“Learn to live without him”. Arturo Bonín’s wife, Susana Cart, remembers him days after his death after 44 years together

Before entering, a neighbor approaches the team of HELLO! and asks: “Are you from Bonin’s? He was great. A very nice couple, both good people ”. Once inside he welcomes us Susana wagonpartner of Arthur Bonin in life and on stage for forty-four years. It has been less than a month since the actor “went on tour” (he died on March 15, at the age of 78, of lung cancer) and she agrees to speak – she will do so several times in the present – for honor the love that unites them. “There are couples who survive. Instead, we were more in love with the first day. We have always said to ourselves that we have improved by being together. It was a great support for the couple, ”begins the actress.

Protagonist of a long film, theater and television career, the actor's latest works are La 1-5 / 18 (El Trece) and La persuasión (TV Pública), which he shares with his wife.  They had previously acted together previously, for example, Until Death Do Us Part, a play with which they toured the country.
Protagonist of a long film, theater and television career, the actor’s latest works are La 1-5 / 18 (El Trece) and La persuasión (TV Pública), which he shares with his wife. They had previously acted together previously, for example, Until Death Do Us Part, a play with which they toured the country.

-How did you meet?

–It was 1971. I was part of a theater group whose leader he was Raul Serrano and Arturo was part of another group that did theater in schools. We were both very active on the White List of the Argentine Association of Actors, but we didn’t know each other. One day they asked him to bring me some flyers in Payró and he says he saw me giving orders and he hated me. Later, life made us associate with the Teatro del Centro, where the two groups were located. He took care of the technical side and I took care of the administration. We fought a lot because he asked me for money and I didn’t give him because it wasn’t enough. Thus passed fourteen years. In between, everyone made his life. I was married and had my daughter, Julieta. The following year Arturo married and had Mariano. Afterward, the two of us separated and remained partners. He was very cute, the heartthrob, and everyone bought that image. But I, through our talks, have discovered the exciting person behind the heartthrob. He has always been highly educated and self-taught, even though he hasn’t finished high school. He was studying chemistry for food, he was doing badly and one day he dropped out of school. His father asked him what he wanted to do, and when he replied that he wanted to be an actor, he took him to the doctor to be treated … Already separated, we started seeing each other differently and we started dating. They gave us two months.

They married in February 1996, after eighteen years of living together.  Her children, Julieta and Mariano (from previous relationships), were the witnesses.  “Julieta wanted a party for 150;  Arturo, who loved small groups, 12. In the end we negotiated on 50, ”she recalls.
They married in February 1996, after eighteen years of living together. Her children, Julieta and Mariano (from previous relationships), were the witnesses. “Julieta wanted a party for 150; Arturo, who loved small groups, 12. In the end we negotiated on 50, ”she recalls.

-How come?

– We collided a lot. But a year later we moved in together, we were very much in love. We were an independent and dependent couple. I’ve always had my own businesses. I have been part of the Teatro por la Identidad for twenty-one years, we collaborate with the grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, I am treasurer as well as one of the founders. I have also had some business ventures, although all of them have gone badly. Arturo, for his part, made the windows and with some savings that I had we bought a kiosk in via Lavalle. We had him for a year while he was bowling. But at the end of that year they offered him his first TV contract and we decided to take the risk and sold it. He wasn’t happy there, he always said I drove him crazy, I asked him for the balances every month, I made him count the candies … [Se ríe].

– Where does your fanaticism for numbers come from?

–I studied Business Administration and, despite not having finished my degree, I was the manager of a company. The performance was born by chance, accompanying a friend to study with Raúl Serrano. For years I have kept both jobs: the life of an actor is difficult. At the same time, the construction of our family began. When we got together, my daughter was 4 and Mariano 1. We spent a lot of time talking, thinking, facing difficulties and at the same time our relationship grew, we were more and more involved. And we started having projects together. For example, we toured the whole country for six years with Till death do Us part. We found that we enjoyed working together. She repeated in her notes: “I turn around in the kitchen and see her, I turn around in bed and see her. I turn around on stage and see her ”. And it was true.

Arturo directed her in Dreams That Upon Arrival.  About immigrants and ghosts, and in Guinness, a monologue he did for Teatro por la Identidad.
Arturo directed her in Dreams That Upon Arrival. About immigrants and ghosts, and in Guinness, a monologue he did for Teatro por la Identidad. “I discussed everything in life with him, but not in that circumstance, I fully trusted his criteria,” says Susana.Matia Salgado

-He also directed you to the theater.

-I argued with him about everything in life, but not in that circumstance, I completely trusted his judgment. Beyond the fact that we did a permanent formation seminar with Luis Rossini, and there he directed me many times, and also in a show we did with Alejo García Pintos in Caras y Caretas (You dream about it when you arrive. Of immigrants and ghosts), on Guinnessa monologue I did for Teatro por la Identidad, and in woundswith Juan Ricci. [Piensa]. Now we had a project on the life of Cecilia Grierson, we were very excited about it.

-When did they get married?

We had lived together for eighteen years. One day we were having dinner with the boys and my daughter proposed that we get married. Arturo replied that it would be nice if they were the witnesses, but Mariano was still not old enough, he was two years away. Julieta made us sign a document making sure we would comply when the time came. We got married on February 96, the judge was very nice and involved the boys. It didn’t change us at all, we did it with a practical criterion, but it was very nice.

“This house is from 1899, we found it and completely recycled it.  I wasn't sure.  But after seeing her for the first time, we went for a coffee, Arturo drew on a napkin as he imagined it and he convinced me.  He came at 6 in the morning and worked alongside everyone.  He was skilled
“This house is from 1899, we found it and completely recycled it. I wasn’t sure. But after seeing her for the first time, we went for a coffee, Arturo drew on a napkin as he imagined it and he convinced me. He came at 6 in the morning and worked alongside everyone. He was skilled, “recalls the actress. Photo: Matías Salgado

– What was he like as a father and as a grandfather?

-Excellent. Mariano lived fifteen years in Spain and a few years ago he came back, which makes me happy because they were able to have fun. He was very protective, very respectful and familiar. Every Saturday we had barbecues here, with family or friends, and I was attentive to each one. He was sociable, if a little lonely. He had a kind of Buenos Aires melancholy that attracted me enormously. Our first grandson, Alejo (Julieta’s son), turns 19 today. The hardest part of the pandemic lived six months at home. He’s a sun, he helped us a lot, especially when I fell and broke my shoulder. And he was very much an accomplice of Arturo. Mariano and his wife, Mercedes, have Azul, four months old, divine. I’m glad he got to know her because he was crazy about her, but I’m sorry he couldn’t enjoy her more. [Piensa]. Arturo was the love of my life and he will continue to be. I don’t think I can love another person as I have loved them. [Llora]. Sorry, I allow myself to cry. I also know that he lived a very full 78 years, he felt privileged to be able to live on what he loved. They even named him Distinguished Citizen of the City of Buenos Aires.

– Right now you are with a job on the account. How do you find the strength to do it?

I feel it’s a way to honor him. Maternika (Teatro El Anfitrión, Saturday, at 10pm) is an opera that was conceived in a pandemic, we rehearsed at Zoom. He talks about the different forms of motherhood, mixed with desire and non-desire, through a metaphor. Andrea Villamayor He got the idea. We debuted last year and Arturo, who was such a colleague, was very attentive. Later, we reopened on March 12th and he died on the 15th. I went to rehearsals destroyed but the connection with the theater, so magical and healing, helped me. We dedicated a function to him and the reaction of the people was incredible. I am overwhelmed by the displays of affection. He was popular, prestigious and had the affection of the people.

A beautiful portrait of the couple, which hangs on one of the walls of the house.
A beautiful portrait of the couple, which hangs on one of the walls of the house.Matia Salgado

-Few knew that Arturo was ill.

We have decided to be reserved. And it was all very dizzying. In September, due to a small problem, he went to the doctor and they discovered lung cancer. We were both convinced that he was going out. For the first chemotherapy, we went with Mariano and it went so well that he came home and started cooking, which he loved. But already in the third he began to get complicated. [Piensa]. I think I didn’t want to see, or suffer in advance. He was in bed at the San Camilo sanatorium, for whose staff I have only words of gratitude, designing a carpenter’s table that would also be used for eating. After a month there, doctors began evaluating a stay at home. But he didn’t come.

Susana recites with Agustina Cerviño and Marina Villamayor Maternika, a work that, through the metaphor of three women fishing in a dry river, tells the new forms of motherhood, prejudices, fears, desires and mandates.  With the dramaturgy and direction of Sandra Franzen, they are staged on Saturdays at 10pm at the Anfitrión Theater.  “Continuing to work is a way to honor him,” she says.
Susana recites with Agustina Cerviño and Marina Villamayor Maternika, a work that, through the metaphor of three women fishing in a dry river, tells the new forms of motherhood, prejudices, fears, desires and mandates. With the dramaturgy and direction of Sandra Franzen, they are staged on Saturdays at 10pm at the Anfitrión Theater. “Continuing to work is a way to honor him,” she says.Photo: Matías Salgado

–Aside your family and friends, what helps you support yourself?

I started therapy. My therapist told me that I will create another relationship with Arturo, an internal relationship that I need to discover, but which will always be in my life. I can’t imagine living without him … Another phase of my life begins, I have to learn to discover it and live it. I’m working on it.

Make-up and hairstyle: Joaquina Espinola MakeUp Artist

The cover of the magazine Ciao!  This week.
The cover of the magazine Ciao! This week.Photo: Pilar Bustelo

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