Evita: Saint or Sinner?
The story of Eva Peron is a fascinating one . Evita, as she is known, enjoyed a rise
to power like no other. The details of this ascension are often disputed, making Santa
Evita's tale all the more intriguing. . .
Maria Eva Duarte was born on May 7, 1919,1 the fifth and youngest illegitimate
child of Juan Duarte and his mistress, Juan Ibarguen. The week of her birth was known as
Tragic Week, when the army massacred striking workers, perhaps a foreshadow of what
was to come in her life.2
Eva spent her childhood in an adobe farmhouse, with farm animals and earthen
floors. In the farming trade, Juan Duarte incurred many debts, eventually leaving him with
nothing. Thus, early in her life, Eva learnt the humiliation of poverty.
The Duartes were further put down by the stiff Argentine caste system, which
divided the poor from the wealthy.
Being a bastard child, Eva and her four sisters were
seen as 'brats,' and were stopped from associating with the other village children.
Rejection, thrown upon young Eva through no fault of her own, would not be forgotten
At age fifteen, Eva Duarte set out to become a radio actress. She knew she could
be like the women in the movie magazines she either stole or borrowed from her friends.
Eva met singer Agustin Magaldi, and, packed her bags and sneaked out of her mother's
boarding house to the city of Buenos Aires.
Once Eva learned the rules of the 'casting couch,' she dropped Magaldi and began
her ascent to stardom. For years she wandered the streets, auditioned, and did whatever
she had to do, no matter how distasteful. Eva gained modeling work and small parts in
radio plays, frequenting nightclubs, and began to...