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Marga Gomez

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Biography

Marga Gomez, best known for her candid, dignified but physical, stand-up comedy, actually got her professional start as an actor. Growing up the bratty only child of well-known Cuban comedian Willy Chevalier and sensual Puerto Rican dancer Margarita Estremera -- Margo The Exotic to Anglos -- Marga came honestly to entertainment. Soon after discovering that humor eased the pain of Catholic grammar school, Marga also discovered drama as an alternative to sports in high school where, incidentally but significantly, she was the only Latina. Marga abandoned teacher's college, felt unqualified for Spanish showbusiness since she didn't speak Spanish, and was unimpressed with Hollywood and its lack of Hispanic enlightenment. In 1976, she relocated from the Big Apple to San Francisco, seeking independence and the hippie life. Her initial stints, with theater groups Les Nicklettes and The San Francisco Mime Troupe, were brief; subsequently, after seeing a performance by feminist theater company, Lilith, Marga liked them so much that she auditioned and was hired. Thus followed 5 years of performing and touring which took Marga throughout the United States and to Europe. Her success with Lilith convinced Marga that she could make it on her own as a performer. In 1982, Marga Gomez began her career as a solo act. And, she was rewarded early and profoundly: nominated for the San Francisco Cabaret Gold Awards "Outstanding Female Comedy Solo" in 1984, Marga went on to win in 1986, 1987, and 1988. 1988 was an especially good year for Marga; she not only won the "Outstanding Comedy" award but also "Entertainer of the Year," appeared on PBS' "Comedy Tonight" with Whoopi Goldberg as well as in the made-for-cable "Good Time Cafe." Most recently, Marga did VH1 "Stand-Up Spotlight" with Rosie O'Donnell in the summer of 1991 and co-hosted a benefit with Lily Tomlin. ~ Laura Post
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