbi, central region of Rio de Janeiro, and since she was seven years old she had already let her feminine side emerge, when she was still called Edson.
At the age of fourteen, she already worked as a maid of stars in a well-known carioca theater, but the great opportunity came in 1966, when she was invited to dance samba in the busy nightclubs of Copacabana. She also came to work in the theater and was a pioneer of naturism in Brazil with the play Luz Del Fuego.
In the mid-1980s, she created a show involving erotic dance and male nude with a group of young men with a thirst for fame and money, starting the success Night of the Leopards, which lasted more than a decade.
The show even had illustrious presence in the audience, such as singer Liza Minelli and even Madonna, who closed the house to watch the show.
The queen of the cats, also had a great love in life, Germano Vezzani, twenty-one years younger, who worked behind the scenes of the Leopards, he even made a point as an actor in the global soap opera Transas e Caretas in 1984, having died at the age of 39 in a car accident in Rio de Janeiro.
At 74, and living in São Paulo, Eloína dos Leopardos is one of the most important names on the LGBT scene in Brazil.