In any event, she became a sensational success. And, while she did have an active pre-marital sex life (yes – she spent some time on casting couches) she doesn’t seem to have slept her way to the top quite as described here:
In 1945 in an interview with Radiolandia she said, “I am not an adventuress, although some (those who never forgive a young woman for succeeding) make me out to be one. I have spent more than five years dedicated to what is in me a firmly-rooted vocation: the arts. These have been five years of troubles, of noble struggles when I’ve known the uncertainty of adversity as well as the gratification of success.”
Well, it does sound as though she protested a bit much. Regardless, adventuress is a very good word. Try to use it in a conversation today and see how that goes over.
Despite her appearance in a wide variety of films, it’s a bit tricky to tell how good an actress Eva actually was. Many of the movies Eva appeared in no longer exist, as Evita wanted the record of this portion of her life destroyed after she became First Lady of Argentina. Here’s a pretty great picture of her on the cover of a fan magazine, though:
In 1944 Eva first met Juan Peron. He was 48 (nearly twice her age) and had been recently made both Secretary of Labor and Secretary of War after a military coup. The two met at an artistic festival Peron had organized to support the victims of a recent earthquake. They apparently went home together, despite the fact that Eva was attending it with a friend. Eva forever afterwards referred to this as “my marvelous day.”
At the time, Peron had a mistress – a girl younger than 24 year old Eva – whom he generally introduced as his daughter. Eva took care of this complication by taking all her belongings to Peron’s house, and telling the girl there would be no more room for her.
Most women at the time would have stayed out of politics, but Eva was fascinated. Juan allowed her to sit in on his council meetings with advisors, and Eva did so with great enthusiasm. That said, she never disagreed with Peron despite the fact that he was almost definitely a Nazi sympathizer and a big supporter of Mussolini.
In fact, Eva seemed in almost worshipful awe of him. Perhaps that’s because he was much older, or perhaps it was because in Argentina at the time politicians were seen as an entirely different, higher class of people than entertainers.
Unsurprisingly, when broadcast performers were told they had to organize into a union, Eva was made its president. She then began a daily program called “Towards A Better Future” which consisted solely of her detailing Juan Peron’s accomplishments. This sounds like the dullest program in the world. Her fellower entertainers didn’t like it, but the people loved it. They loved her. I guess she was as great at reciting things as she had hoped to be as a child.