Viviane Ventura, a Colombian from London to the world

What do Christopher Columbus, the Beatles, Nelson Mandela, King Hussein of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Roger Moore, Julio Iglesias and Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan have in common? A woman’s name: Viviane Ventura, a Colombian who, without being Colombian by birth but by feeling, has lived a fascinating life that deserves to be told.

Viviane Ventura is not Colombian by birth. She is Colombian by right. It is not by chance that this British actress, model, celebrity and writer, who was born in London, is recognised on many pages as a Colombian. The truth is that Viviane Ventura, whose life is extraordinarily rich for any biographer, admits that she had a wonderful childhood and youth in Colombia. A country to which she remains closely linked for family and professional reasons, but above all through bonds of affection and friendship.

Viviane Ventura was born in London on 5 December 1945, just after the end of the Second World War. A few months later, she moved with her family to Colombia, where she lived for the next 13 years in three different cities of Colombia’s diversity: Barranquilla, Medellín and Bogotá. Viviane’s father and uncles founded one of the most traditional laboratories in Colombia, Lafrancol (Laboratorio Franco-Colombiano).

Scene from the TV series ‘The Saint’ with Richard Moore

Viviane grew up in Colombia in a very tolerant environment, as three religions (Jewish, Anglican and Catholic) were practised in her home, and three languages were spoken (English, French and Spanish). Her British father was a Francophile, so the name of the laboratory and the fact that his daughter studied at the Lycée Français de Bogota are not surprising.

On her return to London, she enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and soon began her film career. She appeared in films such as High Wind in Jamaica with Anthony Quinn and in television series with Roger Moore, whom she remembers fondly. Viviane went on to become a successful model and an icon of the 1960s. She was the official mascot of the British football team that won the 1966 World Cup, starred in one of the Beatles’ films and became their friend. She was a pioneer of the “Me Too” movement. Despite a promising film career, she broke a contract with 20th Century Fox because she refused to comply with requests from producers who had nothing to do with acting.

Viviane Ventura with Phillip Green and Marilyn Cole in L

Ventura, who has Jewish roots, Sephardic to be exact, had a very good relationship with some of the most important Arab leaders, such as King Hussein of Jordan, with whom she had a serious romance that did not end in marriage because the monarch’s advisers advised him that it was not in his image interest to tie himself to a woman of Jewish descent, a divorced film star. Viviane’s Jewish roots go back to Abraham Ventura. It is said that Ventura helped Christopher Columbus with his voyages.

Viviane Ventura

Viviane’s relationship with the Middle East is based on the tolerance and freedom she learned in Colombia. Her two daughters have Arabic names, Sheherazade and Jasmine. She was close to the businessman Adnan Kashoggi and is a friend of Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates, with whom she discussed the normalisation of relations between Israel and her country. Without intending to, Viviane Ventura has been an occasional diplomat. She has perhaps been more effective than some professionals.

With Nelson Mandela and his wife in South Africa

Thanks to her social and public relations skills, Viviane Ventura has worked with political figures such as the South African leader Nelson Mandela and the Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, to whom she introduced his wife, Miranda Rijnsburger. The British-Colombian also worked as a reporter for the Spanish magazine Hola, where she recalls an anecdote about the Dalai Lama: when she fell ill in the hotel where he was staying and was taken to the Buddhist spiritual leader’s room, she fell asleep, woke up and heard someone asking her if she was alright – it was the Dalai Lama, the start of a very popular report at the time.

With Yul Brinner and Sean Connery

Viviane Ventura is still very active and spends her summers in Marbella, Spain, where she enjoys great recognition. She is also preparing her memoirs, in which some of the anecdotes mentioned in this article will certainly appear. A column, perhaps even a book, will not do justice to the life of this Colombian at heart. Exceptional.

Twitter @dixonmedellin

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

You May Also Like